Australian Prime Minister refuses to meet Dalai Lama

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Dalai Lama-Julia Gillard
Canberra, Jun 14: Attracting criticism world over, Julia Gillard, Prime Minister, Australia refused to meet Dalai Lama after he visited the Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday, Jun 14.

She maintained that her move not to meet Dalai Lama was not because of the pressure from China to world leaders to blackball the Dalai Lama.

The Prime Minister was criticised by her own government when she announced on Monday, Jun 13 that she wouldn't meet the exiled Tibetan leader.

The Dalai Lama on Tuesday, Jun 14 said that he was not upset because Julia Gillard did not meet him and expressed his ignorance about the Prime Minister being a woman while addressing a news conference. He also referred to the Prime Minister as a man twice.

"If your prime minister has some kind of spiritual interest, then of course, my meeting would be useful, otherwise I have nothing to ask him," said the Dalai Lama.

Australian Prime Ministers in the past have kept a low profile private meeting with the Dalai Lama, which China got irritated on.

Senator Bob Brown, Greens leader met Dalai Lama on Tuesday and was expecting Julia Gillard to do the same.

"I make my own decisions and the government makes its own decisions about meetings that we hold," said Gillard to the reporters.

Dalai Lama also met ex rock star, Peter Garrett and the education minister who were the government's representative, he also met the opposition party leaders.

Lawmakers have also said that Julia Gillard was being out of line with US, important defence ally to the country.

Michael Danby, convener, Friends of Tibet group of lawmakers, said that he atleast thought that Kevin Rudd, Foreign Minister would meet the Dalai Lama and should have got some insight into the democratic movement in China.

According to some analysts, the Prime Minister is trying to show her independence from the Green Party.

China buys huge amount of natural gas, iron ore and coal from Australia.

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