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His Holiness the Dalai Lama leaves for Gaggal airport, June 11, 2017. The Tibetan leader is scheduled to give a public talk on "Embracing the Beauty of Diversity in our World" at the University of California San Diego on June 16, 2017. Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
His Holiness the Dalai Lama bestows the chenrezig empowerment, Theckchen Choeling, McLeod Ganj, May 27, 2017 Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrives back in McLeod Ganj, after attending events in New Delhi, April 28, 2017 Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
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Official says Australian prime minister yet to decide whether he will meet Dalai Lama
AP[Friday, June 06, 2008 20:41]
CANBERRA, Australia - Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has not yet decided whether he will meet the Dalai Lama in Australia this month, the foreign minister said.

"That'll be a matter of the prime minister to determine on the basis of his diary arrangements," Foreign Minister Stephen Smith told Australian Broadcasting Corp. TV late Thursday.

The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader is scheduled to teach on Buddhism in Sydney for five days from Wednesday next week.

Meeting the Dalai Lama could anger China, one of Australia's most important trading partners.

China accuses the Dalai Lama of being a political activist campaigning for Tibetan independence and discourages world leaders from meeting him.

A Chinese-speaking former diplomat to Beijing, Rudd met the Dalai Lama in Australia a year ago as opposition leader. But the pair have not met since Rudd was elected prime minister in November.

Rudd is scheduled to fly to Japan at the weekend and return home on June 15, the last day of the Dalai Lama's Australia visit.

The prime minister provoked an official protest from Beijing earlier this year when he gave a speech in Washington calling on China to open a dialogue with the Dalai Lama in the interests of finding a peaceful resolution to unrest in Tibet.

Beijing's rule over Tibet came under the spotlight during anti-government protests in March that turned violent, prompting a crackdown by police and military.

China's government accused the Dalai Lama's government-in-exile in northern India of engineering the protests to agitate for independence and embarrass China ahead of the Beijing Olympics in August. The Nobel Peace laureate denies that charge.
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