Canberra:The Dalai Lama, who is on a 10-day visit to Australia, said more needs to be done to protect local Aboriginal culture after meeting with traditional owners – as local residents of that area are known – at Uluru on Saturday.

Uluru, or Ayers Rock, is a sandstone monolith in the Northern Territory’s Red Centre desert, 450 km from the Alice Springs town. It is considered sacred to Aboriginals and believed to be about 700 million years old.

On his first visit to Uluru, the 79-year-old met with traditional owners at a sacred waterhole where he spoke of the need for respect for the traditional cultures of the area.

The Tibetan spiritual leader said he was astounded by the complexity of the local culture and told those in attendance they could preserve precious Aboriginal custom and traditional knowledge by adapting modern technology.

He also encouraged the Aboriginal people to maintain traditional names.

The Dalai Lama will finish his Australian tour with a stop in Perth on Monday.

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