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SL govt. unlikely to allow Dalai Lama visit- reports

2 April 2015 02:47 pm - 16     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Sri Lankan Buddhist monks have invited exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to make his first visit to the island, after a strongly pro-China government was voted out in January, but an official said Colombo was unlikely to allow it, Reuters reported.

Sri Lanka's new President Maithripala Sirisena has loosened ties with Beijing and moved closer to India, which has hosted the Dalai Lama since he fled Tibet in 1959.

But the majority Buddhist Island, which is home to some of the religion's most sacred sites, still depends on China for major development investment and loans.

"They can invite, but the government may not grant a visa," a top foreign minister official told Reuters, asking not to be named because of the sensitivity of the subject.

"The Dalai Lama is very important. But the close relationship with China is more important and we have not changed our stance on 'One China' policy."

The invitation to the Dalai Lama was extended by a group of high-ranking Theravada monks from Sri Lanka's Mahabodhi Society when they attended a theological discussion in late March with Indian monks in New Delhi, senior monk Banagala Upatissa said.

Upatissa said the Dalai Lama told him he had wanted since childhood to visit a Sri Lankan temple housing a relic of Buddha's tooth, and Mahabodhi, which contains a descendant of the tree under which Buddhists believe he attained enlightenment.

"He told us that all others in the world - Christians, Hindus and Muslims - treat him well. But his own Buddhist brotherhood does not treat him well," Upatissa told Reuters.

"We felt saddened and disturbed and invited him to visit Sri Lanka. I hope to discuss with the government to find a solution for this. Without antagonizing China, we are trying to get him a visa as an ordinary monk and not as a state official."

The Dalai Lama would be happy to visit but does not want to cause any inconvenience to the Sri Lankan government, Chimme Rinzin Choekyapa, one of his senior aides, told Reuters.
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  Comments - 16

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  • Cheers Friday, 03 April 2015 02:59 AM

    Where is expression of freedom the current govt mentioned all turning sour one by one

    public Friday, 03 April 2015 04:40 AM

    Is this yahapalyana? Keep your political consideration out of weather to grant him visa or not.

    Sammy Friday, 03 April 2015 10:02 AM

    The Dalai Lama is respected the world over as a spiritual leader and not a political one. He is not seeking political patronage from SL but just want s to visit the country as a pilgrim, unlike the Pope.

    edward theophilus Friday, 03 April 2015 05:10 AM

    Dalai Lama is not a religious figure, He is a political figure. Sri Lanka must not give visa him enter the country. China is more valuable to Sri lanka than Dalai Lama

    AS Friday, 03 April 2015 10:06 AM

    We can see whether we have a "yaha palanaya or "Yak Palanaya".

    Bala Friday, 03 April 2015 10:18 AM

    So is the Pope who heads the Vatican state and hence political figure

    Lakshman De Silva Saturday, 04 April 2015 10:25 AM

    Buddhism does not teach hate and being imbibed in politics.In Tibet two years ago, Dailai Lama priests looted and burnt Shops and caused riots. Dalai Lama movement is a politcal one with US support and CIA finacing to work against China. China had protested to even USA on Dalai Lama visit on state sponsered basis. As Buddhism teaches, middle path is the policy of life. But Dalai Lama lives in 5 star hotels and luxury travel which is contrary to the Buddhist principles.Sri Lanka has right to decide who to allow and who not to as Dalai Lama visit will hinder the relationship with China

    Prem Nath Thursday, 02 April 2015 08:44 PM

    He can be welcomed by those who want him to visit sans any governmental trimmings.

    Cobra Friday, 03 April 2015 06:42 AM

    China say, Sri Lanka do!!!!

    Ravindra Galhena Thursday, 02 April 2015 08:52 PM

    It would be great if His Holiness could visit Sri Lanka! :)

    Podiseeya Thursday, 02 April 2015 08:58 PM

    This is a Buddhist country. We have extend our hands to anyone who wishes to visit our country, whether it is a Pope, muslim dignitary, Hindu high priest or any other. It is the Buddhist spirit. Dalai Lama has life long wish to visit Anuradhapura. Why cannot we allow him to come as a normal tourist? What is that got to do with Chinese Government?

    Waco Friday, 03 April 2015 06:56 AM

    We must not hurt China in any way.

    Mevan Thursday, 02 April 2015 09:22 PM

    Let him visit as a monk. Why should we worry about chinks

    Mohommad Thursday, 02 April 2015 09:33 PM

    Very good......!!! We are very happy!

    People Friday, 03 April 2015 11:34 AM

    The government gives an extremely great welcome to the Catholic Pope, but denies visa to the greatest living Buddhist figure of our times. What are we to say?

    Tilak Thursday, 02 April 2015 10:11 PM

    Dalai Lama should be permitted to Visit Sri Lanka. He does not want state patronage. Only access to visit the Dalada maligawa and Auradhapura. Not the PORT CITY or its ruins !


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