US Favours Dalai’s Arunachal Visit; Foreign Media Disallowed to Cover Event

Ahead of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama’s scheduled visit to Arunachal Pradesh, a key US official has said that Dalai has freedom to go anywhere as a religious figure.

Talking to media persons in New Delhi, US Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero said that the Dalai Lama is a religious leader and he can, of course, travel to carry out that role.

“He (Dalai Lama) is visiting a monastery, a holy place. And from our perspective, this is one of the roles that he plays,” she said.

She was commenting when asked for her reaction to Chinese protest over the Tibetan leader’s visit to Tawang from Sunday.

Otero said that US President Barack Obama would be visiting China this month and Tibet would certainly be one of the issues for discussion with the Chinese leaders.

In the meanwhile, the Central Government has reportedly refused permission to foreign media to travel to Arunachal Pradesh to cover the proposed visit of the Dalai Lama.
The Union Government on Thursday revoked its earlier permission given to four foreign correspondents, besides cancelling fresh permits.

Earlier, fourteen Delhi-based foreign journalists and five others had sought permission to travel to Arunachal Pradesh to cover the visit. The Ministry of External Affairs said that these applications were being processed.

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