By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, August 28: His Holiness the Dalai Lama is always welcome to visit Austria, says its ambassador in New Delhi.
Austrian Ambassador-designate in Delhi, Brigitte Oeppinger Walchshofer has said that the Dalai Lama is ‘most welcome’ to her country and professed that the European Union has a positive policy towards the Tibetan spiritual leader. She further declared that other countries shouldn’t submit to China’s pressure when it comes to the Dalai Lama’s visit to their countries.
“The Dalai Lama is always welcome in Austria. I don’t think there is a single country in the European Union where he would not be allowed in. The Tibetan spiritual leader is a very revered man and people are fascinated by him in the way that they are with Mahatma Gandhi. Countries do not have to succumb to such pressures [from China]. We don’t have a problem with him visiting us and China knows our position on this issue,” Ms. Brigitte Oeppinger was quoted as saying in a report.
Ms. Brigitte Oeppinger’s has been professionally engaged in foreign affairs for over 34 years and served for a long period in the South African countries. She also reflected on how certain countries denial of visa to the Tibetan Nobel laureate has spurred controversies inside the African civil society.
“I remember once South Africa took such a decision [barred the entry] and it triggered a big discussion as many people were very unhappy with this move,” the ambassador added.
Ms. Brigitte Oeppinger’s is commited to non-violence and had interactions with the late Nelson Mandela and Nobel laureate Bishop Desmond Tutu during her South Africa stint. She assumed her role as Ambassador-designate in Delhi on July 7 this year.