Dalai Lama's Visit to Canada Draws Strong Reaction from the Chinese Gov.

September 11th 2006

Vancouver, Canada 11 September 2006 (Craig McCulloch / Tolerance.ca) - The Dalai Lama's visit to this west coast Canadian city comes after the Canadian parliament unanimously approved giving the 72-year old Buddhist monk honorary citizenship.

That move and his visit brought strong reaction from the government of China. Earlier this year, a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa called the Dalai Lama a separatist who should not receive such an honour. This week, he said the citizenship and his current visit would harm Canada's image and relationship with China.

In a press conference at Vancouver's city hall, the Dalai Lama says he is sorry for the inconvenience, but doubts there will be much fallout for the Canadian government.

'In the past, like in Norway, I can think of one occasion, in my visit there and also meeting some of the leaders there, the Chinese government made some serious protests. Then afterwards, not much consequence. So, I don't know. I don't know. I'm very sorry, where I go they always create some inconvenience, I'm very sorry, but hopefully not my mistake,' he said.

The Dalai Lama is only the third person to ever receive honorary Canadian citizenship. The previous recipients were Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg and former South African President Nelson Mandela.

The Tibetan religious leader started his 18-day North American tour here in Vancouver, with an official welcome at city hall. During his time in Vancouver, he will officially launch the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education, which will be permanently located in the city. He will also hold a number of lectures for thousands of attendees on a variety of topics and meet with the local Tibetan community.

The Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education is to be completed by 2009 and is designed to be non-political and non-religious. Organizers hope it will become a leader in promoting peace, research and dialogue.

The Dalai Lama last visited Vancouver in April of 2004, where he said that Tibetan independence is not one of his goals. Instead, he would like some sort of meaningful autonomy with the China.

After the Vancouver events, the Tibetan Buddhist leader will continue on Monday to Los Angeles, Denver and then several cities in New York State before returning home to Dharmsala, India on September 25.
 
 

Latest News

Eight Verses of Training the Mind & Avalokiteshvara Empowerment
October 24th 2014
Vancouver, BC, Canada, 23 October 2014 - It was still dark as His Holiness the Dalai Lama drove through driving rain, weather locals say is typical of Vancouver, to the UBC Thunderbird Arena, this morning. He was making an early start in order to perform preparatory rituals for an Avalokiteshvara empowerment. Walking onto the stage of the almost empty hall, His Holiness scrutinized the images of the Buddha, Avalokiteshvara and 21 Taras in thangkas hanging behind the throne.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Expresses Shock and Sadness at the Recent Tragedy in Canada
October 23rd 2014

The Art and Science of Education of the Heart
October 23rd 2014

Education of the Heart
October 22nd 2014

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Congratulates Malala Yousafzai & Kailash Satyarthi
October 11th 2014

Explore