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Chinese government officials have canceled Bon Jovi’s first ever concerts in China.

No reason was given, but media reports suggest that censors discovered Bon Jovi had used an image of the Dalai Lama as a backdrop at a gig five years ago.

China has previously banned artists like Bjork, as well as academics and politicians, who have shown support for the Dalai Lama or Tibetan independence.

Maroon 5 recently had shows canceled.

The band were also due to perform in China this month. The cancelation of their concerts was linked to a band member tweeting the Dalai Lama to wish him happy birthday in July.Bon Jovi China concerts canceled

Bon Jovi had been due to play Shanghai and Beijing next week.

According to the Financial Times, China’s Culture Ministry acted after discovering Bon Jovi had performed in front of a picture of the Dalai Lama at a 2010 concert in Taiwan, and had previously tweeted about the spiritual leader.

It said concert organizers AEG were trying to convince officials to relent, but they felt the chances were slim.

Bjork was banned from China for life after she chanted “Tibet, Tibet” during her song Declare Independence at a concert in Shanghai in 2008.

Linkin Park were barred in 2011 after they attended a youth media conference in Los Angeles and were photographed with the Dalai Lama.

UK’s PM David Cameron also sparked an angry response from Chinese officials when he met with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader in 2012.

Leaders in China have called the Dalai Lama a “splittist” and a “wolf in monk’s robes”.

The issue of Tibet is said to be especially sensitive at the moment ahead of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

A top Chinese official vowed on September 7 to “crack down on separatist forces” in Tibet and “fight a protracted battle” against the “Dalai clique”.

Announcing the Bon Jovi shows earlier this year, Jon Bon Jovi had said he was “excited” to be performing in Beijing for the first time ever.

In a recent interview with Chinese state media Jon Bon Jovi described the band’s music as being about “individual freedom and expression”.

Last month, Jon Bob Jovi even recorded a cover of The Moon Represents My Heart, arguably the most famous Chinese love song ever.

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Fans gave an enthusiastic reception to the Dalai Lama after he joined punk poet Patti Smith during her Pyramid Stage performance at this year’s Glastonbury festival.

The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader was introduced on the main stage by Patti Smith after earlier delivering a speech in the Peace Garden.

Patti Smith presented the Dalai Lama with a cake in advance of his 80th birthday on July 6 and led a rendition of Happy Birthday.Dalai Lama Joins Patti Smith on Pyramid Stage

The Dalai Lama said he was an admirer of Patti Smith and her band.

“I very much appreciate those singers and musicians – most of you with white hair,” he said.

“That voice and physical action looks very beautiful.

“That gives me encouragement. Myself, now 80 years old, I should be more like you.”

Pope Francis has declined to meet the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama because of the “delicate situation” with China, the Vatican announces.

The Dalai Lama, who is visiting Rome, had requested a meeting.

A Vatican spokesman said that although the Pope held him “in very high regard”, the request had been declined “for obvious reasons”.

Correspondents say the Vatican does not want to jeopardize efforts to improve relations with China.

China describes the Dalai Lama as a separatist and reacts angrily when foreign dignitaries meet him.

The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 after Chinese troops crushed an attempted uprising in Tibet.

He now advocates a “middle way” with China, seeking autonomy but not independence for Tibet.Pope Francis and Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

“Pope Francis obviously holds the Dalai Lama in very high regard but he will not be meeting any of the Nobel laureates,” a Vatican spokesman said.

He added that the pontiff would send a video message to the conference.

The Dalai Lama told Italian media that he had approached the Vatican regarding a meeting but had been told it could create inconveniences.

Analysts say the Vatican and China are at odds over control of the Catholic Church in China.

The Chinese Communist Party oversees an official community, known as the Patriotic Association and believed to number about 12 million people, but there is also a much larger underground Church that is loyal to the Pope.

A serious bone of contention between China and the Vatican is which side should have the final say in the appointment of bishops.

A Vatican official said the Pope’s decision was “not taken out of fear but to avoid any suffering by those who have already suffered”.

The last time the Dalai Lama was granted a papal audience was in 2006 when he met former Pope Benedict XVI.

The Dalai Lama is in Rome for a meeting of Nobel Peace Prize winners. It was initially to be held in South Africa but was relocated to Rome after South Africa refused the Dalai Lama a visa.

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President Barack Obama has met exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at the White House, US officials say.

Barack Obma vowed “strong support” for the protection of Tibetans’ human rights in China during the encounter with the Dalai Lama.

China had urged the US to cancel the meeting, saying it would “seriously impair China-US relations”.

Beijing described the Dalai Lama as a separatist, while the spiritual leader said he only advocates greater autonomy for Tibet, not independence.

During their meeting in the White House Map Room, Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama reportedly said they hoped talks would resume between Beijing and the Tibetan spiritual leader’s representatives.

The two men last met in 2011, in talks that angered China. Tibet is governed as an autonomous region in China.

China has been widely accused of repressing political and religious freedoms in Tibet. Beijing rejects this and says economic development has improved Tibetans’ lives.

Barack Obma vowed "strong support" for the protection of Tibetans' human rights in China during the encounter with the Dalai Lama

Barack Obma vowed “strong support” for the protection of Tibetans’ human rights in China during the encounter with the Dalai Lama

China’s response to the meeting was swift, with the country’s Vice-Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui summoning US charge d’affaires Daniel Kritenbrink to protest against the encounter.

“China expresses strong indignation and firm opposition,” Zhang Yesui said, according to the Xinhua news agency.

“The Tibetan issue is the domestic affair of China, and the United States bears no right to interfere,” he added.

“Such a move will gravely sabotage China-US co-operation and relations, and will definitely undermine its own interests.”

Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, earlier said President Barack Obama met the Dalai Lama “in his capacity as an internationally respected religious and cultural leader”.

“We do not support Tibetan independence,” she said, adding that the US “strongly supports human rights and religious freedom in China.

“We are concerned about continuing tensions and the deteriorating human rights situation in Tibetan areas of China.”

In recent years more than 110 ethnic Tibetans – mostly young monks and nuns living in areas outside Tibet – have set themselves on fire in apparent protest against Beijing’s rule.

China’s government accuses the Dalai Lama of orchestrating the protests, a charge he strongly rejects.

The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959, after Chinese troops crushed an attempted uprising in Tibet.

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Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama will meet President Barack Obama at the White House on Friday, US officials say.

China has urged the US to cancel the meeting, saying it will “seriously impair China-US relations”.

China describes the Dalai Lama as a separatist, while the spiritual leader says he only advocates greater autonomy for Tibet, not independence.

Officials say the US does not support Tibetan independence but is concerned about human rights in China.

The two men last met in 2011, in talks that angered China.

Tibet is governed as an autonomous region in China.

China has been widely accused of repressing political and religious freedoms in Tibet. Beijing rejects this and says economic development has improved Tibetans’ lives.

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama will meet President Barack Obama at the White House on Friday

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama will meet President Barack Obama at the White House on Friday

Barack Obama will host the Dalai Lama in a private meeting in the White House Map Room on Friday morning, US officials said.

The president traditionally hosts foreign leaders in the Oval Office, so the decision to use the Map Room is viewed as an attempt to give the visit a lower-profile.

Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, said Barack Obama would meet the Dalai Lama “in his capacity as an internationally respected religious and cultural leader”.

“We do not support Tibetan independence,” she said, adding that the US “strongly supports human rights and religious freedom in China.

“We are concerned about continuing tensions and the deteriorating human rights situation in Tibetan areas of China.”

Meanwhile, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that Beijing was “firmly opposed” to the meeting.

“The US leader’s meeting with the Dalai is a gross interference in China’s internal affairs, a severe violation of codes of international relations and will seriously impair China-US relations,” she said in a statement.

China had “already lodged solemn representations” with the US on the matter, Hua Chunying added.

In recent years more than 110 ethnic Tibetans – mostly young monks and nuns living in areas outside Tibet – have set themselves on fire in apparent protest against Beijing’s rule.

The Chinese government accuses the Dalai Lama of orchestrating the protests, a charge he strongly rejects.

The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959, after Chinese troops crushed an attempted uprising in Tibet.

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Russell Brand introduced the Dalai Lama during a youth event in Manchester yesterday and admitted he was finding the experience somewhat surreal.

Acting as master of ceremonies for his holiness’s Century of Dialogue – Stand Up and Be The Change talk, Russell Brand, 37, was praised by the spiritual leader for his “openness”.

Introducing the free event at Manchester Arena, which was attended by several thousand under-25s, Russell Brand introduced the Dalai Lama, 76, in a frank and honest speech.

The comedian said: “Going from junkie to Shagger of the Year…three times… to now introducing the Dalai Lama. It has been an interesting journey.

“He is intense and sort of mellow, which is what you expect of someone who meditates five times a day.”

 

Russell Brand introduced the Dalai Lama during a youth event in Manchester yesterday and admitted he was finding the experience somewhat surreal

Russell Brand introduced the Dalai Lama during a youth event in Manchester yesterday and admitted he was finding the experience somewhat surreal

Russell Brand jokingly asked the Dalai Lama if had picked up any spiritual tips.

The Dalai Lama replied: “I think your openness transfers wonderfully.”

At one point the Dalai Lama playfully pulled his beard, with Russell Brand saying: “Not really a lot I can do in a situation like this. I just have to go with it.”

The two men went on to discuss their contrasting sleeping pattern, with Russell Brand more of a night owl and the Dalai Lama as an early riser.

The Tibetan leader said: “Day is for work, night is for sleep but you can do what makes you happy.”

Russell Brand replied: “Thank you for sanctioning my lifestyle.”

But the comedian found himself lost for words when the Dalai Lama admitted that while his sleep patterns weren’t affected by different time zones he travelled in, his bowel movements were.

Russell Brand quipped: “That was more information then I imagined was possible to receive.”

The Dalai Lama is currently on a 10-day tour of Britain and is appealing to the young to foster a culture of non-violence and global peace in 2012.

His Holiness is promoting his new online film Stand Up And Be The Change – shot by Rankin – which features the Gorillaz, Tilda Swinton, Stella McCartney, Willem Dafoe, Beth Ditto, Jarvis Cocker, Alison Mosshart, Michael Stipe and Grimes.

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The Dalai Lama says he will give away to charity $1.7 million Templeton Prize money awarded to him.

The Tibetan spiritual leader received the Templeton Prize for exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension in London.

About $1.4 million will go to Save the Children in India, with $200,000 set aside for The Minds and Life Institute.

Money will also go towards a fund to educate Tibetan monks about science.

The Dalai Lama, 76, who leads a Tibetan government in exile in India, has been awarded the prize for encouraging “serious scientific investigative reviews of the power of compassion”, and its potential to address world problems.

The Dalai Lama says he will give away to charity $1.7 million Templeton Prize money awarded to him

The Dalai Lama says he will give away to charity $1.7 million Templeton Prize money awarded to him

The John Templeton Foundation said he was chosen for exploring these issues – which are key themes of his teachings – with people beyond his own religious traditions.

Dr. John Templeton, president of the foundation and son of the late prize founder, said: “With an increasing reliance on technological advances to solve the world’s problems, humanity also seeks the reassurance that only a spiritual quest can answer.

“The Dalai Lama offers a universal voice of compassion underpinned by a love and respect for spiritually relevant scientific research that centres on every single human being.”

The Dalai Lama, who was born Lhamo Dhondub, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

Other recipients of the Templeton Prize include fellow Nobel laureate Mother Teresa, the first recipient of the prize in 1973.