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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Dalai Lama felicitation function not in sync with Indian Government's position: Menon

November 13, 2007

By ANI

Sunday November 11, 11:41 PM

By Smita Prakash

On Board Air India One, Nov. 11 (ANI): Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv
Shankar Menon on Sunday said that a recent function in New Delhi to
felicitate Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama was not in line with the
Government of India's stand on Tibet, which led it to issue a circular
asking ministers to skip the event.

Menon, who is accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his
two-dayvisit to Russia, said: "If somebody organises a function that
does not represent the India's stand (on Tibet), then representatives of
the Government of India cannot participate in it. This was the logic
behind the circular."

India has recognised the Tibet Autonomous Region as part of the
territory of the People's Republic of China.

The November 3 function was organised by the Gandhi Peace Foundation and
the All India Parliamentary Forum for Tibet.

Menon said that Dalai Lama is a revered religious figure in India and
has given an undertaking that he would not be involved in political
activities, a promise that he has completely abided by during is nearly
five-decade-long stay in the country.

"Our respect for Dalai Lama remains," he added.

The Dalai Lama has been a guest of the Indian Government since crossing
the border into India after an epic 15-day journey on foot from the
Tibetan capital, Lhasa, in 1959, nine years after Chinese troops gained
control of the Himalayan territory. He has since set up his headquarters
in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh. The Tibet Government in Exile also
functions administratively from there.

The Tibetan spiritual leader recently received the US Congress's Medal
of Honour in Washington, which led to a war of words between Washington
and Beijing.

China sees the Dalai Lama as a renegade rather than a spiritual leader
of Tibetans. Washington, on the other hand, has urged Beijing to talk to
the Dalai Lama and sort out differences that have affected relations
between China and Tibet since 1950. (ANI)
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