Dalai Lama arrives in Japan ahead of US visit
The Dalai Lama arrived on Thursday in Japan on his way to the United States, amid protests around the world over China's handling of unrest in his native Tibet.Updated: Apr 10, 2008 09:30 IST
The Dalai Lama arrived on Thursday in Japan on his way to the United States, amid protests around the world over China's handling of unrest in his native Tibet.
The Buddhist spiritual leader arrived at Tokyo's main international airport and was quickly escorted to a nearby hotel. He was to hold a news conference later in the day before travelling on to Seattle, where he was scheduled to give a lecture.
Protests have been held in cities around the world in a show of sympathy for Tibet, where anti-government riots erupted last month.
Chinese authorities, concerned about unrest ahead of this summer's Olympic Games in Beijing, have tightly restricted access to Tibet and Tibetan areas of western China where protests also broke out. The sometimes violent anti-government demonstrations were the largest among Tibetans in almost two decades.
The Dalai Lama, whom Beijing claims has fomented the unrest, has called for calm, but the protests have shown little sign of abating.
More than a dozen Buddhist monks protested yesterday in front of visiting journalists at a monastery in western China to call for the return of the exiled Tibetan leader.
The monks, whose numbers grew to about two dozen during the 10-minute incident, shouted slogans in Tibetan in an outer courtyard as journalists entered a prayer hall at the Labrang monastery in western Gansu province bordering Tibet.
The incident followed a similar interruption during a closely scripted government media tour of Tibet's capital of Lhasa two weeks ago to view damage from anti-government riots that erupted there last month.