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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Ignoring China's warnings acting PM meets His Holiness

June 14, 2008

By Tenzin Sangmo
June 13, 2008

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, left, talks with Australia's
acting leader Sen. Chris Evans in Sydney, Australia, Friday, June 13,
2008. (AP Photo/Dalai Lama official, Rusty Stewart, HO)

New Delhi, June 13 - Australian acting Prime Minister and Minister
for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans met with the
Dalai Lama in a hotel at Sydney's Olympic Park today.

The Dalai Lama who is on a five day visit to Australia held talks
with Senator Evans, standing in for PM Kevin Rudd currently in Indonesia.

Despite China's warning to Australia to shun support for the Tibetan
spiritual leader and not allow Him to engage in so called "separatist
activities on Australian soil" the two had a brief meeting where His
Holiness expressed his interest in a breakthrough in negotiations with China.

Welcoming the Dalai Lama on behalf of the Australian Government,
Senator Evans conveyed the government's enthusiasm for continued
talks between the Dalai Lama and China. He later said his discussions
with the exiled leader were open and instructive.

The Dalai Lama has met with Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson, Greens
Leader Bob Brown and a meeting with Foreign Minister Stephen Smith is
on the cards as well.

The Dalai Lama on his part has always stated he seeks meaningful
autonomy and not complete independence. Showing his support for the
Beijing Olympics, His Holiness said yesterday that he does not expect
any untoward incident to occur when the Olympic torch passes through
Lhasa in coming days. He has also urged his supporters to refrain
from any contradicting actions during the event.

"We have fully supported the Olympic Games right from the beginning
and the torch is part of that. Over one billion Chinese brothers and
sisters feel really proud of that. We should respect that. So, I
don't think there will be any trouble," The Australian quoted him saying.

PM Kevin Rudd who along with Deputy PM Julia Gillard is away this
week on a visit to Japan and Indonesia said he would have
'absolutely' met with the Dalai Lama had he been in Australia.
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