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Did Fear of Chinese Make PM Hide from Dalai Lama?

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Did Fear of Chinese Make PM Hide from Dalai Lama?

Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir

Former PM, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

According to current Pirate Party MP Gunnar Hrafn Jónsson, then-Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir hid from a group of Tibetan monks in 2009.

“Oh, shit! The Dalai Lama is right outside! Don’t open the door!” she reportedly exclaimed when seeing the monks out of the window at the prime ministerial retreat in Þingvellir national park.

The incident happened during the Nobel Peace Prize winning spiritual leader’s visit to Iceland in 2009 and was brought up on social media today by Gunnar Hrafn, who is the son of Jóhanna’s wife, Jónína Leósdóttir.

According to DV, the Dalai Lama never actually left Reykjavík during his three-day visit, during which he met with the foreign affairs committee of Alþingi and held a packed lecture at Laugardalshöll. A group of monks in his entourage did, however, go on a sightseeing trip to Þingvellir.

The reason Gunnar Hrafn made his memory of the event public today is that he has since become an MP himself and was in parliament listening to debate on a free trade agreement with the Philippines.

“I am sitting in the chamber where a free trade agreement with the Philippines is being debated, whilst the murderous President Duterte is in power. Government MPs seem extremely happy with the trade agreement the former government made with China, where human rights are also systematically broken. Shouldn’t they know that that [deal] cost, among other things, that government ministers at the time literally had to go into hiding and pretend not to be home when the Dalai Lama himself visited Iceland and wanted to meet leaders?” he wrote on Facebook.

He did not want to be interviewed further on the topic by reporters, but confirmed that he did witness the farcical event in person.

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