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Winner of the Miss Himalaya Pageant 2018 Ritika Sharma, First Runner-up Palak Sharma and Second-Runner-up Ashima Sharma wave to the audience during the Miss Himalaya Pageant 2018 in McLeod Ganj, India, on 6 October 2018, Photo: L. Wangyal
His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrives to begin his four day teaching on the request of a Taiwanese group, Tsuglakhang courtyard, Theckchen Choeling, McLeod Ganj, October . 3, 2018. OHHDL Photo/Ven. Tenzin Jamphel
Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama addresses the gathering during the 50th year celebration of Tibet Insitute Rikon. The event was attended by around 4000 people from all parts of Europe. Around 4000 people have come to attend the function organised by Tibet Institute Rikon with support of Tibetan Community in Switzerland and Liechtensein. Winterthur, September 22, 2018. Phayul photo/Norbu Wangyal
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Chinese association lobbied for Dalai Lama to be denied New Zealand visa
New Zealand Visa Bureau[Wednesday, October 07, 2009 19:53]

The Dalai Lama, the 73-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader, is scheduled to speak at the Vector Area in Auckland on December 6, although it is not yet known if the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key will accept the invitation to watch him speak.

China regards the Dalai Lama as a separatist and is opposed to world leaders meeting him, and the United Chinese Association of New Zealand wrote to Mr Key in April asking the Government not to grant him a New Zealand visa.

Organisers of the Buddhist leader's New Zealand visit said they hope the decision to wait until the last minute to accept the invitation is because of a busy schedule, and not because of the fear of injuring relations with China.

Thuten Kesang, chairman of the Dalai Lama Visit Trust, said he will be keeping a close eye on the visit of exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer next week, to see what sort of reception and reaction she receives in Auckland.

Kadeer is waiting to be issued a New Zealand visa for her visit, and an application in August for an Australian visa was strongly opposed by the Chinese Government. The Australian Government did not bow to pressure and issued the Australian visa to Kadeer for her to speak at several functions in the country.

The decision to issue Kadeer a New Zealand visa rests with Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman.

"By and large, the Uighurs and us Tibetans are in the same pot of soup," Mr Kesang told the New Zealand Herald.

"The people are still suffering under the oppressive communist regime."
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