Perth, Australia, 18 June 2011 (By Tsering Kyinzom Dhongdue) – His Holiness touched down in Perth this afternoon for the final leg of his Australian tour. After a five-hour flight from Brisbane, His Holiness headed straight to Freemantle Town Hall for a public reception hosted by Senator Scott Ludlam, Member of Parliament Melissa Parke and Mayor Brad Petitt.
His Holiness shared his three main commitments in life to an intimate, packed audience. He also talked about his interest in studying the relationship between Buddhist science and modern science and said Tibetan monasteries have institutionalised science education in the last few years. A local Aboriginal dancer and activist welcomed him with a traditional song with his didgeridoo. Moved by his performance, His Holiness spoke for equality and human rights for the indigenous people in this country.
Senator Ludlam and Ms Parke are members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet and have visited Dharamsala as part of the first Australian parliamentary delegation in 2009. Both the parliamentarians have since taken great interest in promoting the Tibet issue both inside and outside the Australian parliament. The proceeds from the event have gone towards supporting the work of Tibetan Children’s Village in Dharamsala.
Two weeks before His Holiness’ visit to Perth, the Chinese consulate-general has reportedly put pressure on state members of parliament not to meet the Dalai Lama. In his media release, Senator Ludlam said, “As strange as it may seem that the Chinese government is terrified of a 76 year-old Buddhist monk, this is not the first time they’ve tried this tactic. It would be useful for them to explain why they are urging democratically elected members of Parliament to not hear His Holiness speak.”
Tomorrow will be His Holiness’ last day in Australia. He will speak to over 11000 people on “Spirituality in the Modern World”.