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May 31, 2012

Go to Manasarovar as 'cultural ambassadors' to China, says Krishna

New Delhi: Asserting that New Delhi and Beijing are commemorating 2012 as the year of friendship and cooperation, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna on Thursday asked the pilgrims undertaking the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra to see themselves as cultural ambassadors of India to China, and be an important contributor for deepening people-to-people contacts. "India and China are commemorating this year as the Year of Friendship and Cooperation. The Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is a lasting symbol of this friendship and cooperation. I am thus pleased to be present at this send-off ceremony. I would like all of you to see yourself as cultural ambassadors of India to China, and be an important contributor for deepening people-to-people contacts," said Krishna in his address to the first batch of yatris of Kailash Manasarovar Yatra 2012. Expressing his delight over the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra completing 30 years, Krishna said: "During the last 30 years, our endeavour has been to work closely with the Government of People's Republic of China and authorities in Tibet to improve the facilities offered to the Yatris and to ensure that the Yatra proceeds smoothly every year." "We are informed that in the 12th Plan of China, special focus is being made to improve facilities in the Tibetan side," he added. Krishna said the Centre has been working closely with the Government of Uttarakhand and the Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam to improve the facilities. "For this, the Ministry of External Affairs is even making financial provisions from time to time," said Krishna . "We are constantly introducing improvements and changes based on the feed back from Yatris. In this regard, we look forward to receive your suggestions as it will enable the Ministry of External Affairs to make improvements for the Yatra to be more convenient and safe," he added. In his words of encouragement to those embarking on a fascinating yatra to the abode of Lord Shiva, Krishna said: "There is no doubt in my mind that the Yatra is arduous and strenuous. However, to compensate for the difficulties, the nature will open its heart to you. You will traverse through numerous places of touristic and religious significance, which are also well known for their scenic and the breath-taking beauty." "Your journey will offer you the splendid views of mountain peaks and flora and fauna of the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand and mesmerizing beauty of Mount Kailash and Manasarovar. The Yatra, I am sure, will also give you an opportunity for spiritual deliverance," he added. The External Affairs Minister further urged the pilgrims to follow the prescribed precautions. "As the Yatra route is difficult, I would urge you to take the prescribed precautions. Your personal cooperation is what we solicit for making the Yatra successful," said Krishna . "I once again felicitate you and I wish you all a safe and fulfilling Yatra," he added.

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