Victorian Premier 'too busy' to meet Dalai Lama

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Melbourne, Dec.9 (ANI): Victorian Premier John Brumby, it seems, is too busy to meet the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

The latter addressed Victorian politicians at a reception at parliament house on Wednesday, but Brumby was noticeably absent, reports The Australian.

The Dalai Lama spoke to over 100 people on Wednesday in a private address organised by the informal group, Victorian MPs for Tibet.

In a speech that lasted more than 30 minutes, the Dalai Lama promoted peace, harmony and secularism and urged Australian MPs to visit Tibet to test Chinese claims about Buddhist practices.

It was the Tibetan leader's only address at an Australian parliament during this visit. He spoke in a committee room and did not address the chamber.

Afterwards he was introduced to Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu, saying he always sides with the "minority", to which Mr Baillieu replied: "We are the strongest but we are the minority"

Brumby joins Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in declining to meet with the Dalai Lama.

The Dalai later told the media he was not fazed.

"No, no. No concern," he said, adding "My visit (is) non political."

Mr Brumby was in Melbourne's eastern suburbs announcing the redevelopment of the Box Hill hospital during the Dalai's address.

He blamed a clash of schedules for not meeting with His Holiness and said it had nothing to do with damaging relations with China. (ANI)

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