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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Nelson Meets with Dalai Lama in Sydney

June 13, 2008

Scopical (Australia)
June 11, 2008

Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson is spending the afternoon in a
meeting with the spiritual leader of Tibet.

Dr Nelson and the Dalai Lama will meet in Sydney, with the spiritual
leader touching down early this morning.

It has re-opened wounds from 2007 when both the then Prime Minister
John Howard and Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd refused to meet with the
Dalai Lama.

Dr Nelson says he believed it is important he meets with the Dalai Lama.

"I think it's important that as the alternative prime minister of
Australia, I meet with the Dalai Lama who is one of the world's most
significant spiritual leaders," Dr Nelson said.

However China is unlikely to feature during the discussions, the
Opposition Leader keeping the conversation away from the contentious issue.

"I will be discussing a number of international and religious affairs
with him," he said.

Although Prime Minister Rudd is currently in Japan, he will return to
Australia before the Dalai Lama leaves.

It is unclear whether he will meet with the exiled leader, previously
siding with China during 2007.

Instead, Immigration Minister Chris Evans will have an audience with
the Dalai Lama.

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan are both
also out of Australia.
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