Chinese government has reacted angrily to a meeting between Australian
lawmakers and the Dalai Lama in India. It's the first time Australian
members of parliament have traveled to the sub-continent to visit the
Tibetan spiritual leader.
Chinese Embassy in Canberra says the visit of Australian politicians to
the Dalai Lama is a gross case of interference in China's internal
Tibet's spiritual leader spent more than an hour with
members of the first parliamentary delegation from Australia to visit
him in Dharamsala, the Dalai Lama's home in exile.
the cross-party group of MPs and senators for their support. "Usually I
describe our supporters, not like pro-Tibetan, but rather pro-justice,"
said the Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace
Prize in 1989 for his opposition to the use of violence in his pursuit
of self-rule for Tibet. The Chinese government, which has controlled
the region more than 50 years, says it has enhanced both living
standards and human rights there.
Beijing sees the Dalai Lama
as a "splittist," although the Tibetan leader has stated that his goal
is for autonomy for his troubled home rather than independence.
members of the Australian delegation that met with the Dalai Lama in
India hope to travel to Tibet later this year, during an official visit
Such a plan could again inflame sensitivities between Beijing and Canberra.
lawmaker Michael Danby says he thinks that assurances have been given
to Canberra by the Chinese to allow the planned trip to go ahead.
the parliament asks the Chinese government to allow this group to go, I
don't see why they shouldn't be, he said. "They would be breaking
their word and I'm sure the Chinese government wouldn't like to be seen
to be doing that."
The Dalai Lama traveled to Australia last
year. Authorities in Canberra said the trip and a series of official
functions and speeches, in which he met senior government figures,
reflected the Dalai Lama's status as a religious leader and not a