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  1. ITV Report

High security in place for the arrival of The Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama Photo: Calendar

The Dalai Lama brushed aside a reported threat by China to withdraw their Olympic athletes from a training camp in Leeds - in response to a planned speech - as "almost routine".

The Tibetan spiritual leader made the comment during the launch of his 10-day visit to the UK which will see him pass on a message of non-violence, dialogue and universal responsibility.

After his press launch in Manchester, the Dalai Lama was moving on to Leeds to make an address on the subject of ethics in business, followed by a question and answer session, and then talks with students at the convention centre.

Asked about his thoughts on the reported threat, he replied: "That is always happening, that is almost like routine."

It was reported earlier this week that Chinese officials asked Leeds City Council to pressure organisers into his cancelling his visit to the Yorkshire Business Convention.

The council distanced itself from the convention in Leeds but said it was aware of "sensitivities" around the event. Chinese Olympic officials selected Leeds as the country's training base last August.

Around 300 athletes, coaches and support staff representing China in at least 11 sports will be based there as they acclimatise to English conditions.

His latest tour of Britain aims to spread the 76-year-old Buddhist's teachings of peace and understanding to youngsters and he will appear with actor and comedian Russell Brand at a youth event in Manchester on Saturday.

Brand will act as a master of ceremonies at Manchester Arena when the Dalai Lama addresses thousands of young people, giving a talk entitled Century of Dialogue - Stand up and Be the Change.

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  • Dalai Lama in Leeds

    The Dalai Lama joins leading figures from the world of business, sport and politics at the Yorkshire International Business Convention