India stands firm on hosting Dalai Lama at Presidential Palace after China lodges strong protest
Hours after China expressed dissatisfaction over Dalai Lama’s meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee, India on Friday asserted that her position on the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader remains consistent.
President Mukherjee on Saturday had hosted the Dalai Lama and other Nobel Peace laureates during a conference on children’s rights at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
“India’s position is consistent,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. Clarifying further, Swarup said that “His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a respected spiritual leader. It was a non political event which he attended.”
The meeting between Mukherjee and the Dalai Lama had irked China with the Asian giant warning that India must respect China’s “core interests” to avoid “any disturbance” to the bilateral ties.
“Recently in disregard of China’s solemn representation and strong opposition, the Indian side insisted on arranging for the 14th Dalai Lama’s visit to the Indian Presidential palace where he took part in an event and met President
Mukherjee,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang told a media briefing in Beijing, PTI reported.
Maintaining that the Chinese side remains “strongly dissatisfied” and “firmly opposed” with the meeting, Shaung insisted that “The Dalai Lama is in political exile and is long been engaged anti-China separatist activities with the attempt of separating Tibet away from China under the cloak of religion