Dalai Lama Dismisses Gillard Snub, Issues Climate Warning

Posted June 14th, 2011 at 2:50 am (UTC-5)
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The Dalai Lama says he is not troubled by the fact that Prime Minister Julia Gillard had decided not to meet him during his current visit to Australia.

Ms. Gillard's decision not to meet the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader has been widely reported as a snub. But the Dalai Lama said Tuesday he has nothing to discuss with Ms. Gillard — whom he mistakenly referred to as “he” — unless she had some kind of spiritual interest.

The Buddhist monk, who recently quit his role as political leader of Tibetans in exile, did meet with opposition leader Tony Abbott. Abbott said the meeting had given him an greater sense of the importance of the spiritual dimension to life.

During a press conference Tuesday, the Dalai Lama said humanity must focus on the problem of climate change because humans no place to go if they despoil the earth. He urged Australians to beware of the ecological dangers posed by the nation's mining boom, which is driven by exports to China.