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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Brown Meets Dalai Lama for 'Warm' Talks

May 25, 2008

Guardian (UK)
May 23, 2008

The Dalai Lama and Gordon Brown at Lambeth Palace. Photograph: Carl de Souza/Reuters

The prime minister, Gordon Brown, today met the Dalai Lama and pledged to help encourage reconciliation between China and the people of Tibet.

Downing Street described the 30-minute meeting with the Tibetan spiritual leader, held behind closed doors at Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop of Canterbury's London residence, as "warm and constructive".

"The meeting included a conversation on inter-faith issues with the PM asking the views of the Dalai Lama as a spiritual leader," said a No 10 spokesman.

"A range of other issues were discussed, including the importance of the dialogue between the Dalai Lama's representatives and the Chinese authorities, and the PM's strong commitment to the human rights of the Tibetan people.

"The PM expressed his determination to work with both sides to encourage reconciliation.

"They also discussed the aftermath of the earthquake in Sichuan and the steps being taken by the UK to assist the people of western China."

Brown has been accused of kowtowing to China by holding the meeting at Lambeth Palace rather than in the political setting of No 10.

The Dalai Lama played down the row yesterday when he appeared before a parliamentary select committee to give evidence about human rights in his homeland, which has been ruled by Beijing since 1951.

He told the foreign affairs select committee that he was not concerned about the prime minister's choice of venue. "For me - no differences. So long as meeting and talk, that is important. I always meet on the level we are human beings." But he did suggest the UK should do more to help the people of his Himalayan homeland.

Asked if Britain was doing enough for Tibet, he told the committee: "I think not enough."
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