Australia Tibet Council

Enabling everyone in Australia to be part of change in Tibet

International Tibet Network members letter

Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor and Principal
& Dr. John Keane, Director Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (IDHR)
University of Sydney NSW 2006 

19 April 2013

Dear Dr Michael Spence and Dr John Keane,

We are writing to express our collective outrage and disappointment at the University of Sydney's decision to withdraw from hosting a talk by Nobel Peace Laureate, the Dalai Lama on campus.

The Dalai Lama, a champion of democracy, freedom of expression and human rights, was formally scheduled to give a talk about 'Why Education Matters' for the University's Institute of Democracy and Human Rights. However we understand that having agreed to host the event in the beginning, the University reversed its decision, and proposed holding the talk off campus because you viewed this to be "in the best interests of researchers across the University".

As you will be aware, there is currently a crisis in Chinese-occupied Tibet. In the last five years there has been a surge in non-violent protests by Tibetans in Tibet, notably in 2008 but increasing again since early 2012, with demonstrators calling for freedom in Tibet and for the return of the Dalai Lama.

We were pleased to learn that Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard raised concerns about the situation in Tibet at the highest level during her recent visit to Beijing, but the University of Sydney has undermined Australia's image internationally as a protector of human rights. By your actions, you have taken away your University's academic freedoms for fear of China's reaction, and have placed the Institute's integrity and international reputation as a prestigious centre of learning at risk.

We call on you to immediately reinstate the talk by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and demonstrate the academic integrity and freedom of thought of your prestigious university.

Yours sincerely





Alison Reynolds
Executive Director, International Tibet Network

On behalf of the following International Tibet Network, Member Groups:

Australia & New Zealand
Australia Tibet Council
Friends of Tibet New Zealand
Tibetan Community of Australia (Victoria)
Tibet Action Group of Western Australia
Tibetan Women Association and Friends Australia
A.C.T. Tibet Support Group
Students for a Free Tibet New Zealand
Tibet Support Group - Australia

Anterrashtriya Bharat - Tibbet Sahyog Samiti
Bharrat Tibbat Sahyog Manch, India
Circle of Friends (Philippines)
Core Group for Tibetan Cause, India
Foundation for Universal Responsibility of H. H. the Dalai Lama
Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet
Himalayan Committee for Action on Tibet
India Tibet Friendship Society
Japan Association of Monks for Tibet (Super Sangha)
Japan Committee of 100 for TIbet
Lung-Ta Project
Mahatma Gandhi Tibet Freedom Movement
National Campaign for Tibetan Support, India
National Democratic Party of Tibet
Ns3 Rigpa Community Builder’s Foundation
Raise Tibetan Flag Campaign
Roof of the World Foundation, Indonesia
SFT Japan
Students for a Free Tibet - Bangladesh
Taiwan Friends of Tibet
Taiwan Tibet Exchange Foundation
The Youth Liberation Front of Tibet, Mongolia and Turkestan
Think Tibet
Tibet Lives, India
Tibet Philippines Support Network
Tibet Solidarity Forum, Bangladesh
Tibet Support Group Kiku, Japan
Tibet Support Network Japan
Tibetan Community Japan
Tibetan Parliamentary and Policy Research Centre
Tibetan Student Association, Madras (TSAM)
Tibetan Women's Association (Central)
Tibetan Youth Congress

Middle East and Africa
Tibet Support Group Kenya
Israeli Friends of the Tibetan People
South African Friends of Tibet
Friends of Tibet - Isamailia

Austrian Committee for Tibet
Save Tibet, Austria
Tibetan Community Austria
Les Amis du Tibet - Belgium
Vrienden Van Tibet
Tibetaanse-Vlaamse Vriendenkring vzw
Association Rencontres Tibetaines - C.S.P.T. Midi-Pyrenees
Aide aux Refugies Tibetains
Association Dorje
Association Drôme Ardèche-Tibet
Briancon05 Urgence Tibet
Comite de Soutien au Peuple Tibetain (Les Lilas)
Corse - Tibet
Eco-Tibet France
Groupe Non-Violent Louis Lecoin, France
Jamtse Thundel Association
Lions Des Neiges Mont Blance, France
Maison des Himalayas
Maison du Tibet - Tibet Info
Nice Tibet
Nos Amis de l'Himalaya
Objectif Tibet
Passeport Tibetain
Reseau International des Femmes pour le Tibet
Students for a Free Tibet - France
Tibet 59 / 62
Tibet Democratie
Tsowa-Maintenir la Vie, France
Autodétermination-Tibet 09/31
International Campaign for Tibet Deutschland
International Society of Human Rights, Munich Chapter (IGFM)
Society for Threatened Peoples International
Tibet Initiative Deutschland
Tibets Kinder im Exile V.
Tibetan Association of Germany
Tibetisches Zentrum Hamburg
EcoTibet Ireland
Tibet Support Group - Ireland
Tibetan Community in Ireland
Associazione Italia-Tibet
Tibetan Community of Italy
Tibet Unterstutzung Liechtenstein
Les Amis du Tibet Luxembourg
International Campaign for Tibet Europe
Tibet Support Group - Netherlands
TSG Free Tibet And You
Grupo de Apoio ao Tibete, Portugal
Casa del Tibet - Spain
Comite de Apoyo al Tibet (Madrid)
Phagma Drolma-Arya Tara
La Porte du Tibet, Geneva
Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association
Tibetan Youth Association in Europe
Tibet Liberte Solidarite
Tibet Libertes, France
Free Tibet
Students for a Free Tibet - UK
Tibet Society, U.K.
Tibetan Community in Britain
Tibetan Youth UK

Northern Europe
Swedish Tibet Committee
Association of Free Tibet
Tibet Support Committee Denmark -
Friends of Tibet in Finland
The Norwegian Tibet Committee
Tibetan Community in Denmark
Tibetan Community Sweden

Eastern Europe
Fair Society o.s.
Tibet cesky (Tibet in Czech)
Friends of Tibet Society St. Petersburg, Russia
Tibet Support Association - Hungary
Union Latvija Tibetai (Latvia for Tibet )
Zida Cels, Latvia
Lithuanian Tibet Culture Foundation
Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights - Tibet Desk
Polish Movement for a Free Tibet
Tibetan Community in Poland
Tibetan Programme of The Other Space Foundation
Tibet Support Group - Romania
International Youth Human Rights Group - Human Rights in Tibet
Tibet Support Group - Krasnodar Region, Russia
Tibet Support Group - Sochi Region, Russia
The Foundation for Civil Society, Russia
Save Tibet Foundation
Friends of Tibet Slovakia
Tibetan Association of Slovakia
Society for Croatia-Tibet Friendship
TSG - Slovenia (Formally Foundation Dharmaling)
Students for a Free Tibet, Poland

North America
Association Cognizance Tibet, North Carolina
Bay Area Friends of Tibet
Boston Tibet Network
Canada Tibet Committee
China Tibet Initiative
Colorado Friends of Tibet
Committee of 100 for Tibet
Dhokam Chushi Gangdruk
International Campaign for Tibet
International Tibet Independence Movement
Los Angeles Friends of Tibet
Northwest Tibetan Cultural Association
Rangzen Alliance
San Diego Friends of Tibet
Santa Barbara Friends of Tibet
Seattle Friends of Tibet
Snow Lion Foundation
Sierra Friends of Tibet
Students for a Free Tibet
Students for a Free Tibet – Canada
The Tibetan Alliance of Chicago
The World Tibet Day Foundation
Tibet Committee of Fairbanks
Tibet Justice Center
Tibetan Association of Ithaca
Tibetan Association of Northern California
Tibetan Association of Philadephia
Tibetan Association of Santa Fe
Tibetan Association of Southern California
Tibetan Cultural Association - Quebec
Toronto Tibet Youth Congress
U.S. Tibet Committee
Western Colorado Friends of Tibet
Wisconsin Tibetan Association

South America
Amigos del Tibet, El Salvador
Asociacion Cultural Peruano Tibetana
Asociacion Cultural Tibetano - Costaricense
Casa Tibet Mexico
Centro De Cultura Tibetana
Grupo De Apoyo a Tibet Chile
Grupo Pro-Cultura Tibetana, Chile
Le Club Francais
Pensando En Tibet - Mexico
Tibet Group-Panama
Tíbet Patria Libre, Uruguay
World League for Freedom and Democracy