Canadian PM meets with Dalai Lama

April 27, 2012 at 2:58 PM

OTTAWA, April 27 (UPI) -- Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper risked upsetting China with a "private courtesy meeting" Friday with the Dalai Lama, observers said.

The Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, is in Canada to speak Saturday in Ottawa, Postmedia News reported. The title is "Ethics for the Whole World."

Harper and the Dalai Lama were scheduled to meet privately Friday, a Harper aide said.

In the evening, the Dalai Lama holds another meeting with the cross-party Parliamentary Friends of Tibet.

Actor Richard Gere, in Ottawa for the speech and a conference on China and Tibet, told reporters the meeting between Harper and the Dalai Lama should have been a public one, iPolitics reported.

Harper's government granted the Dalai Lama honorary citizenship in 2006 and the prime minister met publicly with him the next year.

Two years later, when the Dalai Lama visited Canada again, he did not get a meeting with the prime minister.

China, which claims Tibet as part of its own territory, said the prime minister should not get involved in its "internal affairs."

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