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6april20089Dharamshala: Tibetan spiritual leader the 14th Dalai Lama arrived in Slovenia's second city of Maribor Monday, His Holiness was welcomed at his hotel by city mayor Franc Kangler, Slovenian member of the European Parliament Ivo Vajgl and about 200 other people.

The 74 year-old, Nobel Peace laureate, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was invited on the three-day trip by Maribor University, city authorities and a secondary school to deliver a lecture to 5,000 people young people on humanitarian issues. His Holiness the Dalai Lama will speak to over 880 intellectuals, members of the parliament and invited guest on 7 April morning.

His Holiness was not scheduled to travel to the capital Ljubljana or meet senior government leaders. He was however due to meet the leader of the centre-right opposition Slovenian Democratic Party, former prime minister Janez Jansa and other opposition party leaders.

China's embassy to Slovenia has repeatedly protested against the visit, warning it would damage bilateral relations. Slovenian Prime Minister Borut Pahor said last week authorities "would show the adequate attention" to His Holiness the Dalai Lama but did not mention any meeting with the Tibetan leader.

China claims that Tibet is an integral part of the communist regime of China and that any meeting with him constitutes interference in its internal affairs. Invaded by China in 1949-1959, the independent country of Tibet was forced to face the direct loss of life that comes from battles.

In 1914, a peace convention was signed by Britain, China and Tibet that again formally recognized Tibet as a fully independent country. Fifty long years have passed since China invaded Tibet. Over 1.2 million Tibetans were brutally killed. Tibetan people were and are still being subjected to different forms of torture.

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