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Dalai Lama Arrives in Sydney

June 12, 2008

Paul Bibby
The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
June 11, 2008

Buddhist leader the Dalai Lama has arrived in Sydney, greeted by a
large and colourful contingent of Sydney's Tibetan community.

The Nobel Peace laureate, in Sydney to lead five days of meditation
teachings, told smh.com.au he was "looking forward to meeting the
Buddhist community and the Australian public".

Looking relaxed and fresh despite his flight being delayed by 12
hours, the Buddhist leader stopped to greet many of the 100 plus
members of Sydney's Tibetan community who were decked out in
traditional garb and who carried white scarves for His Holiness to bless.

The president of the NSW Tibetan Community, Tenzin Gaden said he
hoped the Dalai Lama's visit would raise awareness of the plight of
the Tibetan people, who are under Chinese rule.

"This is not a political visit, but just having him here is a huge
boost for the Tibetan people," Mr Gaden said.

Other members of the community said they were disappointed that Prime
Minister Kevin Rudd would not be meeting their leader during his visit.

"It is sad that Mr Rudd is feeling pressure from China," one
supporter, who did not wish to be named, said.

"Mr Rudd has lost some dignity, I think, by bowing to them."

The Dalai Lama will head to Sydney Olympic Park this morning to begin
his teachings, which are expected to attract up to 5000 Buddhist
devotees from across Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

His visit will be marked by the toughest security measures ever
introduced for a Tibetan leader, amid concerns of protests by Chinese
students and a Buddhist splinter group, The Western Shugden Society.
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