23 May 2011
Andrew asks the Prime Minster if she will meet the Dalai Lama on his visit to Australia.
Mr WILKIE (Denison) (14:41): My question is to the Prime Minister. Prime Minister, as you would be aware, the Dalai Lama will visit Australia next month. Will you be meeting with the Dalai Lama? If not why not? If you are planning on meeting with him, will you be meeting with him in his capacity as a spiritual leader and representative of millions of Tibetans? Again, if not why not?
Ms GILLARD (Lalor—Prime Minister) (14:42): I thank the member for Denison for his question. I am aware that the Dalai Lama is visiting next month. He is a frequent visitor to Australia in his capacity as a religious leader and also as a Nobel laureate. We welcome him on this visit. I know he has an active program around the country. As I believe members of the House are likely to be aware, representatives of successive Australian governments have met with the Dalai Lama unofficially and privately. This is very much a reflection of Australian community expectations. I expect on this visit that members of the House and members of the government will have similar opportunities to meet him. As to my own plans, at this stage I do not have a meeting scheduled with the Dalai Lama. Any such decision will be taken closer to the time.