Delhi Holds Up Chinese Plans For Calcutta Buddhist Ceremony

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SAMAYETA KANJILAL

The winds of peace seems to be blowing after the Doklam stand–off and China seems to be using its Buddhist diplomacy to make a break.

Probably for the first time the Chinese embassy in Kolkata has pitched for a two days conference on Chinese Buddhist travellers like Huen Tsang.

Statue of Chinese Buddhist monk Xuanzang or Huen Tsang

They are also willing to mend the 50-years-old Chinese Buddhist (not Tibetan) Huen Tsang Gompa.

Several top experts from China have been lined up to deliberate on the arrival of Huen Tsang to India and the two way flow of Buddhist culture. But the Indian external affairs ministry is yet to give permission for this ceremony, for which the Chinese consulate invited the Governor of West Bengal Keshrinath Tripathi. The Chinese consulate claimed that West Bengal Assembly speaker Biman Bandyopadhay had agreed to join the discussion meeting. The speaker refused to comment.

 

Why is Delhi getting very sensitive about “Remembering the Buddha of China” on this matter ? Do they suspect a hidden Chinese agenda to cash on the recent Indian go-slow on Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama !

 

A Chinese consulate spokesman of the embassy explained details about the connection between the religious ceremony proposed at Hsuan Tsang Gompa and the Lingyin Buddha Temple of Beijing province of China.

The Chinese consul general in Kolkata Mr. Ma Zhanwu wrote a letter to West Bengal government for necessary clearance of the ceremony they wanted on 15th March. The request was duly forwarded to Ministry of External Affairs which is yet to reply.

Obviously the original schedule has to be redone as the MEA has not shot down the proposal. It’s spokesman said they were looking at the “the contents of the conference”.

Why is Delhi getting very sensitive about “Remembering the Buddha of China” on this matter ? Do they suspect a hidden Chinese agenda to cash on the recent Indian go-slow on Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama !

The Tibetan government in exile is celebrating 60 years of the ‘elected government’ following the flight of Dalai Lama to India throughout the March. The main event of “Thank You India” was to be held in New Delhi. But the Foreign Ministry sends a note to all top government officials not to attend the ceremony. After that the main event of the Tibetan government in exile has been shifted from New Delhi to Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. ■

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