London, British Prime Minister David Cameron had banned all contact with the Dalai Lama during talks with Chinese officials over the Euro bailout package earlier this year, it has emerged.
According to leaked documents, the ‘blanket prohibition’ on meeting the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader was imposed during crisis talks over Eurozone countries at a meeting of G20 countries.
The ministers, Tim Loughton and Norman Baker, were barred from attending a private lunch with the Tibetan spiritual leader in the apartment of the House of Commons Speaker John Bercow minutes before it was due to start.
According to the Telegraph, the pair then wrote a private letter to Cameron to protest after the “deeply embarrassing” incident in June this year.
A copy of the letter obtained by Channel Four Dispatches programme showed that they strongly protested about the way they had been muzzled, and complained about the “tremendous pressure put upon each of us at the 11th hour not to attend”.
“We feel we have to write to you to express our concern and annoyance with regard to the inflexible instruction given last week to ministers, prohibiting any contact whatsoever with the Dalai Lama during his visit to the UK,” the letter, copied to Foreign secretary William Hague and deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, said.
According to the paper, the ministers said they could not understand how the government could impose a “blanket prohibition on a minister meeting a religious leader in private in a non-ministerial capacity and we think this crossed a line.