Jenny Marra Questions Remain Over Dalai Lama Visit

9 August 2012

Further to the release of the minutes of a formal meeting between Alex Salmond and the Chinese ambassador, Liu Xiaoming, prior to the visit to Scotland by the Dalai Lama, Scottish Labour today argues that Alex Salmond is avoiding the difficult conversations that he should be having with other countries when doing business with them.

The meeting minute shows that the First Minister did not raise any questions about the human rights record of the Chinese government in Tibet, nor their treatment of the Dalai Lama himself.

Given that the Chinese ambassador raised the matter of the visit, it was an opportune moment for Alex Salmond to clearly state the Scottish government's position to the Chinese government.

Scottish Labour's Jenny Marra MSP, said:

"As if further evidence was needed, this shows that Alex Salmond did everything the Chinese wanted him to do to distance himself from the Dalai Lama.

"The SNP want to be an independent government, but they are not prepared to step up to the difficult issues of human rights that must be addressed when doing business with other countries.

"Alex Salmond wants the rights of a separate country, but none of the serious responsibilities.

"The First Minister should have proven his diplomatic mettle by voicing his concerns about human rights abuses in China and affording a proper welcome to the Dalai Lama, an international ambassador for peace.

“Instead, he was nobbled by the Chinese government and snubbed the Nobel Peace prize winner to the embarrassment of Scotland."

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