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Dalai Lama Interacts with People in Leh

Leh, Ladakh:  Dalai Lama reached leh and met local residents at their homes.

He was warmly welcomed by the people of Ladakh.

A large number of civilians and monks gathered to accord a warm welcome to the Tibetan spiritual leader. The Dalai Lama arrived at Leh airport in the afternoon as he commenced his Ladakh trip.

“The people of Ladakh today welcomed the Dalai Lama. He (Dalai Lama) said that if everything goes well he could also extend his stay in Ladakh,” President of the Ladakh Buddhist Association in Leh said.

The Dalai Lama left for Ladakh after a stopover in Jammu where he had arrived on Thursday from his base in Dharamshala.

“India and China are both competitive nations and neighbours, sooner or later you have to solve this problem through talks and peaceful means. The use of military force is outdated,” the Dalai Lama.

The Tibetan spiritual leader is on a two-day official visit to Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh.

This is the first official tour of the Dalai Lama outside his base in Dharamshala since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The visit also marks his first visit to the region since the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

This visit is also taking place just three days before the 16th round of Corps Commander-level meetings between India and China, which according to sources is expected to start on July 17.

Earlier talking to reporters in Jammu on Thursday, the 87-year-old spiritual leader said that the majority of people in China realise that he is not seeking independence within China but meaningful autonomy and preservation of Tibetan Buddhist culture.

Beijing has always had an issue with the Dalai Lama since he took shelter in India. In the 1950s, when China illegally occupied Tibet, the Tibetan spiritual leader had to take shelter in India. The Dalai Lama has tried to advocate for a mid-way negotiation with China to peacefully resolve the issue of Tibet.

India and China have been engaged in a standoff since April-May 2020 over the transgressions by the Chinese PLA in multiple areas including the Finger area, Galwan Valley, Hot Springs, and Kongrung Nala. The situation worsened after violent clashes with Chinese troops in Galwan Valley in June 2020.

Harjap Singh

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