Rudd sees no reason to deviate from practice of meeting the Dalai Lama

June 11th, 2008 - 4:13 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, June 11 (ANI): Australian prime Minister Kevin Rudd today said in Tokyo that he was ready to meet with the Dalai Lama in the future after missing him during the exiled Tibetan leader’s ongoing visit.
Rudd said he was unable to meet the Dalai Lama, currently in Australia, due to his own visit to Japan and Indonesia.
But he noted that previous Australian leaders had met with the Buddhist monk, whose talks with foreign officials was criticised by China.
I will see no course to deviate from the practice adopted in the past, which is to meet with him,’ Rudd told a news conference in Tokyo.
The Dalai Lama arrived in Australia this morning and was received by a small group of devotees.
He will deliver the paid lectures at Sydney Olympic Park.
Immigration Minister Chris Evans and Foreign Minister Stephen Smith will meet the Tibetan leader.
It confirms the Dalai Lama’s status as an international religious leader and the respect the Tibetan immigrant community have for him.
Beijing had previously warned Canberra against meeting the Dalai Lama, whom they claim promotes Tibetan independence The Dalai Lama from China.
Rudd earlier this year angered China by calling Chinese officials to talk directly to the Dalai Lama about the situation in Tibet, where Chinese forces have mounted a bloody crackdown on dissidents. (ANI)

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