A delegation of Tibetan-Australians is meeting with close to 40 parliamentarians on Monday 18 March to lobby for stronger government action to address the escalating human rights crisis in Tibet.
The delegation's visit to Parliament House comes in the wake of the 108th self-immolation this Saturday in protest against China’s policies in Tibet. It follows Foreign Minister Bob Carr’s February announcement that, despite repeated requests, China refuses to allow Australia’s Ambassador in Beijing to visit Tibetan areas affected by these drastic protests.
Tibetans and Tibet campaigners on three continents launched a new report today, Xi Jinping’s Tibet Challenge’1, directed at the Chinese Communist Party’s leader-in-waiting. The report challenges Xi Jinping to acknowledge 60 years of human rights abuses and policy failures in Tibet and take immediate steps towards a just and lasting resolution to the occupation of Tibet, or face greater international condemnation and domestic instability2.
“Xi Jinping is set to inherit a wide array of challenges but the occupation of Tibet poses one of the greatest threats to China’s global standing and long-term stability,” said Tenzin Jigme of the International Tibet Network3. “Tibetans in Tibet have been challenging China’s military occupation of Tibet for more than 60 years, and today Tibetans’ nonviolent movement for freedom is more coordinated, widespread and stronger than ever before,” he added.
On Saturday, just before China’s National Day and weeks before Xi Jinping and the 5th generation of Chinese leaders inherit China's illegitimate rule over Tibet4, a Tibetan man named Yungdrung lit himself on fire in protest in eastern Tibet5. At least 52 self-immolations have taken place in Tibet since 2009; 47 in the past year alone, most with fatal consequences. The report exposes decades of China’s failed policies in Tibet as the direct cause of this unprecedented wave self-immolation protests, and through which Tibetans' human rights are routinely abused and they have become marginalised politically, socially and economically.
A delegation of Tibetan-Australians will meet with over 30 Members and Senators on Monday, 19 March, as part of the Tibet Advocacy Project. This is the first time a group of Tibetans from across Australia are putting the case for Tibet directly with their parliamentarians in the nation's capital.
The new initiative comes in the wake of an escalating crisis in Tibet, which has seen up to 28 Tibetans setting themselves on fire in acts of protests and a fresh wave of mass demonstrations across many towns in eastern Tibet. With Tibet closed to journalists, tourists and all outside observers, the Chinese government has brought in large numbers of paramilitary and armed police forces into the restive Tibetan areas.
Young mother among three to set themselves on fire this week in acts of protest
Tibetans and Tibet supporters across Australia will take to the streets tomorrow (10 March), to urge the Australian government to speak up about the escalating crisis in Tibet, which has seen 14 Tibetans set themselves on fire this year in acts of protest against China's rule in Tibet. A young mother of four was among the three to have immolated this week(1).
10 March marks the 53rd anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising, when thousands demonstrated in their capital, Lhasa, against China's occupation. In Sydney, hundreds of Tibetans and Australian supporters will be joined by Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon at a rally at the Amphitheatre, Martin Place, from 10am-12pm. The rally, themed "Banned in Tibet" will include cultural activities which are prohibited in Tibet.