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Last Updated: Friday, 28 May, 2004, 01:02 GMT 02:02 UK
Prince Charles hosts Dalai Lama
The pair shook hands at the gates of Clarence House
Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has met Prince Charles at a reception in London.

The 68-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner is on a seven-day tour of the UK, which started in Liverpool.

While there he received an honorary fellowship from John Moores University, and he later met with Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

The prince's spokeswoman said his support for the spiritual leader was well known.

"For many years, he has been concerned about the situation of the people of Tibet and has been impressed by the Dalai Lama's efforts to seek a peaceful resolution."

'Need for humanity'

Around 50 Tibetans who live in Britain attended the evening reception along with members of groups such as The Tibet Society and the Free Tibet Campaign.

The Office of Tibet in London welcomed the event as "very encouraging".

As the Dalai Lama arrived at the gates of Clarence House, he saluted a policeman on guard before greeting traditional Tibetan musicians who were playing in his honour.

When Prince Charles emerged from the royal residence him the Dalai Lama grinned broadly and hurried forward.

The pair grasped each other's hand tightly and chatted to each other as they walked towards the waiting guests.

Charles has met the Dalai Lama twice before. In 1991 they discussed China-Tibet relations at a London conference.

His Holiness addressed 2,000 people at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral, giving a lecture on Secular Ethics.

His 40-minute lecture covered topics including the importance of motherly love, the perils of selfishness, the need to eradicate poverty and the need for humanity and education.

Morality

Frequently joking about his "broken English", he said the world was less religious than it used to be but stressed that it did not matter as long as believers and non-believers exercised morality.

Tony Blair, who received Chinese premier Wen Jiabao two weeks ago, will not meet the Dalai Lama.

Downing Street said "diary pressures" had prevented it.

Small groups of demonstrators protesting about China's occupation of Tibet and its human rights record marked Mr Jiabao's visit.

Since China invaded Tibet in 1950 an estimated 1.2m people are said to have been killed.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959, went to Dharamsala in northern India and established a government in exile.

China has been accused of trying to wipe out the Buddhist-based culture through political and religious repression.

It recently called on the Dalai to abandon his vision of ever achieving an autonomous Tibet.




SEE ALSO:
Chinese protest over Dalai visit
28 Apr 04  |  Merseyside
Dalai Lama is 'shunned' by Blair
08 Jan 04  |  Politics
Bush welcomes Dalai Lama
10 Sep 03  |  Americas


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