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China irked by Oz MPs plan to meet Dalai Lama

Sydney, June 6 (ANI): Australian parliamentarians decision to meet the ailing Dalai Lama next month in Dharamsala is surely going to increase tensions between China and Australia.

It will be the first such visit by a delegation of Australian MPs, and is expected to prompt protests by a Chinese Government already annoyed that Australia is considering a request by the US to resettle a group of Chinese Muslim Uygurs being held at Guantanamo Bay.

The unofficial delegation comprises Labor MPs Michael Danby and Melissa Parke, Liberal MP Peter Slipper, independent senator Nick Xenophon, and The Greens senators Scott Ludlam and Sarah Hanson-Young.

The delegation will also have meetings with officials in New Delhi to discuss the recent attacks against Indian students in Australia, which have caused a diplomatic headache for Canberra, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Danby, who has long campaigned for the human rights of Tibetans and is heading the delegation, said: “A lot of us feel that the non-violent struggle of the Tibetan people to preserve their culture and identity and their very modest political aims for cultural autonomy within the Chinese state is something that we identify with for different reasons.”

Chinese officials are believed to have already complained to Australian Parliament officials about the visit. China’s Ambassador to Australia warned Danby off attending a pro-Tibet rally in March.

Over the six-day visit the group will have meetings with the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Parliament, the Tibetan cabinet, as well as newly arrived refugees and former political prisoners. On July 6, the group will take part in the public celebration of the Dalai Lama’s 74th birthday. (ANI)

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