June 26, 2015 / 11:15 AM / 3 years ago

After China's Glastonbury complaint, UK source says it is Dalai Lama's call

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - After China complained about a Glastonbury Festival invite for the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, a British government source said on Friday his appearance was a decision for festival-goers and for the Dalai Lama.

“It’s a decision for the festival-goers and the Dalai Lama,” the source said, when asked about China’s caution that inviting him to visit one of Europe’s largest music festivals was tantamount to giving him a platform to engage in anti-China activities.

The office of the Dalai Lama said on Thursday he would speak at Glastonbury during a three-day trip to Britain. He is not due to meet any government officials.

Festival organizers declined to comment on Friday or even confirm that the Dalai Lama would be appearing.

Beijing denounces him as a dangerous separatist who wants an independent Tibet. He denies espousing violence and says he only wants genuine autonomy for his Himalayan homeland.

In 2012, Prime Minister David Cameron had to put a trip to China on hold after Beijing took offense at him holding a meeting with the Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama is also going to Britain again in September, just ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s trip to the country in October.

Xi’s state visit is the first to Britain in a decade by a Chinese head of state.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison

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