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India, with eye on China ties, bans Tibetans from holding New Delhi rally

Relations between China and India have been tense in recent months after their troops faced off on a disputed part of their border. China was also angered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s February visit to northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, also claimed by China.

Exiled Tibetans would not be allowed to hold a rally in the capital, but could do so in the northern town of Dharamsala, where a Tibetan government in exile is based.

The government’s decision evoked mixed reaction from the exiled Tibetans. Spokesperson of Tibetan Government in-Exile, Sonam Dagpo, said they were not disappointed by the decision and hoped the cordial relations between the countries would help in resolving the Tibetan issue.

However, a Tibetan activist, Ringzin said the Indian government’s move would encourage China to bully its neighbours and abuse its influence in Asia.

An uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet erupted in 1958 and troops crushed it the following year. The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, fled from the crackdown and was granted asylum in India. The Dalai Lama has lived mostly in Dharamsala, where his supporters run a small government in exile and advocate for autonomy for Tibet by peaceful means.

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