Governor ignores Chinese objection, attends Dalai talk (Lead)

December 1st, 2011 - 8:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Kolkata, Dec 1 (IANS) Ignoring reported Chinese objections, West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan Thursday attended a lecture addressed by the Dalai Lama who said some Chinese officials considered him a “demon”. At another event, the Dalai Lama said he has followers in China who support his cause for an independent Tibet.

The Dalai Lama termed the Chinese objections to his event as “quite routine”.

The Chinese consulate here has reportedly given a letter to the West Bengal government asking that neither Governor Narayanan nor Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee should attend the Tibetan spiritual leader’s function.

However, Narayanan ignored the advice and sat through the Dalai Lama’s lecture held to mark the birth centenary of Mother Teresa.

Narayanan refused to react when scribes sought his comments on the Chinese letter. “What do you expect me to do? If they have written, they have written,” he retorted.

Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien said the chief minister had to skip the programme as her mother was critically ill.

The Dalai Lama said the objection “was logical from the Chinese point of view”.

“Some Chinese officials consider me as a demon. They raise every objection. I have faced this before.”

However, the Tibetan spiritual leader said he was against politicising his visit to the city as he no longer headed the political administration of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

In March, the Dalai Lama officially resigned as the political leader.

Later, speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of another event at the Indian Institute of Management, the 76-year-old wondered why the Chinese considered him a ‘demon’.

“This (The Chinese consulate objection) is not some thing new, I have got used to this. But I wonder why they do this. Like India I have many followers in China who not only support my spiritual beliefs but also our cause for an independent Tibet,” he said.

“They think I am a demon. But I think I am not as bad a demon as they think. I do not have horn over my head,” he added with a chuckle.

Narayanan was not present in the IIM programme.

Earlier, the India-China border talks that was to be held in New Delhi earlier this week was cancelled by Beijing at the last minute, reportedly miffed over the participation of the Dalai Lama at an international Buddhist meet there.

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