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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."

Editorial: Dalai Lama; The PM's welcome meeting

October 6, 2007

September 29, 2007

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be making a bold statement about
Canada's commitment to <human> <rights> when he meets with the Dalai
Lama next month in Ottawa.

What's important about the meeting is that it will be the first time a
Canadian prime minister has met the spiritual leader of Tibet's
Buddhists in an official setting.

In the past, Ottawa's reluctance to officially acknowledge the Dalai
Lama seems to have been based purely on fears of offending China. The
coming meeting has already drawn fire from China, which views the Dalai
Lama as a "political exile who has long been engaged in activities aimed
at splitting China under the camouflage of religion."

China occupied Tibet in 1950 and nine years later suppressed an uprising
by Tibetans who sought independence. This resulted in the Dalai Lama and
120,000 of his followers fleeing the country for what has become a
lifelong exile. Religious and political freedom has been suppressed in
Tibet by China's communist leadership ever since.

During his exile, the Dalai Lama has championed individual freedoms and
become one of the world's most respected religious leaders. He has
received the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and the Congressional Gold Medal
from the U.S. Last year, Parliament conferred an honorary Canadian
citizenship on the Dalai Lama.

At the time, then-immigration minister Monte Solberg lauded the Dalai
Lama for preaching a message of peace, promoting the practice of
kindness and for his dedication to humanitarian work. Solberg pointed
out "these are values of Canadians."

Canadians also abhor repression and the denial of justice. When the
prime minister meets with the Dalai Lama that message should be
telegraphed in no uncertain terms to China.

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