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Dalai Lama cherishes affection for NE, recalls his crossover journey

By R Dutta Choudhury

DHARAMSHALA, Nov 8 - The North East has a special place in the heart of the Dalai Lama as he had crossed over to India from China through the region in 1959 following threat from the Chinese, who later occupied Tibet. Since then, the Dalai Lama has been staying in exile in India and continuing the non-violence movement for the restoration of the rights of the Tibetan people.

Talking to The Assam Tribune in his residence here, the Dalai Lama recalled his journey to India through the North East and said that he would always have special emotional bond with Assam and other parts of the region. �I have special affection for the region and that will always continue,� he said, becoming a little emotional when he recalled the love and affection that he had received from the people of the region when he had to leave his own country to come to India.

Recalling his entry into India, the Dalai Lama said that as soon as he had crossed the border to enter India, he saw the face of an officer of the External Affairs Ministry of the Government of India, who had spent some time in Tibet. His translator and the bodyguard were also with him. �I felt tremendous amount of relief when I saw the known faces immediately after crossing the international border into India after a long and tedious journey,� he added.

The Dalai Lama revealed that after entering India, he spent about 10 days in Bomdila. He recalled that one Deputy Commissioner, his wife and their very young son took good care of him. �I am still in touch with the son of the then Deputy Commissioner. However, the young child has now become a bald man like me,� he jokingly said. The next stop was in the �foothills� (he could not recollect the name of the place), following which, he, along with his followers, moved to Tezpur. He said that he still remembers the love and affection that the people of Tezpur had showered on him.

The Tibetan spiritual leader said that a large number of international mediapersons also came to Tezpur and a statement was released on his behalf explaining his position. He remembered that he was physically weak at that time due to illness and the long travel; and he had recovered during his stay in Tezpur. �Mentally also, I felt relieved after receiving the love and affection of the people,� he added.

After leaving Tezpur, he went to Derhadun after stopping at Siliguri and Sarnath before settling down in Dharamshala. �Later, I have visited the North East region a number of times and always overwhelmed by the love and affection of the people. That is why, I shall always have the emotional affection with the North East. Another reason why I love the region is that the sixth Dalai Lama was from the region,� he added.

It may be mentioned here that the decision that the Dalai Lama should leave Tibet was taken on March 17, 1959, and he left Lhasa dressed as a common soldier. He finally reached the international border on November 30 to cross over to India.

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Dalai Lama cherishes affection for NE, recalls his crossover journey

DHARAMSHALA, Nov 8 - The North East has a special place in the heart of the Dalai Lama as he had crossed over to India from China through the region in 1959 following threat from the Chinese, who later occupied Tibet. Since then, the Dalai Lama has been staying in exile in India and continuing the non-violence movement for the restoration of the rights of the Tibetan people.

Talking to The Assam Tribune in his residence here, the Dalai Lama recalled his journey to India through the North East and said that he would always have special emotional bond with Assam and other parts of the region. �I have special affection for the region and that will always continue,� he said, becoming a little emotional when he recalled the love and affection that he had received from the people of the region when he had to leave his own country to come to India.

Recalling his entry into India, the Dalai Lama said that as soon as he had crossed the border to enter India, he saw the face of an officer of the External Affairs Ministry of the Government of India, who had spent some time in Tibet. His translator and the bodyguard were also with him. �I felt tremendous amount of relief when I saw the known faces immediately after crossing the international border into India after a long and tedious journey,� he added.

The Dalai Lama revealed that after entering India, he spent about 10 days in Bomdila. He recalled that one Deputy Commissioner, his wife and their very young son took good care of him. �I am still in touch with the son of the then Deputy Commissioner. However, the young child has now become a bald man like me,� he jokingly said. The next stop was in the �foothills� (he could not recollect the name of the place), following which, he, along with his followers, moved to Tezpur. He said that he still remembers the love and affection that the people of Tezpur had showered on him.

The Tibetan spiritual leader said that a large number of international mediapersons also came to Tezpur and a statement was released on his behalf explaining his position. He remembered that he was physically weak at that time due to illness and the long travel; and he had recovered during his stay in Tezpur. �Mentally also, I felt relieved after receiving the love and affection of the people,� he added.

After leaving Tezpur, he went to Derhadun after stopping at Siliguri and Sarnath before settling down in Dharamshala. �Later, I have visited the North East region a number of times and always overwhelmed by the love and affection of the people. That is why, I shall always have the emotional affection with the North East. Another reason why I love the region is that the sixth Dalai Lama was from the region,� he added.

It may be mentioned here that the decision that the Dalai Lama should leave Tibet was taken on March 17, 1959, and he left Lhasa dressed as a common soldier. He finally reached the international border on November 30 to cross over to India.