Dalai Lama’s Ladakh tour ‘completely religious’, says government official

The visit could annoy China as it comes amid military clash between Indian and Chinese troops at several flashpoints in eastern Ladakh.

The visit could annoy China as it comes amid military clash between Indian and Chinese troops at several flashpoints in eastern Ladakh.

Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama began his month-long visit to Ladakh on Friday and said India-China border disputes should be resolved through “talks and peaceful means” as the use of army is an outdated option.

The spiritual leader’s visit to Ladakh is expected to annoy China as it comes amid military clash between Indian and Chinese troops at several flashpoints in eastern Ladakh.

Read also : Not a separatist, but an advocate of ‘meaningful autonomy’ for Tibet, Dalai Lama says in J&K

A senior government official said the Dalai Lama’s visit to Ladakh was “completely religious” and no one should have any objection to the visit.

India and China are the most populous countries and neighbors. Sooner or later you will have to resolve this issue (border disputes along the Line of Actual Control) through talks and peaceful means,” the Dalai Lama told reporters in Jammu, before leaving for Ladakh.

“The use of military force is outdated now,” he said.

“But now more and more Chinese are realizing that the Dalai Lama does not seek independence and only wants China to (give) meaningful autonomy (to Tibet) and (ensure) the preservation of Tibetan Buddhist culture. .”Dalai LamaTibetan spiritual leader

The government official said it was not the first time the Dalai Lama had visited a border region. He said the spiritual leader had visited Ladakh as well as Arunachal Pradesh several times in the past.

“The Dalai Lama is a spiritual leader and his visit to Ladakh is completely religious. Why should anyone have any objection to the tour,” the government official said.

China’s criticism

Earlier this month, China slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for greeting the Dalai Lama on his 87th birthday, saying India should stop using Tibet-related issues to interfere in China’s internal affairs.

However, India dismissed the criticism and said it was consistent policy to treat the Dalai Lama as an honored guest of the country.

This is the Dalai Lama’s first visit outside Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh in the past two years as he was mostly confined to the hill station due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Dalai Lama had visited Ladakh in the past. He had also visited Tawang (Arunachal Pradesh) but he could not undertake any visit in the past two years due to the pandemic,” the official said.

The 14th Dalai Lama received a warm welcome in Leh, as hundreds of people stood up on both sides of the road to greet his cavalcade from Leh airport to Jivetsal Photang.

In Jammu, he dodged a question on the Kashmir issue and said, “It’s a complicated question. I don’t know anything about it.”

Responding to another question about objections raised by China to his visit to Ladakh, he said it was customary but the Chinese did not object.

“Some Chinese extremists see me as a separatist and reactionary. They always criticize me,” he said.

The Tibetan spiritual leader said the Chinese people have now realized the Dalai Lama is not a separatist.

Regarding the meaningful autonomy and preservation of Tibetan Buddhist culture, he said, more and more Chinese are showing respect for Tibetan Buddhism.

Message from the Dalai Lama

In a message to the world, the Dalai Lama said there was no point in fighting. “The fight is because of ‘my nation, my country, my ideology (thought).’ That’s too narrow an approach.” He said people live together whether they like it or not. “It’s also small family issues because all human beings are all siblings,” he said.

On Thursday, the Tibetan spiritual leader told Jammu that more and more people in China were beginning to realize he was not seeking “independence” but meaningful autonomy and the preservation of Tibetan Buddhist culture.

“Some Chinese extremists see me as a separatist and a reactionary and always criticize me. But now more and more Chinese realize that the Dalai Lama does not seek independence and only wants China (to give) autonomy significance (to Tibet) and (ensures) its preservation of Tibetan Buddhist culture,” the spiritual leader said.

The Dalai Lama has lived in India since he fled Tibet in 1959. The Tibetan government in exile operates from India and more than 1,60,000 Tibetans live in the country.