Dalai Lama arrives in Guwahati; Arunachal CM receives him at airport

The Dalai Lama arrived in Guwahati on Saturday. Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu received the XIV Dalai Lama at Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati on April 1.

The Tibetan spiritual leader’s Northeast trip began on Saturday with the anniversary programme of English newspaper the Assam Tribune. The Dalai Lama will then attend the Namami Brahmaputra river festival in Guwahati before leaving for Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh on April 4.

The Dalai Lama’s planned visit to Arunachal Pradesh didn’t go well with China as Beijing has opposed the visit. China claims the region in the eastern Himalayas as ‘South Tibet’.

Talking to the media at Guwahati airport, the Dalai Lama said that his visit was to promote religious harmony. He said he was happy to be back in a region that revived his memories of escape from Tibet in 1959, after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

“I still feel the feeling of that time,” he said.

China, which considers the Dalai Lama a dangerous separatist, said on Friday it was “resolutely opposed” to the visit, and urged India to “avoid taking any actions that would further complicate the border issue”.

Showing his gratitude to the Dalai Lama, Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu on Saturday visited the Guwahati airport to receive the spiritual leader.

The spiritual leader will visit Tawang, which is also the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso, on April 4 on an invitation from Pema Khandu.

It will be Dalai Lama’s first visit to Arunachal Pradesh after a gap of eight years.

“It is indeed rare and unparalleled opportunity for the Northeast India to have the Living Buddha on its soil and be blessed. As you all know, His Holiness will be in Assam till 3rd and then proceed to Arunachal Pradesh on 4th April. The long cherished dreams of our people is finally going to be realized by having His Holiness among our midst till 12th of April (sic),” Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu wrote on Facebook.

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