Lady Gaga meets Dalai Lama, hardly music to China's angry ears

  • Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times, Beijing
  • Updated: Jun 27, 2016 17:12 IST
The Dalai Lama and singer Lady Gaga appear together for a question and answer session on "the global significance of building compassionate cities" at the US Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis on Sunday. (Reuters)

Singer Lady Gaga has possibly blown her chance to perform in China.

Hours after she interacted with Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at a conference at Indianapolis in the US, China on Monday used strong language to condemn the meeting. 

This comes within weeks of Beijing criticising the Dalai Lama’s meeting with President Barack Obama and saying it could impact bilateral ties. 

On Monday, the foreign ministry said those who meet the Tibetan leader should be aware of his motives and intentions, which it described as nefarious. 

“The purpose of his visits and activities in other countries is just to promote his proposal for Tibetan independence,” foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said. 

Asked about the Dalai Lama's meeting with Lady Gaga, Hong said: “We hope that people from the international community can be fully aware of his true colours and nature.” 

The Associated Press, quoting from the Dalai Lama’s official website, said, “Lady Gaga interviewed him in an exchange streamed live over Facebook. The singer asked how to help young people with self-esteem issues or who harm themselves and he said ‘paying more attention to inner values like love and compassion are the right approach’”. 

Lady Gaga listens as the Dalai Lama speaks during a question and answer session at the US Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis on Sunday. (AP)

Earlier this month, China had lodged diplomatic representations with the US over the meeting between Obama and the Dalai Lama at the White House. 

“The Chinese foreign ministry has already made a representation to the US embassy in China,” spokesperson Lu Kang had told a news briefing. “China firmly opposes the meeting.” 

Such a meeting would send the wrong signal to Tibet “separatist forces” and harm China-US mutual trust and cooperation, Lu had said. “Tibet affairs are China's domestic affairs and no foreign country has the right to interfere,” he said. 

Despite the protests, Obama met the Dalai Lama at the White House on June 15.

Last year, China reportedly cancelled planned concerts in Beijing and Shanghai by the band Bon Jovi after it emerged the group had used the Dalai Lama’s photograph in the background at a show in Taiwan five years ago.  The concerts would have been Bon Jovi’s first in China. 

But it wasn’t the first time music bands have been banned in China because of connections to the Dalai Lama and Tibet. The not-so-lyrical list includes Maroon 5, stopped from performing last year because a band member had attended a celebration marking the Dalai Lama‘s birthday, the British group Oasis’s Noel Gallagher, who had performed at a Free Tibet concert in New York, and Linkin Park.

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