Dalai Lama consecrates monastery in India as China seethes

Dalai Lama consecrates monastery in India as China seethes

GAUHATI, India — The Dalai Lama consecrated a Buddhist monastery on Thursday in India’s remote northeast, amid Chinese warnings that the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader’s visit to a disputed border region would damage bilateral relations with India.

Nearly 10,000 people, some of them from neighbouring Bhutan, greeted the Dalai Lama at the Thubchok Gatsel Ling Monastery in Tawang district in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, Indian official Jemba Tshering said.

The visit to Arunachal Pradesh, which China also claims as its territory, has raised tensions between the nuclear-armed Asian neighbours. China’s Foreign Ministry has said the visit “severely harms China’s interests and the China-India relationship,” while India has cautioned Beijing to stay out of its internal affairs.

China considers the 81-year-old monk, who fled to India in 1959 amid an uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet, a separatist seeking Tibet’s independence. The Dalai Lama says he merely advocates substantial autonomy and protection of the region’s native Buddhist culture.

The 81-year-old monk reiterated Wednesday that he as well as his people were not seeking Tibet’s independence, but are struggling to secure “meaningful autonomy” for the region from China.

“Firstly, we are not seeking independence. We are very much willing to remain within China,” The Telegraph newspaper quoted him as saying. “At the same time the Chinese government must give us meaningful self-rule, autonomy and must take full care of the environment.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Wednesday rejected arguments that the trip was solely religious in nature, and said China would lodge a formal protest with New Delhi.

The top elected official of the state of Arunachal Pradesh, Pema Khandu, accompanied the Dalai Lama as he addressed young monks on Wednesday. Khandu said China had no business telling India what to do and what not to do, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

India considers Tibet an integral part of China while rejecting Beijing’s claims over about 90,000 square kilometres (35,000 square miles) in Arunachal Pradesh. India says China is occupying 38,000 square kilometres (15,000 square miles) of its territory on the Aksai Chin plateau.

The visit is the Dalai Lama’s seventh to Arunachal Pradesh and his first since 2009. China has criticized previous visits, but they did not spark any major rift between the two countries.

Wasbir Hussain, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Langley Rotarians work for clinics in Kenya

Local Rotary Clubs are asking locals to think of others at Christmastime.

#MeToo at work: How reporting sexual harassment works – and how it doesn’t

British Columbians have four options to report harassment or assault, but none of them are easy

Looking Back: Dec. 14, 2017

The community’s history as recorded in the files of the Langley Advance

Throwback Thursday: December 14, 2017

Can you help us caption a photo from Langley’s past?

Giants invite fans to toss teddy bears at Langley game

The annual Teddy Bear Toss takes place at this Sunday’s home game in the LEC.

VIDEO: Recovering addict shares art and story to motivate others

A Langley City man spends time each day painting in McBurney Plaza.

B.C. government to launch coastal ferry review in January

The Province will begin a comprehensive review of the coastal ferry service in British Columbia in 2018

5 to start your day

A rhyming MP getting into the Christmas spirit on the hill, Langley boy chased by two men and more

Federal Crown drops appeal after charges against pot activist dismissed

Dana Larsen said he was served notice at his home in Vancouver and the case was to be heard July 2

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to marry May 19

Kensington Palace announced the date to the public Friday

Debt-to-household-income ratio rises in third quarter

Total household credit market debt grew to $2.11 trillion in the third quarter

PART I: How Prince Rupert schools teach Indigenous language to hundreds of students

A multimedia series with videos and photos from children’s Sm’algyax classes on B.C.’s North Coast

B.C. Mountie told to resign after texting teenage sex assault victim

RCMP documents say Const. Brian Eden sent sexually inappropriate photos to 17-year-old girl

B.C. Interior First Nation create a community radio station

The Tsilhqot’in National Government is developing a radio station to promote language revitalization and create unity

Most Read