Threats prompt tighter security during Dalai Lama's Dutch visit

Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Following "serious" threats against the Dalai Lama, the Netherlands have introduced extra security measures to protect the Tibetan spiritual leader during his planned three-day visit to the country, local media reported Thursday. "Serious threats by Chinese sources" have been distributed over the internet, prompting the national anti-terrorism coordinator to step up security measures to protect the Dalai Lama, the Dutch daily De Telegraaf reported, citing "well-informed circles" involved in the spiritual leader's visit to the Netherlands.

The Dalai Lama, who arrived in the Netherlands on Wednesday, is to meet with Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Verhagen among others.

Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende however has declined to meet the religious leader to avoid harming Dutch-Chinese relations. The Dutch parliament has criticized the Dutch prime minister for this decision.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, the Dalai Lama said it was not a problem that he would not meet Balkenende. He did not have a "political agenda" during his visit to the Netherlands, he said.