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Khandu sure of Dalai visit

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By Staff Reporter in Guwahati
  • Published 20.05.08
Dorjee Khandu

Guwahati, May 20: Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorjee Khandu today said he was confident that the Centre would not buckle under pressure from China and allow the Dalai Lama to visit Tawang to inaugurate a super speciality hospital.

“I have invited Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama twice to inaugurate a super speciality hospital, which has been constructed at a cost of Rs 3.45 crore. The construction of the state-of-the-art facility hospital — the only one of its kind in the state — is complete and awaiting the spiritual leader’s arrival for inauguration. He has accepted my invitation and promised to visit Tawang hospital, for which he himself donated Rs 20 lakh last year. I have also taken up the matter with the external affairs ministry on a number of occasions to expedite the formalities to clear the decks for His Holiness to visit the state,” Khandu told reporters today.

The proposed visit of the Dalai Lama to Tawang assumes significance as the spiritual leader, after the failed uprising against the Chinese, took this route to flee to India in 1959.

Arguing in favour of the Dalai Lama, the chief minister described him as “basically” a spiritual leader and said the Centre should not impose any ban on his entry to Tawang to inaugurate the hospital.

Police had recently caned pro-Tibet rallyists in Tawang and Bomdila after the protesters turned violent.

Terming the incidents “isolated”, Khandu said the Buddhist community in the state stands in unison to protest Chinese atrocities in Tibet but it should not tread the path of violence.

The chief minister had led a 20-member delegation, comprising BJP Lok Sabha member Kiren Rijiju, Tawang MLA Tsewang Dhondup, Lumla MLA T.G. Rinpoche, to Dharmashala to meet the Dalai Lama to express solidarity with the suffering Tibetans.