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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."

New Zealand PM will not meet Dalai Lama

November 18, 2009

Sindh Today
November 18, 2009

Wellington, Nov 18 (DPA) New Zealand Prime
Minister John Key will not meet the Dalai Lama
during his scheduled visit to Auckland next
month, a spokesman for the trust organising the
exiled Tibetan spiritual leader’s programme said Wednesday.

"There can be only one reason for that, and that
reason is China’s political and economic
influence in New Zealand either directly or
indirectly," Neil Cameron of the Dalai Lama Visit
Trust New Zealand said in a statement.

"The issue of human rights abuses in Tibet by
China no longer concerns New Zealand governments."

Cameron said the prime minister’s decision was
disappointing but not surprising.

"We have entered a period of time when China
wields significant influence over the economies
and internal policies of many nations around the
world and New Zealand is no exception.

"The prime minister may or may not have been
pressured by Chinese officials or agencies over
the visit, but direct and vocal pressure would
have been applied if the invitation had been accepted."

Cameron said Chinese newspapers in Auckland had
refused to run paid editorial or advertisements
promoting the visit, "so this pressure is applied
in a number of spheres even before His Holiness
arrives, it’s the reality of China’s political presence in New Zealand.”

He said Phil Goff, leader of the opposition
Labour Party, had accepted an invitation to meet
the Dalai Lama, who is scheduled to speak in Auckland Dec 6, during his visit.

The Dalai Lama lives in India heading a
government-in-exile that is not recognized by any country.
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