By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, Nov 19: Mongolia hosted His Holiness the Dalai Lama in spite of China warning of serious repercussions to the bilateral ties of the two country.
The Tibetan spiritual leader landed in Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar on Friday evening for his six-day tour of the country to a warm reception by the government representatives, senior monks of Mongolian monasteries and the Indian ambassador.
The landlocked country with a majority of Buddhist population described the Tibetan Nobel laureate’s visit as strictly religious in nature.
The Tibetan spiritual leader’s itinerary takes him today to Gaden Thekchen Choeling, Mongolia’s biggest monastery, to speak to the abbots and senior religious teachers from across the country.
His Holiness is also scheduled to visit the monastery of Kalkha Jetsun Dampa, the ninth head of Mongolia’s Buddhist community, open a debate on Science and Buddhism at a college and address the students.
His Holiness will fly back to Japan on Nov 23.
After the Dalai Lama’s visit to Mongolia in 2006, China temporarily suspended flights between Beijing and Ulaanbaatar.
Similarly, ahead of the Tibetan spiritual leader’s visit this time, Beijing issued stern warnings to scrap the planned visit.
“We strongly urge Mongolia to act by keeping in mind the big picture of maintaining the stable development of bilateral relations and to keep their promises made on this issue. Do not allow the Dalai Lama to visit. Do not support or facilitate the separatist activities of the Dalai clique,” Reuters quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang as saying in its report on Nov 18.