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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Goverment underlines: Dalai Lama free to visit Arunachal

October 18, 2009

Shubhajit Roy
Indian Express
October 17, 2009

Reitrating that Arunachal Pradesh is an
"inalienable" part of India, Foreign Secretary
Nirupama Rao today made it clear that the Tibetan
spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, is free to visit any part of the country.

The proposed November trip to Arunachal will be
the Dalai Lama’s fifth visit to the state, the last one was in 2003.

Rao, in an interview to All India Radio, said:
"We regard and we have always said this clearly
and also to China that His Holiness Dalai Lama is
a spiritual figure, he is a religious figure, and
he does not indulge in political activities on
Indian soil and he is our guest in India and he
is free to visit any part of our country."

China has objected to the proposed visit.

Referring to the recent exchanges between the two
countries, she said: "I can say it with all
honesty both governments are convinced that there
is no other way to resolve this without dialogue.
One has to resolve it through dialogue. I
remember our first late Prime Minister,
Jawaharlal Nehru, speaking to Parliament in 1962
saying, ‘We cannot march to Peking,’ and I am quoting his words."

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Reaffirming India’s position on Chinese
objections to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s
visit to Arunachal, the Foreign Secretary said:
“Of course, we take this (Beijing’s objections)
seriously, and we have been very, very particular
and very clear and unambivalent in expressing our
position to the Chinese. In that way, we have
said that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part
of India, it is an inalienable part of India.”

Meanwhile, officials here indicated that a
"hotline" is "very near" to being set up between
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

And that a meeting between the two is likely at
the East Asia summit beginning October 23 in
Bangkok. -- It’s routine to meet on the sidelines
of such a summit,” said an official.
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