Dharamshala, March 6, 2018: An inter-faith meeting at Rajghat had been cancelled and a rally to be attended by the Dalai Lama has been moved to Dharamshala.
India’s Tibetan refugee community cancelled two major events in Delhi planned to mark the 60th anniversary year of the Dalai Lama’s escape to India, after the Central government’s discomfort was “conveyed” to its leadership in Dharamshala.
Sonam Norbu Dagpo, secretary of International Relations in the Department of Information and International Relations and Tibetan government-in exile, spokesman said, “Initially we planned to have the programme in Delhi but have shifted it after we saw reports that the cabinet secretary had asked officials to stay away. However, nothing has been officially conveyed to central Tibetan administration”. However he added that The Dalai lama is not expected to be in Delhi on March 31, and therefore the inter-religious event planned at the Gandhi memorial will not be held.
An official of the Central Tibetan Administration said that the relation between India and China is important for the world and particularly for South Asian countries. “We don’t feel that the Indian government was under pressure from China.”
CTA official further said, “We don’t feel that there would be any kind of impact of this on the movement. The relation between India and China is good for resolving the Tibetan issue.”
At the moment the proposed April 1 rally at Delhi’s Thyagaraja Stadium, has now been moved to Exiled Tibetan head quarter in Dharamshala, North India. Earlier, it was declared that this rally was to be attended by Dalai Lama in Delhi.
“There was no direct message from the government to call off the event, but it was conveyed to our leadership that perhaps these events should not be held in Delhi,” said Tsering Dhondup, spokesperson of the Dalai Lama’s Bureau, confirming the cancellations.
Last week, the foreign ministry said India's position on the Dalai Lama had not changed but did not mention anything about the cabinet secretary's note.
“He (Dalai Lama) is a revered religious leader and is deeply respected by the people of India. There is no change in that position. His Holiness is accorded all freedom to carry out his religious activities in India,” the foreign ministry statement had said and Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju had refused to comment on the “sensitive issue, he said, “It's not proper for me to comment on the subject which has big ramification.”
Sonam Norbu Dagpo, secretary of International Relations in the Department of Information said he wasn't disappointed with the development as “we have been in India for the last 60 years and with the support of the government of India, we have preserved our language, our culture”.