Dalai Lama arrives in Britain after extended German tour

May 20th, 2008 - 5:08 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Gordon Brown
London, May 20 (DPA) The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, arrived in Britain Tuesday for a 10-day tour that will include a meeting with Prime Minister Gordon Brown and an address to the British parliament. However, controversy has been raging about Brown’s decision to meet the 72-year-old leader at the headquarters of the Anglican Church in London, rather than in Downing Street, underlining that the visit is of a “spiritual rather than a political” nature.

Brown is due to meet the Dalai Lama Friday at Lambeth Palace, together with Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Pro-Chinese demonstrators are expected to protest against the visit, while pro-Tibetan groups have expressed anger at the apparent “downgrading” of the Dalai Lama’s political status.

The Dalai Lama’s visit to Britain follows an extended tour of Germany, dominated also by political controversy over the degree of political attention he should be given.

In Germany, only one government minister, Development Aid Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, met the spiritual leader for 45 minutes in Berlin.

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