New Delhi: India has defended and justified Prime Minister Narendra Modi extending birthday greetings to the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, stating that it has been the consistent policy of the government to treat His Holiness the Dalai Lama as an “honoured guest in India”.
“There is some background to it. I think the Prime Minister did speak to His Holiness last year also, it has been the consistent policy of the government to treat His Holiness the Dalai Lama as an honoured guest in India, a respected religious leader,” MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi told reporters at the weekly briefing on Thursday, July 7.
The spokesman was asked to react to China’s statement that the Prime Minister’s greetings to the Dalai Lama on his birthday (on July 6) was an attempt to use Tibet issues to interfere in China’s internal affairs.
MEA spokesman said the Dalai Lama “enjoys a large following in India” and also that “His Holiness is accorded due courtesies and freedom to conduct his religious and spiritual activities”.
“His Holiness’s birthday is celebrated by many of his followers in India and abroad. The birthday greetings by the Honourable Prime Minister to His Holiness on his 87th birthday should be seen in this overall context,” Mr Bagchi said.
Vivo Case: 50 per cent of turnover transferred overseas
Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate has alleged that Chinese company Vivo India remitted almost 50 per cent of the sale proceeds overseas, mainly to China, to disclose huge losses in several domestically incorporated companies to avoid ‘payment of taxes in India.
The ED statement came two days after it conducted searches at 48 locations across the country, including the premises linked to Vivo India and its associated entities, in a case involving Grand Prospect International Communication Private Limited (GPICPL) that was allegedly being run by some Chinese nationals.
According to ED, of the total sale proceeds of Rs 1,25,185 crore in the country, Vivo India had transferred out Rs 62,476 crore.
Asked to comment on the case, MEA spokesman Bagchi said, “….to be honest, a judicial matter is not really pertaining to the foreign policy dimension. So I would refer you to the investigative authorities on any further details. I don’t really have a comment on that part. The Indian companies who operate here or otherwise need to follow the law of the land and I think our legal authorities are taking steps as per the law of the land”.