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Diktat to Skip Tibetan Events? Govt Says No Change in Stand on Dalai Lama

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had sent a note on February 22 to Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha, following which the "senior leaders" and "government functionaries" of the Centre and states were directed to skip events of exiled Tibetan leaders.

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Updated:March 2, 2018, 4:35 PM IST
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Diktat to Skip Tibetan Events? Govt Says No Change in Stand on Dalai Lama
File photo of Dalai Lama.
New Delhi: The Centre on Friday clarified that Tibetan spiritual the Dalai Lama was free to "carry out his religious activities in India", reacting to reports that the government has asked senior functionaries to "skip” all events by the "Tibetan leadership in India".

According to The Indian Express, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had sent a note on February 22 to Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha, following which the "senior leaders" and "government functionaries" of the Centre and states were directed to skip events of exiled Tibetan leaders.

Gokhale, India's former ambassador to Beijing, had requested Sinha to issue a "classified circular advisory advising all Ministries/Departments of Government of India as well as State Governments not to accept any invitation or to participate in the proposed commemorative events", the report said.

The note was reportedly issued a day before Gokhale departed for Beijing to hold talks with China's Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou, Foreign Minister Wang and State Councillor Yang Jiechi. It was reportedly aimed at mending fences with China in the wake of the 72-day Doklam standoff.

Reacting to the report, the Ministry of External Affairs has reiterated that New Delhi's stance on the Dalai Lama was "clear and consistent."

"Government of India's position on His Holiness the Dalai Lama is clear and consistent. He is a revered religious leader and is deeply respected by the people of India. There is no change in that position. His Holiness is accorded all freedom to carry out his religious activities in India," the MEA statement read.

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| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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