Australia Leader Meets Dalai Lama

June 17th 2007


Australian Prime Minister John Howard, right, greets the Dalai Lama in Sydney, Friday, June 15, 2007. The Dalai Lama is in Australia for an 11-day tour. Beijing regards the 71-year-old Buddhist icon as a beacon for pro-independence sentiment in Tibet, which China rules by military force, although the Dalai Lama has repeatedly said he seeks only autonomy for the region. (AP Photo/Tracey Nearmy, Pool)
Australian Prime Minister John Howard, right, greets the Dalai Lama in Sydney, Friday, June 15, 2007. The Dalai Lama is in Australia for an 11-day tour. Beijing regards the 71-year-old Buddhist icon as a beacon for pro-independence sentiment in Tibet, which China rules by military force, although the Dalai Lama has repeatedly said he seeks only autonomy for the region. (AP Photo/Tracey Nearmy, Pool)
Sydney, Australia, 15 June 2007 (BBC) - Australian PM John Howard has met the Dalai Lama in Sydney, brushing aside fierce opposition from China.

The 71-year-old spiritual leader is on an 11-day trip to Australia, which has complicated relations between Beijing and Canberra.

China has condemned the meeting, saying the Dalai Lama is a political exile engaged in what it calls 'splittist' activities over Tibet.

But Canberra says Australia is one of the world's great liberal democracies.

'Extinction'

In deciding to meet the Dalai Lama, Mr Howard has provoked a diplomatic row at a moment when trade links with China have never been closer, the BBC's Nick Bryant in Sydney says.

Australia is one of the best placed countries in the world to benefit from China's economic development, and it can help meet the rising economic power's growing appetite for minerals, especially coal.

So the decision to go ahead with the meeting was not taken lightly, our correspondent adds.

Canberra said a spiritual leader of the stature of the Dalai Lama would always be welcome.

But it also tried to placate Beijing by saying that the Buddhist icon had not been using Australia as a platform to promote Tibetan independence.

Instead the Dalai Lama has been calling for meaningful autonomy for the Tibetan people.

Without it, he has warned, Tibet along with its culture and tradition could face extinction in just 15 years.
 
 

Latest News

The 11th Nehru Memorial Lecture at Jawaharlal Nehru University
November 20th 2014
New Delhi, India, 20 November 2014 - Arriving at the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus, nestled on the northernmost reaches of the Arravali Hills, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was today received by the Chancellor, Prof. K. Kasturirangan, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. S. K. Sopory and other members of the administration. He spent a few minutes in consultation with them. They then escorted him onto the daïs before an audience of more than 1200 gathered under a shamiana canopy.

Addressing the Tibetan Community and Meeting with Chinese Students
November 6th 2014

The Essence of True Eloquence - Second Day
November 5th 2014

The Essence of True Eloquence
November 4th 2014

Nagarjuna’s ‘Commentary on the Awakening Mind’ and Avalokiteshvara Empowerment
November 3rd 2014

Explore