DHARAMSALA, 8 July: India has dismissed China’s criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for wishing the Dalai Lama on his 87th birthday declaring that the Tibetan spiritual leader is an honoured guest of India.
“The PM did speak with Dalai Lama last year also, it has been a consistent policy of our government to treat him as a guest in India and as a respected religious leader who enjoys a large following in India,” the spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs Arindam Bagchi has said at a press conference slamming Beijing’s criticism.
While China has reacted sharply criticised the development with the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian declaring that New Delhi “should fully recognise the anti-China separatist nature of the 14th Dalai Lama,” and to abide by its “commitment to China, speak and act prudently and stop using Tibet related issues to interfere in China’s internal affairs,” Bagchi has responded by declaring that the Dalai Lama “has large followers in the country” and that “his birthday is celebrated in India and abroad.”
“His Holiness is accorded all due courtesies and freedom to conduct his religious and spiritual activities in India… The birthday greetings by the prime minister to his Holiness on his 87th birthday should be seen in this overall context,” he has said.
Besides, China has also lashed out at the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken for greeting the Dalai Lama as well.
Meanwhile, the Central Tibetan Administration’s Spokesperson Tenzin Lekshey has said that China calling the Dalai Lama a separatist is a lame excuse without truth.
“His Holiness the Dalai Lama came into exile in India after China occupied Tibet. His Holiness transcends beyond politics & is universally recognised as an epitome of peace & nonviolence. @MFA_China calling him a separatist is a lame excuse which has no ground of truth,” Lekshey said in a tweet.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso was born Lhamo Dhondup on 6 July 1935 to a peasant family in Taktser village in the traditional Tibetan province of Amdo.