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British university sparks protest over apology to China for Dalai Lama degree

Posted by Author on July 12, 2008

By Aislinn Simpson, The Telegraph, UK, Jul 9, 2008-

A British university has sparked outrage after apologising to the Chinese for awarding Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama with an honorary degree.

The London Metropolitan University awarded the exiled leader with an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy in May “in recognition of his outstanding achievements in promoting peace globally as well as for his inspirational spiritual guidance and leadership”.

But after protests in the Chinese press, and suggestions on Chinese internet groups that prospective overseas students boycott the university, it apologised to China through its embassy for “any unhappiness caused”.

Pro-Tibet campaigners, who have accused the Chinese authorities of human rights abuses during a recent crackdown in Tibet, said the apparent climbdown was “highly regrettable”.

The university has around 434 students from China out of a total of 4,399 from outside the EU and a ten year old scholarship programme for Tibetan students from India, Nepal and Bhutan.

But after protests from the Chinese, the university’s vice-chancellor, Brian Roper, met Chinese embassy officials and “expressed regret for any unhappiness that had been caused to Chinese people by the…honorary doctorate to the Dalai Lama”. …… (more from The Telegraph)

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