Indian Prime Minister Skips Meeting With Dalai Lama Ahead Of China Visit

A meeting with Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama and the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi was cancelled ahead of his visit to China, International Business Times reports. The meeting was declared to be “highly inappropriate.” Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah was also scheduled to meet with the Dalai Lama.

Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah said the following about Modi canceling his visit.

“The meeting, had it take place, would have sent negative signals to the Chinese. These signals are very important in the conduct of foreign policy,”

The Dalai Lama has been critical of China, demanding that Tibet become independent from China. The Dalai Lama has run a Tibetan government-in-exile from India.

The Dalai Lama said the following about Modi.

“I am sure as Prime Minister he knows best, but he might mention India and Tibet’s unique more than one thousand year old relationship. All our knowledge came from India, so we have a special relationship of Guru and disciple. Today, I am very concerned about the preservation of Tibetan culture, which is essentially ancient Indian culture.”

The Dalai Lama continued, saying the following.

“We follow the Buddhadharma and the Buddha taught in India, as the Prime Minister himself was observing the other day at Buddha Purnima celebrations in Delhi. And the traditions we preserved in Tibet belong to the Nalanda tradition that was introduced to us by Shantarakshita. He might also talk about the environment, the importance of the Brahmaputra and other rivers that rise in Tibet on which more than a billion people depend.”

A Bharatiya Janata Party source said the following about the canceled visit.

“The prime minister will surely meet His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, upon his return from China. In fact, the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday is soon coming up in July… The BJP president canceled his meeting with the Dalai Lama because the government did not want the Chinese to be upset with the meeting on the eve of the PM’s visit to China.”

The Dalai Lama seems to be understanding about Modi’s apparent snub. He said that the relationship between China and India is an important one.

The Dalai Lama said the following about the relationship between China and India.

“India and China have a close relationship which is very important. Once they develop-genuine friendship on the basis of vision, many issues can be addressed including the Tibetan problem.”

Modi is scheduled to visit China on May 14. It will be his first visit to China since becoming prime minister. As reported by the Inquisitr, China and the Dalai Lama have had continued difficulties over the years.

[Photo: Nic MacBean/Flickr]