Goldie Hawn (AP photo)
VANCOUVER - Hollywood actress Goldie Hawn had words of praise for Prime Minister Paul Martin Monday.
She lauded Martin for agreeing to meet with the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader.
"I was so proud of Martin to do this. It was the ethical and right thing to do and I adore him for that," the actress, who has appeared in such films as The First Wives Club and Private Benjamin, told The Canadian Press.
Hawn was speaking after the Dalai Lama received an honorary degree at the University of British Columbia alongside South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Iranian human-rights fighter Shirin Ebadi.
Hawn said she couldn't believe that China's government had tried to dissuade Martin from meeting with the Dalai Lama. China considers the soft-spoken monk a separatist.
"I thought it was a desperate move. You can't stop the flow of human kindness. It's political blackmail. It's playground stuff," Hawn said.
The Dalai Lama arrived in Vancouver on Saturday for a 19-day Canadian visit.
Martin has agreed to hold meetings with him on April 23 in the Dalai Lama's capacity as a spiritual leader. The talks are not being billed as political.
Martin is the first prime minister to meet with the Dalai Lama.
Hawn and her common-law husband, actor Kurt Russell, are living in Vancouver in order to be close to their son, Wyatt, who is pursuing a career in hockey.
Hawn was to host a musical tribute to the Dalai Lama on Monday evening.
"I watch all political processes around the world," Hawn said. "They're driven by fear, the need to dominate. They're driven by ego, the need to conquer and possess. These are all very dangerous things we need to get over."
"China could really be one of the great heroes of the world today and set an example for all of us if they open their hearts and realize there's no threat [from the Dalai Lama]."