Lanka bars its cricketers from meeting Dalai Lama

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 - 20:26

Colombo: Not to annoy China, Sri Lanka had
asked its cricket players not to meet Tibet`s exiled spiritual
leader Dalai Lama during their visit to India to play the IPL
tournament, a top official said on Tuesday.

"We had been given instructions by the (Sri Lankan)
government to tell the Sri Lankan players to avoid meeting the
Dalai Lama (in India)," the cricket official told here.

Many of the Sri Lankan players were members of the
various IPL teams.

Sri Lankan cricket captain Kumar Sangakkara and former
skipper Mahela Jayawardene were asked not to join their IPL
teammates of Kings XI Punjab, who paid a courtesy call on
Dalai last month in Dharamshala, the official said.

Dharamshala is the seat of the Tibetan government in
exile. Sangakkara was the captain of the Kings XI Punjab in
the just concluded IPL meet.

Sri Lanka, a Buddhist nation maintains close ties
with Beijing which has been supporting the Colombo in its
development programmes. China is also a major aid provider to
Sri Lanka.

China is opposed to countries which allow visits by
the Dalai Lama. It sees him as a separatist working for the
Tibetan independence. The Dalai Lama fled into exile in India
in 1959.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 - 20:26

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