Tawang locals fear the Dalai Lama won't visit again

Lama Tashi, a composer of religious hymns who was once nominated for the Grammy awards, says he is not sure whether the Dalai Lama, 74, will set his foot here again.
"He is an international figure and has hectic schedules and one never knows as his visits are to be cleared from all levels," Tashi told PTI.

The people feel that the Dalai Lama's advancing age may not permit him to travel to this township which is located 10,000 feet above sea level and is very cold.
Torjee Khandu, who has seen the Dalai Lama in his last two visits, says this may the monk's last trip. "He's growing old and given the political repercussions on his every visit here, this might be his last trip."

87-year-old Rempa Tsering fears the worse. "The Chinese may not allow coronation of the next Dalai Lama. Every time there is a hue and cry from China when he visits this part of the country which they claim to be theirs and so there might be every effort by them to stop coronation of the fifteenth Dalai Lama."
Tulku Rinpoche, head of the Tawang monastery who supervised the four-day stay of the Dalai Lama here, however, is optimistic.

"I still have a feeling that he might choose to come here once again as he has emotional attachment to this area which he crossed from Tibet to enter into the country," Rinpoche says.

"His holiness is hale and hearty and has no health problems and so we feel that he will come here once again," the head of the 500-year-old monastery says.
Asked about the days when the Dalai Lama was his guest, Rinpoche says after a hectic day, he will retire in his room (a suite at the rooftop of the monastery) and pray.

"Meeting a couple of persons was his habit after he has an early dinner of rice and vegetable before he sleeps," he says.
The Dalai Lama spent four days in Tawang and went to the every nook and corner of the town be it the historic Tawang monastery or the Tawang playground and the deputy commissioner's residence.

He travelled in his Scorpio as the people lined up on the streets with colourful banners and posters all over.
Thousands congregated in his prayer meetings and there was a virtual bandh in the town with people going out for the entire day to listen to the spiritual leader.

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