Dalai Lama denied official cabinet welcome

The Dalai Lama will not be met by an official government delegation when he visits Lausanne on August 4 and 5.

This content was published on July 15, 2009 - 16:43

Instead the speaker of the House of Representatives, Chiara Simoneschi-Cortesi, is ready to welcome the Tibetan spiritual leader, according to the foreign ministry.

It is still possible that cabinet ministers will meet with the 74-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner on an informal basis, government officials said.

The human rights group, Society for Threatened Peoples, accused the Swiss government of buckling under Chinese pressure - allegations denied by the foreign ministry.

Beijing has criticised official contacts between western governments with the Dalai Lama in the past.

The Dalai Lama was initially scheduled to travel to Switzerland and other European countries last year but had to cancel his trip due to poor health.

Four years ago, Interior Minister Pascal Couchepin met the Dalai Lama during a previous visit to Switzerland which is home to the second-largest Tibetan community outside Asia.

swissinfo.ch with agencies

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