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Dalai Lama in Australia: PM Rudd will not meet Him
Phayul[Tuesday, June 10, 2008 17:21]
By Tenzin Sangmo

New Delhi, June 10 - His Holiness will begin his five-day teachings at The Dome, Sydney Showground Olympic Park from June 11 to 15, 2008. Speaking on Kamalashila's The Middle Stages of Meditation (Gomrim Barpa), the Dalai Lama will bestow the Avalokiteshvera initiation Sunday morning on June 15.

Immigration Minister Chris Evans is scheduled to meet with His Holiness in his capacity as the acting Prime Minister while PM Kevin Rudd and his Deputy PM Julia Gillard are overseas. A Federal Government Spokesperson said that Foreign Minister Stephen Smith too will meet the exiled Tibetan leader.

He further added, "This reflects the Dalai Lama's status as an international religious leader and the significant domestic interest in the Dalai Lama's visit, including from the Tibetan immigrant community in Australia."

PM Rudd had earlier borne China's brunt over his comment citing concerns about human rights conditions in Tibet prior to his Beijing visit April 9.

"It is absolutely clear that there are human rights abuses in Tibet. That's clear-cut; we need to be upfront and absolutely straight about what's going on," PM Rudd had said at a news conference with US President Bush in Washington early April where he condemned China's violation of human rights in Tibet.

This was immediately followed by a formal complaint lodged by the Chinese Ambassador to Australia Zhang Junsai to a Foreign Affairs official in Canberra as had Chinese officials to the Australian Ambassador in Beijing.

However, PM Rudd still chose to address the sensitive topic at Peking University stating there were sizeable human rights crisis in Tibet.

"Australia, like most other countries, recognizes China's sovereignty over Tibet but we also believe it is necessary to recognize there are significant human rights problems in Tibet. The current situation in Tibet is of concern to Australians. We recognize the need for all parties to avoid silence and find a solution through dialogue," he said in his speech delivered in Mandarin.
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