The Union sports minister’s birthday greetings came amidst India’s ongoing border stand-off with China, which considers the Tibetan spiritual leader as “splittist” figure on account of its perception that the Dalai Lama is seeking independence for Tibet.
“On the auspicious occasion of the 85th birthday of His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama, I offer my deepest reverence, prayers, and wishes for his long and healthy life. His values and ideals are the guiding light towards love, peace and compassion for entire humanity,” Rijiju tweeted.
The minister also posted his picture with the Dalai Lama where the latter is holding his hand.
Rijiju hails from Arunachal Pradesh, part of which China claims as disputed territory. The Dalai Lama has been living in India ever since he fled Tibet in 1959. The Tibetan government-in-exile operates from India and over 1,60,000 Tibetans live in the country. Twenty Indian Army soldiers were killed on June 15 in a clash with China’s PLA at Galwan in Ladakh.
In retaliatory action, India has banned 59 Chinese apps. The country has also held back Chinese investments in different sectors like roads, telecom and power.
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