Dalai Lama felicitation function not in sync with Indian Government’s position: Menon

November 14th, 2007 - 10:30 am ICT by admin  

On Board Air India One, Nov. 11 (ANI): Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon on Sunday said that a recent function in New Delhi to felicitate Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama was not in line with the Government of India’s stand on Tibet, which led it to issue a circular asking ministers to skip the event.

Menon, who is accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his two-dayvisit to Russia, said: “If somebody organises a function that does not represent the India’s stand (on Tibet), then representatives of the Government of India cannot participate in it. This was the logic behind the circular.”

India has recognised the Tibet Autonomous Region as part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China.

The November 3 function was organised by the Gandhi Peace Foundation and the All India Parliamentary Forum for Tibet.

Menon said that Dalai Lama is a revered religious figure in India and has given an undertaking that he would not be involved in political activities, a promise that he has completely abided by during is nearly five-decade-long stay in the country.

“Our respect for Dalai Lama remains,” he added.

The Dalai Lama has been a guest of the Indian Government since crossing the border into India after an epic 15-day journey on foot from the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, in 1959, nine years after Chinese troops gained control of the Himalayan territory. He has since set up his headquarters in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh. The Tibet Government in Exile also functions administratively from there.

The Tibetan spiritual leader recently received the US Congress’s Medal of Honour in Washington, which led to a war of words between Washington and Beijing.

China sees the Dalai Lama as a renegade rather than a spiritual leader of Tibetans. Washington, on the other hand, has urged Beijing to talk to the Dalai Lama and sort out differences that have affected relations between China and Tibet since 1950. (ANI)

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