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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

NZ leader went back on word about Dalai Lama meeting

December 26, 2010

December 20, 2010

New Zealand Press Association

WELLINGTON: The New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, assured the
Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, that no ministers would meet the Dalai
Lama, despite a pre-election commitment to meet the exiled Tibetan
spiritual leader, leaked cables between Wellington and Washington show.

The cables from the United States embassy in Wellington reveal that in
April last year, Mr Key told Mr Wen that neither he nor his cabinet
would meet the Dalai Lama when he visited New Zealand last December, the
Herald on Sunday reported.

That was despite a pre-election commitment to the chairman of Friends of
Tibet, Thuten Kesang, that he would meet the Dalai Lama, and despite the
Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully, telling Parliament there was
no boycott.

However, a cable quoted a Ministry of Foreign Affairs diplomat, Grahame
Morton, as saying: ''PM Key had earlier conversed with Premier Wen
Jiabao concerning the Dalai Lama's December 4 to 7 visit to Auckland,
saying that neither he nor any of his ministers would meet with the
Dalai Lama.

''Morton said the Chinese 'obviously registered' this. Morton added that
the PM … made this decision without any consultation, but others in the
government are still obliged to respect it.''

The Labour leader, Phil Goff, said the cable ''demonstrates the Key
government has not been honest with New Zealanders''.
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