Ignoring objections from China, the Union government has cleared Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama's week-long visit to Arunachal Pradesh from November eight that will also take him to the ancient Tawang monastery.
Showing a copy of a letter of the External Affairs Ministry's letter, the chairperson of the state level reception committee T G Rinpoche told reporters on Monday in Itanagar it had cleared the visit on October 19 and the same was communicated to authorities here the next day.
The November visit is the fifth to the state by the Dalai since he fled Tibet in 1959 to India taking the Tawang route. The visit cames in the backdrop of the recent diplomatic bickerings between India and China including over Arunachal Pradesh. The Dalai last visited the state in 2003.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has politely indicated to China he will not bar the Dalai from travelling to the remote north-eastern state telling his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao during talks in Thailand last Saturday that the Nobel Laureate was an honoured guest. Singh outlined India's position in the wake of China pressing India to ban the visit by Dalai.
Rinpoche said the files relating to the ministry's clearance were not handed over to Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu because of the model code of conduct in force for the just concluded Assembly elections.
Also, letters signed by Monica Jain, director of the External Affairs Ministry, directing for adequate security arrangement were sent to the chief secretaries of West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, he said.
Khandu had told the media yesterday that the state had not received the clearance of the External Affairs Ministry, though the deputy commissioner of Tawang had received a communication in this regard from Dharamsala. PTI