Norway shuns Dalai Lama

Stavanger, Norway -

Norway's decision to ignore the Dalai Lama's visit to Oslo this week to avoid upsetting China has drawn criticism in a country that considers itself a beacon of human rights in the world.

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, centre, arrives in Oslo. Picture: Jon Eeg/NTB Scanpix. Credit: REUTERS

Unlike on his previous visits to Norway, no government officials will meet the Tibetan spiritual leader and 1989 Nobel Peace Prize laureate during his three-day stay that started on Wednesday.

The Conservative-led government, which took power last year, has made it a priority to repair relations with China, frozen since jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.

High-profile meetings with the Dalai Lama would likely have angered China even more. But critics say oil-rich Norway can afford to stand up to China and may be compromising its principles for no return. - Sapa-AP