By Tenzin Sangmo
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, left, talks with Australia's acting leader Sen. Chris Evans in Sydney, Australia, Friday, June 13, 2008.
(AP Photo/Dalai Lama official, Rusty Stewart, HO)
New Delhi, June 13 - Australian acting Prime Minister and Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans met with the Dalai Lama in a hotel at Sydney's Olympic Park today.
The Dalai Lama who is on a five day visit to Australia held talks with Senator Evans, standing in for PM Kevin Rudd currently in Indonesia.
Despite China's warning to Australia to shun support for the Tibetan spiritual leader and not allow Him to engage in so called "separatist activities on Australian soil" the two had a brief meeting where His Holiness expressed his interest in a breakthrough in negotiations with China.
Welcoming the Dalai Lama on behalf of the Australian Government, Senator Evans conveyed the government's enthusiasm for continued talks between the Dalai Lama and China. He later said his discussions with the exiled leader were open and instructive.
The Dalai Lama has met with Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson, Greens Leader Bob Brown and a meeting with Foreign Minister Stephen Smith is on the cards as well.
The Dalai Lama on his part has always stated he seeks meaningful autonomy and not complete independence. Showing his support for the Beijing Olympics, His Holiness said yesterday that he does not expect any untoward incident to occur when the Olympic torch passes through Lhasa in coming days. He has also urged his supporters to refrain from any contradicting actions during the event.
"We have fully supported the Olympic Games right from the beginning and the torch is part of that. Over one billion Chinese brothers and sisters feel really proud of that. We should respect that. So, I don't think there will be any trouble," The Australian quoted him saying.
PM Kevin Rudd who along with Deputy PM Julia Gillard is away this week on a visit to Japan and Indonesia said he would have 'absolutely' met with the Dalai Lama had he been in Australia.