China denies park permission; venue shifted to Indian Embassy
The celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary, which is held every year since 2005 at a public park in Beijing, was shifted to the Indian Embassy premises in the last minute on Wednesday
Beijing : The celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary, which is held every year since 2005 at a public park in Beijing, was shifted to the Indian Embassy premises in the last minute on Wednesday after the Chinese government denied permission to hold the event, Indian Embassy officials here said.
However, no explanation was given by the Chinese authorities as to why the permission was not given, they said. For the last 14 years, Gandhi Jayanti celebrations were being held at the picturesque Chaoyang park after a statue of India's Father of the Nation sculpted by famous Chinese sculptor Yuan Xikun was installed there in 2005.
The popular public park has the only sculpture of Gandhi in China. Every year the Indian Embassy along with Yuan, who is also the curator of the Jin Tai art museum located in the same park, has been organising the October 2 event with Chinese school children reciting the Mahatma's famous quotes and Indian community members singing Gandhi bhajans.
Surprisingly, this year the permission was not received even though it was applied well in advance like every year, the embassy officials said. The event was shifted to the embassy auditorium after the museum informed the Mission that the event cannot be held in the absence of the permission.