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King Charles III pondering Dalai Lama invite for his coronation?

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(TibetanReview.net, Nov24’22) – King Charles is said to be keen to include representatives of all faiths, including the Dalai Lama of Tibet, at his coronation, which is scheduled to take place on May 6, 2023. The big question is whether Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will veto his decision in order to avoid offending China, reported the dailymail.co.uk Nov 23.

Seven months before the Coronation, Charles III, King of the United Kingdom and the 14 other Commonwealth realms, has been working on his guest list and is keen to involve representatives of all faiths – including the Dalai Lama, the report said.

But, the report asked, will Rishi Sunak veto the Tibetan spiritual leader’s attendance in order not to offend China?

The report called His Holiness an old friend of Charles and that he was once photographed holding his hand in the Clarence House garden.

The report also noted that the King may have an ally in Cabinet. It said Home Secretary Suella Braverman is the first Buddhist to hold one of the great offices of state – and she always likes to get her way.

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The Dalai Lama last met with the then Prince of Wales at Clarence House in Jun 2012. It was “a friendly, informal meeting” which happened after four years, as a BBC.com report Jun 20, 2012 put it.

Earlier, on May 21, 2008, Prince Charles put himself on a collision course with Prime Minister Gordon Brown by playing host to the Dalai Lama, as noted by the Daily Mail May 22, 2008.

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In Oct 2015, Prince Charles skipped a state banquet hosted by the queen during a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping. He only held a “one-to-one talk” with the visiting president.

He was earlier accused of boycotting a Chinese state visit to Britain in 1999, when he failed to attend a banquet hosted for Jiang Zemin, who was then the Chinese president.

The heir to the throne also did not attend the state dinner organised by the Chinese president, despite the event being deemed of extreme importance by both the Government and the Crown, noted the express.co.uk Oct 31, 2018.

The Prince’s support for Tibet and friendship with the Dalai Lama were widely cited for his snubbing of the Chinese leaders.

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Rishi Sunak previously vowed to adopt a policy of toughness on China. But after becoming Prime Minister, he has been rowing back from officially categorising China as a “threat”, saying he views the country as a “systemic challenge”, despite concerted pressure from Conservative MPs, noted theguardian.com Nov 15.

His remarks were seen as likely to draw ire from the large group of China sceptics on the Conservative backbenches, including former leader Iain Duncan Smith and others such as Alicia Kearns, who chairs the foreign affairs select committee.

Sunak’s predecessor, Liz Truss, had pledged to officially redesignate China in official parlance and documents as a “threat” instead of a “systemic competitor”, as it was categorised under Boris Johnson, the report noted.

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