Monday, October 29, 2007

The Honorary Canadian

Before the U.S. gave the Dalai Lama a medal Canada made him an honorary citizen.

The Dalai Lama first visited Canada in 1980, meeting with the Governor-General. In 1990, he visited again and was greeted by the government minister for multiculturalism. In 1993, he met the external affairs minister. Paul Martin was the first prime minister to meet him, in 2004, and last year he was granted honorary citizenship.

In a move likely to further aggravate Canada's relations with China, Prime Minister Stephen Harper will use his office on Parliament Hill to host a meeting and photo session with the Dalai Lama on Monday afternoon.

Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean also plans to receive the 72-year-old monk at her official residence, Rideau Hall, and Opposition leaders are scheduled to meet him at the Lord Elgin Hotel Tuesday morning.

On Iraq

On the U.S. presence in Iraq, the Dalai Lama then told an Ottawa audience on Sunday that the intention was "not necessarily" bad, but the practical result was that the problem is only getting worse.

"No matter what the intentions, methods become unrealistic. So instead of solving the problem (they) increase the problem," he said to the audience of about 5,000 people.

As a person, he said Bush was very likable.

"I love him, really, as a human being. Very nice man, very simple, straightforward, no formality," he said, to laughter from the audience.

He criticized U.S. policy in Iraq, diagnosing the cause of policy blunders as a "lack of awareness about reality."

This lack of realistic perception, he said, causes "the whole policy or method [to] become unrealistic," and therefore unpragmatic and ineffective.

As a result, he said, U.S. policy in Iraq, "is not solving the problem, but increasing the problem."

So I wonder what he will tell Steve about Afghanistan?

"First inner disarmament, then outer disarmament."
But will he listen?

And despite being an Honorary Canadian the Harpocrites are two faced when it comes to the real politics behind trade relations with China. It seems our taxpayer funded State Capitalist companies in Quebec are eager to play footsie with the Chinese state in Tibet, while the PM blusters on about human rights.

Although His Holiness says Canada has been and continues to be a good friend in his struggle for autonomy -- he says Mr. Harper "seems very concerned about human rights" -- it has been at times a shallow friendship. There are, for example, the helicopter engines built in Quebec by Pratt & Whitney Canada, a subsidiary of a U.S. firm, that have ended up in Chinese anti-tank attack helicopters, prompting an investigation by the U.S. State Department. And there is the railway from China into Tibet, completed last year by Canadian companies Bombardier, Power Corp. and Nortel, which the Dalai Lama says could be "really dangerous" for his people.


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