Dalai Lama Visits New Zealand
November 18th 2009
The decision by the Prime Minister not to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama when he visits next month has been met by disappointment but not surprise by the organisation responsible for the visit.
Dalai Lama Visit Trust New Zealand Trust spokesperson, Neil Cameron, says “the decision was inevitable given the reluctance of New Zealand governments to meet with the Dalai Lama in recent years.”
“We have entered a period of time when China wields significant influence over the economies and internal policies of many nations around the world and New Zealand is no exception”.
“There can be only one reason for that and that reason is China’s political and economic influence in New Zealand either directly or indirectly. The issue of human rights abuses in Tibet by China no longer concerns New Zealand governments.”
“The Prime Minister may or may not have been pressured by Chinese officials or agencies over the visit but direct and vocal pressure would have been applied if the invitation had been accepted.
“Over the course of our preparations for this visit we have seen the refusal of Chinese newspapers in Auckland to run paid editorial or advertisements promoting the visit, so this pressure is applied in a number of spheres even before His Holiness arrives, it’s the reality of China’s political presence in New Zealand”.
The invitation was formally issued by the Liason Office of Tibet New Zealand on behalf of the Dalai Lama Visit Trust New Zealand, the New Zealand Tibetan Community and Friends of Tibet (NZ)
The Leader of the Opposition, Phil Goff has accepted an invitation to meet with His Holiness during the visit.