Belgian government's predicament about the Dalai Lama speaking in Brussels
The Dalai Lama, religious and political leader of the Tibetan people, has decided against visiting Belgium for the Fifth International Conference of Tibet Support Groups, currently being held in Brussels. (At the previous four of these conferences the Dalai Lama has always spoken.) The Chinese government put pressure on the Belgian government and the Belgians were worried about their trade delegation to China not being successful. The Belgian governnment did not actually prevent the Dalai Lama's visit but they did say that it would make things difficult for them. Then the Dalai Lama decided not to go. Here is the I have now had a reply from the Belgian Embassy in London about the matter. The Ambassador says that the Dalai Lama was issued with a visa and is always welcome to visit Belgium. He also wrote that the Chinese embassy in Belgium were informed of the upcoming visit and that they reacted very negatively.
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