Nirupama Rao to meet Dalai Lama

Last Updated: Sat, Jul 10, 2010 08:01 hrs

Dharamshala: Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao is to meet Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in McLeodganj, the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile, here Saturday, an official said.

Officials of the external affairs ministry here said the foreign secretary had no other programme.

'A meeting between the Dalai Lama and Rao has been scheduled at his official palace post lunch, where other high-ranking officials of his administration would also be present,' a ministry official said.

The Dalai Lama's office did not comment on Rao's visit.

Tenzin Taklha, joint secretary at the Dalai Lama's office, said: 'Right now we are not making any comments.'

The exiles are hosting a dinner in Rao's honour Saturday. The foreign secretary is a former Indian ambassador to China.

A source in the Dalai Lama's office said the foreign secretary would discuss issues relating to Tibetan exiles with the Nobel Laureate.

Security for the Dalai Lama, who has lived in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959, would also be discussed, the source said.

Superintendent of Police Atul Fulzele told IANS that the Tibetan government has made arrangements for her stay at McLeodganj. She would leave for Delhi Sunday afternoon.

Rao's visit to this picturesque hill station has been cancelled a number of times earlier.

The Himachal Pradesh government has declared Rao a state guest.

The Dalai Lama, who believes in the 'middle-path' policy that demands 'greater autonomy' for the Tibetans, is viewed by the Chinese as a hostile element who is bent on splitting Tibet from China.

The Dalai Lama's government-in-exile is not recognised by any country. Some 140,000 Tibetans now live in exile, over 100,000 of them in different parts of India. Over six million Tibetans live in Tibet.



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