Austria scraps plan to produce Dalai Lama stamp

Austria scraps plan to produce Dalai Lama stamp

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Austria’s federal post office has abandoned a plan to produce a line of postage stamps honoring the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, a human rights activist who had campaigned for the stamps said Wednesday.

Heinz Stoff, a Vienna activist, told the Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper he was approached by postal authorities who said they had scrapped the idea of producing the stamps.

Stoff said the post office cited “substantial interventions by the Chinese embassy” as its reason for abandoning the idea of a stamp honoring the Dalai Lama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

Austria Post AG spokesman Michael Homola told the Austria Press Agency the post office reserves the right to cancel new stamp issues without explanation. He did not elaborate, and officials at the Chinese embassy were not immediately available for comment.

The newspaper said the idea for the stamp first was proposed last summer to coincide with the Dalai Lama’s 70th birthday.

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