The First Minister is pandering to Chinese government diktat by failing to meet with the Dalai Lama, according to the Liberal Democrats.
Willie Rennie MSP, the Scottish Lib Dems' leader, called on Alex Salmond to meet with the Tibetan spiritual leader.
No meeting has been organised.
"This is a missed opportunity," said Mr Rennie.
"By failing to meet with the globally respected spiritual leader and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, the First Minister may leave the impression that he is more concerned with pandering to the diktat of the Chinese government than promoting human rights.
"We ignore China's human rights record at our peril. I appreciate that China would be sensitive about such a meeting but the First Minister should stand up for what's important.
"People from across Scotland have waited six years to meet with His Holiness. The cities of Dundee, Edinburgh and Inverness have all noted their enthusiasm towards welcoming him into their streets and town halls.
"Either Mr Salmond has completely misjudged the importance of this event or he has shown once more that he is too afraid of rocking the boat."
A Scottish Government spokesman said: "The First Minister has only received one invitation, and that was to be part of the audience when the Dalai Lama received an award in London on May 14 - when the First Minister was in Norway on official business.
"Next week the Dalai Lama is in Scotland on a pastoral visit as a religious leader. He is being properly recognised at a meeting hosted by the Presiding Officer in Queensberry House on behalf of the faith communities on a non political basis."