In this photograph taken on 2 April 2017, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama (L) shakes hands with retired Assam Rifles personnel Naren Chandra Das

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AFP

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The Dalai Lama mentioned he was “very, very blissful” to fulfill the aged soldier

The Dalai Lama has come nose to nose with an Indian soldier who guarded him nearly 60 years in the past as he fled from Tibet to exile in India.

The Tibetan non secular chief, 81, met Naren Chandra Das, 79, as he paid a go to to northeast India.

“Taking a look at your face, I now realise I should be very outdated too,” he mentioned.

He first met the guard in 1959 after a gruelling two-week trek throughout the mountains from Lhasa, after a failed Tibetan rebellion in opposition to Chinese language rule.

Disguised as a soldier, the Dalai Lama made his means with a small entourage to the border, having acquired assurances of Indian assist.

Mr Das, a retired member of the Assam Rifles, mentioned: “Guards of the Assam Rifles Platoon No 9 had introduced the Dalai Lama from Zuthangbo and handed him over to 5 of us at Shakti [in Arunachal Pradesh, which borders China and Bhutan].

“We introduced him to Lungla from the place he was escorted on his onward journey to Tawang by one other group of guards,” he mentioned.

Troops had not been allowed to speak to the Tibetan non secular chief. “Our obligation was solely to protect and escort him throughout his journey,” he mentioned.

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AFP

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The 2 males encountered one another in 1959, near the Tibetan border

The Dalai Lama thanked the previous soldier, saying he was “very, very blissful” to fulfill a part of the crew that escorted him to security inside India.

After his escape, he stayed briefly on the Tawang monastery, earlier than settling in Dharamsala, within the north of the nation, which is now house to the Tibetan government-in-exile.

Later this week he’ll go to the monastery to ship teachings.

His go to has angered China, which maintains that Arunachal Pradesh is a part of its territory.

Forward of the go to, a Chinese language international ministry spokesman urged India to “keep away from taking any actions that will additional complicate the border concern, [and to] not present a platform for the 14th Dalai clique’s separatist actions”.

The Dalai Lama, in the meantime, mentioned on Saturday that returning to the northeast of India felt “like a reunion”.

“After I revisit the Tawang space, I’m reminded of the liberty that I had skilled for the primary time [in 1959]. That was the start of a brand new chapter in my life,” the Related Press information company quoted him as saying.