• The Dalai Lama arrives in Sydney, Thursday, June 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft) (AP)
The Dalai Lama and US actor Richard Gere have touched down at Sydney airport ahead of the spiritual leader's 12-day tour of Australia.
Source:
AAP
4 Jun 2015 - 4:01 AM  UPDATED 4 Jun 2015 - 12:29 PM

The Dalai Lama has touched down at Sydney airport with US actor Richard Gere.

Gere, who is a devout Buddhist, will join the spiritual leader on his 12-day visit to Australia.

The Dalai Lama plans to give talks on the wisdom of forgiveness and compassion on his Ocean of Wisdom tour.

Hundreds of people came to the airport to greet the 79-year-old monk, who will visit the Blue Mountains, Brisbane, Uluru and Perth as part of his trip Down Under.

"Australia, also part of seven billion human beings. We are the same. Emotionally, mentally, physically," he told reporters at Sydney Airport after touching down.

Gere said His Holiness would be giving "very high teaching, experiential, something extraordinary - so it's worth coming this far."

The Dalai Lama will head straight to a Buddhist retreat in Leura to teach for five days.

However the Nobel Peace Laureate may not receive such a warm welcome there, as a group of Buddhists have threatened to protest his visit.

Around 100 protesters have gathered with placards in the NSW Blue Mountains to call on the Dalai Lama to end his persecution of Shugden Buddhists.

Monks, nuns and people from all walks of life have turned up to the Fairmont Resort in Leura on Thursday, where the spiritual leader is kicking off his 12-day visit to Australia.

"There's lots of placards, banners, caricatures of the Dalai Lama illustrating how he's suppressing his own people, there's images of the Buddha he's trying to ban," said International Shugden Community spokesman Nicholas Pitts, adding they just want a peaceful solution.