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21 may 2012 001Dharamsala: The security of His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been creating quite a buzz in the past few months. Yesterday, the 20th of May, The minister of security, Ngodup Dongchung, and the minister of religion and culture, Pema Choejor addressed a press conference regarding the security of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The conference, organized by the Kashag (Tibetan Cabinet) was attended by Tibetan and Indian media alike.

On 8 May 2012, during an interview with Sunday Telegraph,the interviewer asked His Holiness the Dalai Lama about the alleged security threats. His Holiness responded remarked that the concerned security agencies have taken his security very seriously ever since his first arrival in India.

He mentioned that some time ago the officials responsible for his security received reports that Tibetan women were being trained to poison him by applying poison to their hair and to traditional greeting scarves.

When His Holiness meets with Tibetans, they often present him with such scarves and bow their heads to receive his blessing. His Holiness also said that there is no veracity to these claims. Although His Holiness takes security threat to his person lightly, the security agencies are obliged to take the matter seriously.

In June 2010, Tibetan security agencies received reports that Chinese intelligence agencies are employing well-trained agents, particularly women to harm His Holiness. The reports also revealed that they are exploring the possibility of harming him by using ultra-modern, highly sophisticated drugs and poisonous chemicals.

In another report received in October 2011, it was learnt that Chinese intelligence agencies have stepped up their clandestine efforts to collect intelligence on the status of His Holiness' health, as well as collecting physical samples of his blood, urine and hair. They are reportedly co-opting Tibetans inside Tibet to visit India with the intention of seeking an audience with him for this reason.

The Tibetan minister for security, Ngodup Dongchung, said various steps were being taken to counter these threats, including the use chemical detectors.

In early April 2008, Zhang Qingli, the then Party Secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region(TAR)was quoted saying, those who must be killed should be killed and those must be imprisoned must be imprisoned. Recently in February 2012, Chen Quanguo, the current Party Secretary of TAR, called for a war against secessionist sabotage.

His Holiness' efforts to reform and democratize Tibetan society have also emboldened certain fundamentalists within the Tibetan community. Various reports also point to the fact that the Chinese government is also covertly backing the Shugden fundamentalist groups such as the Dorje Shugden Devotees Charitable and Religious Society(DSDCRS), founded in May 1996 with its headquarters in Delhi, India. The outfit was allegedly involved in murdering three monks close to the Dalai Lama, including his Chinese translator in February 1997. A Red Corner Notice was issued by Interpol in June 2007 for the arrest of two of the accused in this case.

The Central Tibetan Administration said that “It is grateful to Government of India for the efficient security arrangements provided to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.” New Delhi has quietly undertaken a security review and asked the Tibetan government-in-exile to upgrade the security of His Holiness, with concurrent instructions to the Himachal police.  The Central Tibetan Administration also cautioned all concerned to remain vigilant and alert in this regard.

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