Gandhi Jayanti Event Not Allowed in Beijing Park due to 70th Anniversary Activities: Chinese Official
Reacting to reports, Ji Rong, spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in India in a statement said it was done 'purely for technical reasons.'
FIle photo of Mahatma Gandhi. (Getty Images)
Beijing/New Delhi: China has said that celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary were not allowed to be held at a public park in Beijing due to "technical reasons" as it coincided with the activities of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the country.
The celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary, held every year since 2005 at the picturesque Chaoyang park in Beijing, was shifted to the Indian Embassy premises in the last minute on Wednesday after the Chinese government denied permission to hold the event.
Reacting to reports, Ji Rong, spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in India in a statement said its was done "purely for technical reasons."
"We have learned that due to the celebration activities of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, the Indian embassy in China has been advised to hold this year's 150th birth anniversary celebration of Mahatma Gandhi somewhere else," Ji said in the statement posted on the website of the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi on October 3.
For the last 14 years, Gandhi Jayanti celebrations were being held at the Chaoyang park after a statue of India's Father of the Nation sculpted by famous Chinese sculptor Yuan Xikun was installed there in 2005. The popular public park has the only sculpture of Gandhi in China.
Indian Embassy officials said permission was not received even though it was applied well in advance like every year.
The spokesperson of the Chinese embassy said "Gandhi is an important historical figure who led India to shake off colonial rule and win independence. He is widely respected in China and the world. The Chinese side welcomes the hosting of relevant events in China to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi."
China held a massive military parade on October 1 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the country amid tight security measures in the city.
The event marking his 150th birth anniversary this year was shifted to the Embassy auditorium after the museum informed the Mission that the event cannot be held as it has not obtained necessary permission.
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