No say in Dalai Lama’s travel plans within India: MEA

New Delhi: Dismissing China’s objections over Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama’s proposed visit to Arunachal Pradesh in April, the Indian government on Thursday said it has no say in his travel plans within the country.

“The government’s position in this regard has been consistent,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said during a media briefing here.

“He is a revered religious figure, who is treated as such by the government and the people of India. The government has no say in his travel within India and no political meaning should be attached to them as such,” he added.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry had last week objected to the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, saying it will cause serious damage to the India-China ties and warned New Delhi not to provide him a platform for “anti-China activities”.

According to reports, the Dalai Lama will be visiting the Tawang monastery in Arunachal Pradesh after a gap of eight years.

Fearing Chinese military takeover in Tibet, the Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 through Arunachal Pradesh. The Tibetan government-in-exile is functioning from McLeodganj in Himachal Pradesh.