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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."

Premier absent as Dalai Lama visits Parliament House and gives speech in committee room

December 12, 2009

* Antonia Magee and AAP

* From: Herald Sun

* December 09, 2009 1:47PM

PREMIER John Brumby was noticeably absent when the Dalai Lama addressed
a group of MPs at Parliament House this morning.

Mr Brumby blamed a scheduling issue for his failure to meet the Tibetan
spiritual lead and said he had met the Dalai Lama on three or four
occasions in the past decade.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner was nonplussed about missing Mr Brumby
saying he had come to meet the Australian public.

He will not cross paths with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd during his visit

"I am here for the promotion of religious harmony,'' the Dalai Lama, 74,

"It is not political.''

The Dalai Lama spoke to 100 people, including 10 MPs, in a private
address organised by the informal group Victorian MPs for Tibet.

In a speech that lasted more than 30 minutes, the Dalai Lama promoted
peace, harmony and secularism and urged Australian MPs to visit Tibet to
test Chinese claims about Buddhist practices and the Chinese
government's transparency.

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"Trust with the outside world is essential,'' he said

It was the Tibetan leader's only address at an Australian parliament
during this visit. He spoke in a committee room and did not address the

Afterwards he was introduced to Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu, saying
he always sides with the "minority'', to which Mr Baillieu replied: "We
are the strongest but we are the minority''
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