Dalai Lama invited as chief guest, Modi to deliver inaugural speech

Dalai Lama invited as chief guest, Modi to deliver inaugural speech

Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama has been invited as one of the Chief Guests to the 105th Indian Science Congress, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate at Manipur University in Imphal on Friday.

Notwithstanding the recent note issued by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha advising all senior leaders and government functionaries to stay away from Dalai Lama's events, the Nobel Laureate Buddhist monk has been invited as one of the chief guests at the Indian Science Congress.

Prime Minister will inaugurate the Indian Science Congress on Friday. It is however still not clear if Modi and Dalai Lama will share the podium at the inaugural session.

With New Delhi and Beijing lining up several engagements, in the coming months, to bring the ties back on track, the Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha late last month purportedly sent out a directive conveying to the "senior leaders" and "government functionaries" in the states as well as at the Centre that it was "not desirable" to participate in the events organized by the exiled Tibetans in India.

The face-off between the Indian Army and Chinese People's Liberation Army in Doklam Plateau in western Bhutan from June 18 to August 28 brought the bilateral relations to a new low in 2017. New Delhi and Beijing, however, expect that the strains in the ties could be eased out in 2018, which is likely to see a series of engagements between the two neighbours.

Sinha issued the directive after Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale drew his attention to a "Thank You India" event being held by the Tibetan Government in Exile towards the end of this month and early next month to mark the beginning of the 60th anniversary of Dalai Lama's escape to India in the wake of Chinese People's Liberation Army's occupation of Tibet in 1959.

China calls Dalai Lama a "splitist" and has been very sensitive about his stay in India and his visits abroad. Beijing in November 2011 postponed a visit of the then State Councilor of China, Dai Bingguo, to New Delhi, as Dalai Lama was also attending a Global Buddhist Convention in the capital city around the same time when he was scheduled to arrive. Beijing has also been complaining about Dalai Lama's visits to Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh, which are close to disputed India-China boundary.

The Tibetan Government in Exile, which is also known as Central Tibetan Administration, is based at Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. It also planned to invite Indian dignitaries to a public event it would hold at Thyagaraja Sports Complex in New Delhi on April 1. The event has now been shifted to Dharamshala.

Two other Nobel Laureates- micro-finance pioneer Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh and Japanese physicist Hiroshi Amano- have also been invited as chief guests to the Indian Science Congress.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry