Statement regarding the Dalai Lama

17 April 2013

No official request for a visit by His Holiness the Dalai Lama has ever been made to the University of Sydney.

Late in 2012, representatives of the Dalai Lama's Office in Australia approached a student about the possibility of arranging a lecture for students at the University. A few members of staff discussed possible arrangements for the only date and time the Dalai Lama was available in Sydney, the 18th June 2013.

Unfortunately that date is out of semester when most students will not be on campus.

The Dalai Lama's office agreed to an alternative proposal for him to address a wider group of students from across a number of universities in the city, including from the University of Sydney. As it will be the Dalai Lama's last day in Sydney, his office suggested it be held at the hotel where the Dalai Lama will be staying, with his address streamed on-line for public access.

At the same time the University proposed to the Dalai Lama's Office that the University assist in organising a high level peace and conflict resolution dialogue involving leading academics from across the Sydney community, which would also be open to all interested students in Sydney. The Dalai Lama's Office indicated considerable interest in this proposal and is considering its feasibility.

The University is of the view that there is a clear need for informed and impartial expert engagement in the issues currently being experienced in Tibet, embracing environment, governance, sustainability and social cohesion. There is expertise in Sydney and in Australia that can constructively be brought to focus on these issues. Our offer for a future event to the Office of the Dalai Lama is in the spirit of that aspiration.

Professor Stephen Garton

Acting Vice-Chancellor

The University of Sydney

Media enquiries: Andrew Potter, 02 9351 4138, 0414 998 521