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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?"

Security Tightened for Visit

June 9, 2008

Sarah Price
The Sydney Morning Herald
June 8, 2008

WHAT price enlightenment? For thousands of people, it is between $450 and $800.

Up to 5000 soul-searchers, will pack into the Dome at the Sydney
Olympic Park this week to hear five days of meditation teaching from
his holiness, the Dalai Lama.

But the event will be accompanied by unprecedented security for the
Dalai Lama in Australia, including steel fencing around the site, bag
searches, and wand searches of all visitors.

The outbreak of violence in Tibet in March and protests that dogged
the Olympic torch relays have prompted the increase in security measures.

Ian Green, the chairman of the Dalai Lama in Australia Organisation,
which is bringing the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate to Sydney, said the
security measures were a complete contrast to those used during his
visit 12 months ago.

"We've received advice from the state police and also from our own
security advisers that we need to increase the levels of security
quite dramatically," Mr Green said. "These measures are unprecedented
for his holiness in this country. I think it's incredibly disappointing."

The spiritual leader will meet Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson
during his visit.

An invitation has been issued to the Prime Minister, but a spokesman
for Mr Rudd could not confirm whether he or any other Government
members would meet him.

The teaching sessions start on Wednesday - the same day the Dalai
Lama's envoys are due to meet Chinese Government officials as part of
a series of talks that began in 2002.

However, those talks are in doubt following the arrest last week of
16 people by Chinese authorities on suspicion of involvement in three
bombings in April in Tibet.

The teaching sessions in Australia are, Mr Green said, not for profit
- as instructed by the Dalai Lama - and all proceeds from ticket
sales would go back into covering the costs of staging the event.

s_price@fairfaxmedia.com.au.
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