Dalai Lama is expected to visit Jammu and Ladakh next week as part of a two-day journey, despite China’s criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday congratulations to the Tibetan spiritual leader, stating that it is India’s constant policy to treat him as an honored guest of the nation.
The birthday wishes sent by the prime minister to the Dalai Lama on Wednesday should be seen in a larger context, according to the spokesperson for the ministry of external affairs, Arindam Bagchi.
According to unrelated sources, the Dalai Lama will go to Jammu on July 14 and Ladakh the next day.
It will be the Tibetan leader’s first trip outside Dharamshala in the last two years. Since it coincides with a continuing military stalemate between Indian and Chinese forces at multiple flashpoints in eastern Ladakh, it is anticipated to infuriate China even more.
Beijing criticized Mr. Modi on Thursday for wishing the Dalai Lama a happy 87th birthday, saying India should cease meddling in Chinese domestic affairs with Tibet-related matters.
At a weekly media conference, Mr. Bagchi stated: “It is a constant policy of the Government of India to treat His Holiness the Dalai Lama as an honored visitor in India and as a recognized religious leader who has a big following in India.”
In response to inquiries about the Chinese response to Mr. Modi’s greetings, the spokeswoman for the ministry of foreign affairs commented.
“All appropriate courtesy and freedom are shown to His Holiness so that he may practice his religion and spirituality in India. A large number of his supporters, both in India and overseas, commemorate his birthday “explained Mr. Bagchi.
He remarked, adding that Mr. Modi had wished him a happy birthday last year, “The birthday wishes by the prime minister to his Holiness on his 87th birthday should be understood in this broader perspective.”
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar had private meetings on the margins of a G20 foreign ministers summit in Bali on the day of the Chinese response.
It is unknown whether the subject came up during the negotiations.
At a media conference in Beijing, Zhao Lijian, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said that “the Indian side should thoroughly realize the anti-China separatist character of the 14th Dalai Lama.”
According to Zhao, it must uphold its “commitment to China, speak and behave responsibly, and cease utilizing Tibet-related concerns to meddle in China’s internal affairs.”
Meenakashi Lekhi, a minister of state for external affairs and culture, and S P Singh Baghel, a minister of state for law, both attended a celebration of the Dalai Lama’s birthday on Wednesday in Delhi.
According to Ms. Lekhi, the Dalai Lama is someone who speaks about India as a significant force in world civilization and that he embraced the nation as his mother, according to her short remarks at the ceremony.
The Dalai Lama was received by some Union ministers, including Kiren Rijiju and Nitin Gadkari, and MPs.
The 14th Dalai Lama escaped Tibet and arrived in India, where he established an exiled government after a failed anti-Chinese insurrection in 1959.
Since 2010, there have not been any formal meetings between representatives of the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama is seen as a polarizing figure by Beijing, which has previously accused him of engaging in “separatist” activities and attempting to partition Tibet.
But according to the “Middle-Way method,” the Tibetan spiritual leader insists that what he wants is “true autonomy for all Tibetans living in the three ancient regions of Tibet,” not independence.