Leh shuts over P Stobdan’s statement on the Dalai Lama

Bandh called by Ladakh Buddhist Association; former Ambassador offers apology

Our Correspondent

Leh, June 1

Leh district observed a complete bandh on Monday in protest of the alleged statement made by former Ambassador P Stobdan against the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalia Lama on a national TV channel during a debate on the Indo-China border issue.

The protesters claimed that Stobdan’s statement hurt the sentiments of the people of Ladakh as everyone, irrespective of their religious beliefs, revered the spiritual leader.

The bandh called by the Ladakh Buddhist Association was supported by all communities of Ladakh and the Merchant Association, Leh.

Market places across Leh town wore a deserted look as most of the shops remained shut during the bandh.

Meanwhile, Stobdan has tendered an apology through social media. "In the wake of Chinese intrusion in eastern Ladakh from early this month, I have been requested by several national and international media channels to give my expert comments. As an authority on national security issues, I have been making several geopolitical comments on the defence of Ladakh land and the nation. These are my personal views on issue and do not reflect the opinion of any organization or society,” the former diplomat said in a statement.

“His Holiness the Dalai Lama is our supreme religious head who I deeply revere. I have attended several (of his) teachings, including kalachakara. Therefore, there is no question of profaning him from the spiritual angle,” read the statement.  

“These are purely expert geopolitical comments pertaining to border-standoff with China. However, if the sentiments of some people are hurt by my comments I deeply extend an apology,” it added.

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