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Dalai Lama begins Australia tour with Richard Gere

IANS  |  Sydney 

The arrived in Sydney on Thursday on a 12-day-tour to speak in several Australian cities on the wisdom of forgiveness and compassion, Efe news agency reported.

Around 300 people enthusiastically received the 1989 Nobel Peace Laureate at the airport where he arrived accompanied by US actor Richard Gere -- Gere declared that he would be accompanying the during his Australian tour.

"It's a very rare teaching, very experiential. (It's) something extraordinary, so it's worth coming this far," the actor told the local news channel ABC.

The Tibetan spiritual leader will have a tight schedule that includes talks at Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, Brisbane and Perth and also a visit to Uluru, an aboriginal land in central where a massive sandstone monolith is located.

His tour is also expected to be met with a two-day protest in the Blue Mountains by the International Shugden Community urging to put an end to the persecution of Shugden Buddhists by Tibetans and allow the return of the monks who were expelled from their monasteries.

International Shugden Community spokesperson Nicholas Pitt accused Dalai Lama of creating an atmosphere of religious hatred and segregation within his own community, according to Australian news agency AAP.

First Published: Thu, June 04 2015. 18:24 IST