India-China row deepens as Dalai Lama arrives in NE India

India-China row deepens as Dalai Lama arrives in NE India

GAUHATI, India — India said Tuesday that China should not interfere in its internal affairs, as the Dalai Lama began a weeklong visit to India’s remote northeast that Beijing has protested.

The Tibetan spiritual leader was greeted by cheering supporters as he arrived in Arunachal Pradesh. China claims the partly ethnically Tibetan Himalayan state as its own territory, and warned last month of “severe damage” to relations with India and increased regional instability if the Dalai Lama proceeds with his trip.

Indian Junior Home Minister Kiren Rijiju said Tuesday that New Delhi respects Beijing’s “one China” policy and expects China to accept India’s policies.

“Arunachal Pradesh is an inseparable part of India and China should not object to the Dalai Lama’s visit and interfere in India’s internal affairs,” he said.

The Dalai Lama is visiting the state at the invitation of the people of Arunachal Pradesh, Rijiju said. “As a democratic country, India cannot interfere in the religious affairs of any community,” he said.

Hundreds of supporters, some waving Tibetan flags, cheered as the Dalai Lama’s motorcade entered Bomdila, a town in Arunachal Pradesh that borders China.

The Dalai Lama had to cancel his plans to fly to the state due to bad weather, giving people in Bomdila a surprise chance to greet their spiritual leader.

This is the Dalai Lama’s seventh visit to Arunachal Pradesh, and his first since 2009.

Lama Tashi, a senior monk, said by phone from Bomdila that there was “tremendous enthusiasm among all of us here over the visit.”

“This visit is purely related to culture and faith, and there is no politics involved,” he said.

The Dalai Lama will travel to the Arunachal Pradesh district of Tawang on Thursday, where he is scheduled to consecrate a monastery and address his followers. People from nearby areas, including from the Himalayan country of Bhutan, which borders Arunachal Pradesh, were already gathering at Tawang, local officials said.

“The mood in Tawang is very joyous and spiritual,” said Sonam Chombey, a Tawang official.

Last month, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that Beijing has expressed its concerns to New Delhi on numerous occasions and urged India to avoid offering a place for the Dalai Lama to carry out anti-China separatist activities.

The frontier between the two Asian giants remains tense more than 50 years after they fought a brief but bloody border war high in the peaks.

China claims about 90,000 square kilometres (35,000 square miles) in Arunachal Pradesh, referred to informally by some Chinese as “Southern Tibet.” India says China is occupying 38,000 square kilometres (15,000 square miles) of its territory on the Aksai Chin plateau.

More than a dozen rounds of talks have failed to make substantial progress on the dispute, although there have been relatively few confrontations in recent years.

Wasbir Hussain, The Associated Press

Just Posted

CSRD increases building inspections in the Shuswap

New inspections to take place effective March 5.

Okanagan residents can win ride in army vehicle

A social media campaign offers the chance to win a ride in the Dragoons armoured vehicle

Reel Reviews: War from both sides of the desk

We say, “Forgive these films their faults and they will be entertaining enough.”

Residents should keep air intakes clear of snow

Silver Star Fire Department is encouraging residens to keep their air intakes clear after snowfall

Provincial program offers assistance to agricultural producers

AgriStability Enhancement Program benefits agricultural producers who saw an income decline in 2017

Your Feb. 19 Morning Brief

Check out the top stories of the day in the Okanagan-Shuswap with Carmen Weld’s Black Press Morning Brief.

BCHL Today: Langley enjoys home ice while roller coast ride continues for Chilliwack Chiefs

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Federal government to fight solitary confinement ruling from B.C. court

B.C. Supreme Court decided to end the practice of solitary confinement in Canadian prisons

Hedley withdraws from Junos, plans to discuss ‘how we have let some people down’

Hedley was dropped by their label last week after sexual misconduct accusations

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: B.C. takes home gold in two-man bobsleigh

Women’s hockey team beats Russia 5-0, Comox skier takes home best qualifying score

Calgary man dies in Mexico following sudden illness

Troy Black was with his wife, Lindsay, in Puerto Vallarta when he began vomiting blood on Thursday

Virtue and Moir break their own world record

Virtue and Moir break short dance record to sit first in ice dance at Olympics

Trump gets angry about election meddling, but not at Russia

‘Weirdest thing’: Trump expresses anger, but not over Russian election-meddling

Most Read