16 June 2007

a simple meeting with a simple monk

Australian Prime Minister John Howard finally met with the Dalai Lama yesterday at his Sydney office despite warnings from the Chinese government.

John Howard and the Dalai Lama
Prime Minister John Howard shares a light moment with exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in the Prime Minister's Sydney office yesterday. Picture: James Croucher

From a Chinese Embassy media release
A Chinese spokesman voiced strong dissatisfaction and stern objections to Australia allowing the Dalai Lama to visit Australia and meet with Australian Prime Minister John Howard.

"Turning a deaf ear to China's representations, the Australian side has allowed the Dalai Lama to visit Australia and to meet with Australian political leaders, including the prime minister. We consider this a rude intervention in China's internal affairs", spokesman Qin Gang said in Beijing on June 15.

Qin said that the Dalai Lama was not a simple religious figure but a long-time political exile who has been engaging in secessionist activities and is trying to destroy national unity.

The Chinese government is firmly against any country allowing the Dalai Lama to visit and engage in secessionist activities, he said.

"We hope the Australian side will correct its attitude to the Dalai Lama in the interests of overall bilateral relations", Qin said, urging Australia to take effective measures to eliminate the "negative influence" of Dalai Lama's visit and offer no platform for his "secessionist activities".

Well, that wasn't so bad was it? Stick it to them Johnny. No foreign government should have the audacity to tell you who you can or cannot meet!

Lazy day today.

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