Dalai Lama in UK for PM visit
The Dalai Lama has arrived in the UK as he prepares for an 11-day visit that will include a meeting with Gordon Brown.
The Tibetan spiritual leader is due to meet the prime minister on Friday, but the talks with take place at Lambeth Palace with the Archbishop of Canterbury and not Downing Street.
Prior to the meeting with Mr Brown the Buddhist leader will address MPs on Wednesday and give evidence to the House of Commons foreign affairs committee on Thursday as it prepares its report on human rights.
Thursday will also see the Dalai Lama, who has lived in exile in India with his government since 1959, speak at the Royal Albert Hall in an event that is likely to attract protests over the playing of the Tibetan national anthem.
Five days of teachings at the Nottingham Arena begin on May 24th, while he is also scheduled to deliver speeches in Oxford on May 29th and 30th.
The Dalai Lama has been condemned by China for his “splittist” agenda, and the prime minister’s decision to hold talks with the spiritual leader at Lambeth Palace is understood to have been made amid Chinese pressure not to receive him at No 10.
Earlier this year protests by Buddhist monks in Lhasa, Tibet, escalated into anti-China protests, with demonstrators demanding an end to Chinese rule.
Beijing says 19 people died in the riots, but the Tibetan government in exile says hundreds were killed by Chinese troops use of lethal force.
The case for Tibetan independence was further brought to the world’s eyes when the western legs of the Olympic torch relay were dominated by pro-Tibetan demonstrators.