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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?"

Harper right to meet Dalai Lama say Canadians

September 26, 2007

News Release
For Immediate Release
Canada Tibet Committee

(Montreal, Tuesday, 25 September 2007) – Close to nine in ten Canadians
support Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s reported decision to meet with
the Dalai Lama when he visits Ottawa next month, regardless of whether
it jeopardizes Canada’s trade relationship with China, according to a
SES Research poll conducted from July 28th to August 4th for the Canada
Tibet Committee (CTC).

“While a handful of commentators are now rattling their well worn sabers
that a meeting will set back China’s current ‘dead slow’ approach to the
cause of democracy, an overwhelming majority of Canadians recognize that
China has failed to deliver on any of the countless overtures that have
been made to promote an open and democratic China,” said CTC Executive
Director Dermod Travis today. “From a seat at the United Nations, to the
WHO, the WTO and the Beijing Games, China has reciprocated to
international concessions with domestic crackdowns.”

Support for a meeting with the Prime Minister cuts across all party
lines and regions and only seven per cent of Canadians oppose a meeting,
according to the SES poll.

The Dalai Lama has already met with foreign heads of state and
government, including last week’s meeting with the German Chancellor,
the Australian Prime Minister, the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister
of New Zealand (2007), the King and Queen of Jordan (2006), the Foreign
Ministers of Italy, and the Czech Republic (2006), the President of the
European Parliament (2006), and with U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and
George Bush.

Trading relationships between these countries and China have continued,
notwithstanding China’s bluster. The Dalai Lama uses these opportunities
to advance his stated goal of an autonomous Tibet within China.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama will visit Ottawa from Sunday, October 28th
to Tuesday, October 30th before leaving for Toronto. The Dalai Lama will
give a Public Talk on Global Citizenship through Universal
Responsibility on Sunday, October 28th, 3:00 PM at the Ottawa Civic
Centre and a Talk in Toronto on October 31st.

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For more information:
Dermod Travis
CTC Executive Director

For technical questions related to the survey:
Nik Nanos
President, SES Research
613.234.4666 x 237

CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
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