Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, probably India’s longest-staying guest, began his 12-day tour of north-east region on Saturday amid warnings by Beijing.
On his first visit to the region after about a decade, Dalai recalled how he had escaped from his homeland 58 years back using this particular route and took shelter in India.
Dalai had fled from Tibet in March 1959 after the situation went out of control.
“I came to India in 1959 as a refugee. I have spent over 58 years as a guest of the Indian government. In a way, I am their longest (staying) guest, ” he was quoted as saying in the Hindustan Times.
China has issued several warnings to India of deterioration in bilateral ties if Dalai is allowed to visit Taiwan, a town in Arunachal Pradesh. Beijing describes Dalai as a” “separatist”.
Coincidentally, India had cleared Dalai’s visit to Arunachal in October last year shortly after China expressed annoyance over the visit of US envoy to India Richard Verma to the border state.
New Delhi responded by saying US envoy’s visit was not unusual as “he visited a province of India to which he was accredited”.