GUWAHATI, March 18 - His Holiness the Dalai Lama is an honoured guest of India and he is free to visit any place of the country. This is the view of the Government of India on the ensuing visit of the Tibetan spiritual leader to the Northeast.
The Chinese government has objected to the visit of the Dalai Lama to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh and warned that the visit would affect the relations between India and China. But the Government of India has a very clear stand on the issue and played down the Chinese threat.
Highly placed sources in the Government of India told The Assam Tribune that no restriction would be imposed on the movement of the Dalai Lama within India. Sources also expressed the view that the visit of the Dalai Lama would not affect the relations between India and China.
�As the Government of India considers the Dalai Lama as an honoured guest of the country, he is free to visit any part of the country. Tawang is an integral part of India and the Dalai Lama is free to visit Tawang. Moreover, he is not visiting Tawang for any political function. He is only visiting for religious functions and there is no reason for China to object to the visit,� sources said.
Sources added that earlier also, China had objected to the visits of the Dalai Lama to Tawang, but such objections did not affect the relations between India and China. Sources pointed out that on several occasions, China had objected to the visits of Prime Minister and Defence Minister to Arunachal Pradesh, particularly to Tawang as China has been claiming that Tawang is a part of that country, while the Government of India is asserting that Tawang is an integral part of India.
It may be mentioned here that the Dalai Lama is scheduled to visit the Northeast from April 1. His first public function in the region will be the one to mark the concluding function of the platinum jubilee celebration of The Assam Tribune and golden jubilee of the Dainik Asam. On the occasion, he will deliver a talk on �A Human Approach to World Peace� at the Pragjyoti ITA Centre for Performing Arts at Machkhowa here.
During the trip to the region, the Dalai Lama is scheduled to attend several religious functions in Tawang from April 4.