Canberra: Prime Minister Julia Gillard has ruled out meeting the Dalai Lama in a move that will please Australia`s most important trading partner China and rile a crucial government supporter, the Greens party.
Gillard issued a statement on Monday to end speculation on whether she would meet the Tibetan spiritual leader when he visits the national capital Canberra on Tuesday.
She said a government lawmaker will meet privately with the Dalai Lama in her place.
Gillard`s snub of the Dalai Lama has surprised some observers.
Australian National University political scientist Brett Bowden suspects Gillard is attempting to demonstrate her independence of the Greens party, whose support her Labor Party relies on to govern.