Gere: Canadian PM should meet Dalai Lama publicly - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Gere: Canadian PM should meet Dalai Lama publicly

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) -- Actor Richard Gere is calling on Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to meet publicly with the Dalai Lama.

Harper is scheduled to meet the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader in his Parliament Hill office Friday. His office has billed the meeting a "private courtesy call," in an apparent bid to avoid tensions with China. Canada's Conservative government has ambitious trade goals with China, which regards the Dalai Lama as a separatist and opposes any contact between him and foreign leaders.

Gere said it is a positive step for Harper to meet the Dalai Lama but he should do so publicly. The "Pretty Woman" star is a practicing Buddhist and activist in the movement to free Tibet. He is in Ottawa to chair a panel discussion at a conference about Tibetan exiles.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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