Dalai Lama visiting Tawang not something new: Tibetan government-in-exile

Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh) [India], Apr. 2 : The Tibetan government-in-exile has said that there was nothing new about the Dalai Lama visiting Arunachal Pradesh - a sensitive border region controlled by New Delhi but claimed by Beijing.

"Dalai Lama visited Tawang many times in the past so this is not a new issue," Tibetan government in-exile spokesperson Sonam told ANI.

China claims the region in the eastern Himalayas as "South Tibet" and it has denounced foreign and even Indian leaders' visits to the region as attempts to bolster New Delhi's territorial claims.

"China resolutely opposes the 14th Dalai Lama visiting border regions disputed by China and India," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told in Beijing.

China urges India to "avoid taking any actions that would further complicate the border issue, do not provide a platform for the 14th Dalai clique's separatist activities," he said.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said that New Delhi's position remained unchanged.

"The Dalai Lama is a religious leader and no political meaning needs to be attached to his activity," Baglay added.

Dalai Lama yesterday started his 13-day trip to North East India despite China warning the New Delhi against hosting him.

Source: ANI