Melbourne, Australia, 9 June 2011 (by Tsering Kyinzom) – His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived in Melbourne this morning from New Zealand to start his 11-day tour to Australia. He was accompanied by Mr Sonam Dagpo, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia. Lynn Bain, General Manager of Dalai Lama in Australia Ltd (DLiA), was at the airport to welcome him on his 8th visit to Australia.A representative from the Indian consulate in Melbourne, members of the local Tibetan community and a group of Australian supporters were also at the airport.
His Holiness travelled to the hotel in the centre of the city, where he was met by members of the DLiA board. A group of young Tibetans greeted him with a Tashi Shoepa dance on his arrival.
His Holiness had a series of one-on-one media interviews in the afternoon with some of the leading media organisations in the country, including the Sydney Morning Herald, Channel 9 and Channel 10.His Holiness also addressed a media conference, attended by around 80 journalists. He discussed a wide range of issues from the evolution of Tibetan democracy to his commitment to promoting human values and universal responsibility, and from the changing socio-political trends in China to the role of media in society. In a truly Australian fashion, famous footy (Australian football) player Harry O’Brien presented His Holiness with a football and his team jumper at the media conference.
The visit to Australia and New Zealand becomes His Holiness’ first overseas trip after the formal devolution of his political power.
His Holiness will begin his programmes tomorrow with a wide range of events including inauguration of a Vietnamese Buddhist temple, a youth rally and a forum on refugees. The federal MP for Melbourne city will host a reception in his honour in the afternoon.