Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper welcomed the Dalai Lama to Canada on Monday with the red-carpet treatment, risking the anger of China, which has been critical of western leaders who meet with Tibet's exiled spiritual leader.
Monday's meeting is the first time a Canadian prime minister has met with the Dalai Lama at federal government offices. Former Canadian prime minister Paul Martin met the 72-year-old monk in 2004, but did so at the private home of a Catholic archbishop to avoid drawing political ire.
Canada's Conservative leader followed in the footsteps of US President George W. Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in choosing to meet with him in public and official venues, lending the leader an air of political support.
Harper has said he will not back down on speaking about human rights in China for the "almighty dollar."