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Kasparāns, Ģirts

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Diena - Latvia | 07/09/2013

Latvia bows to China during Dalai Lama visit

The Dalai Lama arrived in Latvia yesterday, Sunday, on the first leg of a 12-day European tour. But the spiritual leader of the Tibetans will receive a cooler welcome this time than on previous visits, the daily Diena notes: "His visit is being met with mixed feelings in Latvia. While on the one hand many people are keen to meet the spiritual leader of the Tibetan Buddhists, the government is trying to distance itself and fears negative repercussions from China. ... In comparison with his last visit when he met both the president [Víķe-Freiberga] and the prime minister [Bérziņš], this time the reception will be much cooler indeed. In fact he hasn't got an appointment with a single member of government. The reason is simple: our government is afraid to harm its relations with the fast-growing global power China, which regards the Dalai Lama as a dangerous separatist. Still, there's a small consolation for the Latvians: leading politicians in Lithuania also have no plans to meet the Dalai Lama."

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