India accepts Tibet as part of China, Dalai Lama must respect that: Swamy

Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama | Photo: PTI
The Tibetan government-in-exile, which is observing “60 years in exile” of the Dalai Lama, has cancelled its two main events in Delhi, The Indian Express reported on Tuesday. 

The development comes days after the Indian Government sent out a note to senior leaders and government functionaries of the Centre and states to stay away from the events planned by the Tibetan government. The note had stressed that it was a "very sensitive time" for India's relation with China.

The events - an inter-faith prayer at the Gandhi Samadhi in Rajghat and a 'Thank You India' programme at Thyagaraj stadium - were scheduled for March 31 and April 1. Dalai Lama was to attend both the events.

Citing sources, the daily said that the Tibetan administration was planning to invite former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani, Minister of State (Home) Kiren Rijiju among others for the events at the Thyagaraj stadium and Rajghat.

The ‘Thank You India’ event has now been shifted to Dharamsala and will be held either on March 31 or April 1.

“The Thyagaraj stadium event has been shifted to Dharamsala now. And the inter-faith prayer at Rajghat has been cancelled for now,” Sonam Dagpo, spokesperson for the Central Tibetan Administration, told the daily on Monday.

Dagpo declined to comment on the government's note.

According to Indian Express, Foreign Secretary Gokhale had written to the Cabinet Secretary on February 22 saying that the proposed time for the events will be very sensitive time in the context of India's relations with China. "Participation by senior leaders or government functionaries, either from the Central Government or State Governments, is not desirable, and should be discouraged,” Gokhale wrote.

The move is being seen to be in line with India's attempt to mend relation with China - after a year of strained relations.

China sees Tibet as an integral part of itself and calls the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetans, a “splittist” and a “dangerous separatist”.

Dalai Lama should stick to religious activities: Swamy

With the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) clarifying their stance on the Dalai Lama's activities in India, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Friday said that the Tibetan spiritual leader should focus on the religious activities.

Speaking to ANI, Swamy said that as per the treaty signed between India and China, New Delhi has accepted Tibet as a part of Beijing and it should be respected.

"The Dalai Lama can do any event in India provided it's not political and not aimed against China. As two treaties were signed, one by Jawaharlal Nehru and other by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, where we accepted Tibet as a part of China," Swamy said.

"It's a hint to him that he should stick to religious activities," he added.

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