M A I N   N E W S

Don’t attend Dalai Lama’s felicitation, ministers told
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 3
Cabinet secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar issued an advisory to all union ministers advising them to keep away from a function in the capital today to felicitate the Dalai Lama - a move aimed at sending a positive signal to China at a time when governments in the US and Germany rolled out a red carpet for the Tibetan religious leader a few days ago.

The cabinet secretary’s letter to all ministers said, "The function is not in conformity with the foreign policy of the government. And therefore you are directed not to accept the invitation."

The felicitation event had been organised by the Gandhi Peace Foundation and the All-Party Indian Parliamentary Forum for Tibet to honour the Dalai Lama after his return from the US.

During this trip, the Dalai Lama was bestowed with the Congressional gold medal, America’s highest civilian award. Last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had hosted the Dalai Lama in Berlin.

Beijing had unleashed a tirade at the US and Germany for according a warm reception to the Dalai Lama.

Diplomatically, New Delhi’s China policy can be summed up in three points: Tibet is a part of China; the Dalai Lama is a “revered guest” in India, though he is expected not to indulge in “any political activities”; and India recognises only “one China”, implying that India does not recognise Taiwan.

While India has consistently and steadfastly adhered to these three tenets of its China policy, though Beijing’s conduct has left much to be desired.

Apart from repeated incursions by Chinese troops in the eastern sector, off and on there have been pinpricks from the Chinese policy makers.

The latest of such pinpricks came on October 31 by former Chinese ambassador to India Zhou Gang, who told PTI in Beijing that India must make "substantial adjustment" in the eastern sector, including returning the Buddhist enclave Tawang to China, to reach an early settlement of the border issue.

"As the Chinese people will never accept 'McMahon line,' India must make substantial adjustment in the East sector. On China-India boundary issue, my view is that China has always taken a positive approach, hoping a settlement acceptable to both sides will be reached through talks at an early date," Zhou, now a special consultant to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said.

PTI quoted Zhou as saying that the foremost thing was to abide by the principles of mutual understanding, mutual accommodation and mutual adjustment so as to obtain a final package settlement.

"I cited the following example that during my tenure as Chinese ambassador to India, I made it clear on many occasions to the Indian public - Tawang belongs to China, it is the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama and the Dalai Lama is 'China's Dalai Lama', who cannot be 'India's Dalai Lama'."

Zhou said, "I think if the Indian side can make substantial adjustment in the East sector according to the principles of mutual understanding, mutual accommodation and mutual adjustment, the Chinese side will make its adjustment in the Western sector accordingly," Zhou, also a senior adviser to China Institute for International Strategic Studies, emphasised.




Resolution key for Indo-China ties: Dalai Lama

New Delhi, November 3
Maintaining that resolution of Tibetan issue was vital for betterment of Indo-China ties, the Dalai Lama on Saturday favoured “genuine friendship” between the two Asian giants, rekindling the “Hindi-Chini bhai bhai” spirit.

Addressing a function from which all Union Ministers kept away, the Tibetan spiritual leader attacked the Chinese government for continuing the policy of “suppression” in Tibet and warned that use of “gun” and “force” would only spew “more resentment and anger”.

“Resolution of issue of Tibet is relevant for India-China relationship. I really wish to see a genuine friendship between India and China,” he said after being felicitated by some NGOs and religious leaders here. — PTI



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