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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?"

Dalai Lama will drop by for chat with Jean

October 27, 2007

CanWest News Service
October 25, 2007

OTTAWA - In what could be billed as a getting-to-know-you-better meeting, the Dalai Lama will drop in on Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean at Rideau Hall Monday
during his visit to the nation's capital.

As a former CBC broadcaster, Jean interviewed the Nobel laureate during a visit he made to Canada in April 2004.

Blouin said organizers of the Dalai Lama's visit to Ottawa requested the meeting about a month ago and it was decided to hold it Jean's residence. Jean's husband,
filmmaker Jean-Daniel Lafond, may attend the meeting if he is available, she added.

The Dalai Lama's public schedule will be in sharp contrast to his last visit to Ottawa when former prime minister Paul Martin met him privately to avoid angering the
Chinese government. Harper will allow cameras to record the moment.

In 2004, Martin met the Dalai Lama at the home of Ottawa Roman Catholic Archbishop Marcel Gervais in what was billed as a historic - but private - meeting after
Jean Chretien, his predecessor, refused to see him while he was prime minister.

Harper will be the fourth Western leader to meet the Dalai Lama in recent weeks, after U.S. President George W. Bush, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and
Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian.

In the run-up to the 2008 Olympics, the 72-year-old Buddhist leader is attempting to raise the profile of Tibet's struggle under the communist regime of China. The
Nobel laureate is an honorary Canadian citizen who has been living in exile in India since 1959.

The Chinese government has already expressed its unhappiness over the three-day schedule for the Dalai Lama in Canada. A statement from the Chinese Embassy
in Ottawa called the charismatic leader "a political exile who has long been engaged in activities aimed at splitting China under the camouflage of religion." It believes
he is a political force advocating for "Tibet independence."

However, the Dalai Lama has continually denied seeking independence for his country, saying his people are rather pushing for autonomy to use their language and
practise their religion within China.

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