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India sends warning to Dalai Lama

April 2, 2008

BBC News
Tuesday, 1 April 2008

India's Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee has warned the Dalai Lama
against any political activity damaging to India's relationship with China.

Mr Mukherjee also stressed that the exiled spiritual leader would
continue to be welcome in India.

The comments, which reiterate Delhi's position, come at a sensitive
time, following anti-China protests in India.

Correspondents say the protests are embarrassing for the Indian
government which is improving ties with China.

Speaking on Indian television, Mr Mukherjee said: "India will continue
to offer him all hospitality, but during his stay in India, they should
not do any political activity, any action that can adversely affect
relations between India and China".

Demonstrations

This policy has been in place since 1959, when the Dalai Lama fled his
homeland, after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in the Himalayan
region.

He settled in the north Indian hill town of Dharamsala, which has been
the site of recent protests against China.

Demonstrations have also been seen outside the Chinese Embassy in Delhi,
after which Beijing summoned the Indian ambassador.

India has assured China that the Olympic torch will pass safely through
the country.

But the country's football captain has refused to carry the torch.
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