His Holiness the Dalai Lama has reached Bomdila in west Kameng, Arunachal Pradesh after his journey to Tawang was postponed due to bad weather on Tuesday. He started from Guwahati in Assam by road for Bomdila, where he is expected to make a public appearance on Wednesday. The Dalai Lama, who is on a 12-day trip to the northeast, is expected to arrive in Tawang by April 6 evening or definitively by April 7. On April 6, the spiritual leader is scheduled to attend an inauguration programme of Thupsung Dhargyeling monastery and a Himalayan seminar on Buddhism. Meanwhile, MLA from Tawang Tsering Tashi said the delay in his arrival doesn’t affect the spirits of people who are eagerly waiting to catch a glimpse of the leader. he further added that it’s his love for us that despite inclement weather he has yet chosen to come to us by road.
— ANI (@ANI_news) April 4, 2017
The Dalai Lama is expected to welcome nearly 800 monks at the country’s largest monastery which is approximately 400-years-old. The spiritual leader’s visit to Arunachal has not been well received by neighbouring China which has persistently warned India of consequences on its bilateral relations. Tsering Tashi has brushed aside the repeated threats from China saying it will not deter them from receiving their spiritual leader. “The whole of Tawang is waiting to receive their beloved Dalai Lama,” said the Tawang MLA.
In the meantime, India responded sternly to China’s opposition as it asked the neighbouring country not to interfere in its internal affairs, adding that India respects the “One-China” policy and expects Beijing to reciprocate. In a statement to the media, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said that the Dalai Lama’s visit to the border state is for completely religious purposes and has no political motive. “There is no political angle behind His Holiness’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh. It is completely religious. Arunachal Pradesh is an inseparable part of India and China should not object to his visit and interfere in India’s internal affairs,” he had said. The minister added that India has always stayed away from interefering in China’s internal affairs.
In view of his visit, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and the Arunachal police beefed up security in and around the Tawang monastery, where the spiritual leader is likely going to stay. SP Tawang Manoj Kumar Meena told media that the state police is closely coordinating with the ITBP to ensure fool-proof security measures. The Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh comes nearly eight years after his last visit in 2009. The 2009 visit comes precisely 50 years after he had passed through the town on his way from Lhasa in Tibet to India.