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Dalai Lama holds first formal talks with Canada

Posted by Author on October 30, 2007

Times of India, 30 Oct 2007-

OTTAWA: Canadian leader Stephen Harper became the country’s first prime minister to hold formal talks with the Dalai Lama, in defiance of China’s warnings of harming Sino-Canadian relations.

“It is a marvelous opportunity to have His Holiness here, one of the great champions of non-violent conflict resolution, a disciple of peace in this world that so desperately needs his moral leadership,” Jason Kenney, secretary of state for multiculturalism, said welcoming the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader to Canada.

And he dismissed the idea that the meeting would affect Canada’s relations with China despite the reports that the Chinese foreign ministry had repeatedly and vehemently objected to the talks.

For his part, the Dalai Lama said his visit was “non-political.”

“My main interest or my main commitment is promotion of human value, promotion of religious harmony,” he said.

The 72-year-old spiritual leader arrived here on Sunday on the last leg of a North American tour to promote Tibetan autonomy and the preservation of its Buddhist culture ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

He was scheduled to meet with Harper in his Parliament Hill office later in the day.

“I always admire this country’s multi-racial, multi-culture, multi-religions … which are, I think, a good model to (the) rest of the world where some ethnic groups are troubled.

Original report from  Times of India

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