Australia Tibet Council

Enabling everyone in Australia to be part of change in Tibet

Farewell to Bob

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 25 July 2012

bobanddl2Bob Brown is leaving Parliament soon. He was not interested in making a grandiose valedictory speech in the Senate, but his Greens colleagues had insisted that they be allowed to throw a small farewell party yesterday evening. And Senator Sarah Hanson-Young invited me!

Although I was chuffed to get an invitation from a Senator, I was pretty nervous too. Parliament House is where I go to lobby politicians, not to party. Bob is a powerful Australian. Will I meet a lot of important people at the party? What should I say to them? Will there be “awkward” moments? What should I wear? I have a lot of work on right now - should I send an apology?

Delegates to the London Book Fair today entered a hall adorned with five red Chinese flags and a picture of a Chinese child beaming happily as he holds a book.

For some well-known Chinese writers forced to live in exile and who expected more of Britain than to roll out the red carpet without question for the Communist Party it was like a punch in the stomach.

The London Book Fair is one of the world's leading trade fairs of its kind, attracting 25,000 visitors from 110 countries. This year, its 'market focus' is on the PRC. The Book Fair and the British Council had an opportunity to uphold cherished British values of free speech and send a strong message to the Chinese Communist Party that Beijing cannot export its censorship to a free western democracy. But they failed - even though no one in the British Council is going to be tortured for saying what they wish, as a Chinese, Tibetan or Uyghur writer can be, or giving space to independent and critical voices, or encouraging genuine dialogue.

Read the full blog by Kate Saunders, London-based Director of Communications of the International Campaign for Tibet.

The video of a peaceful protest during the talk by Minister Liu Binjie of the PRC's General Administration of Press and Publication, included in this blog, is worth watching.

What To Do with Our Carr Problem?

Published in Blog
Sunday, 04 March 2012

Now that we have a soon-to-be Foreign Minister who appears to have a pretty defiant position on Tibet, what is the best course of action? Are our angry knee-jerk reactions to his appointment likely to be effective? As it was the Dalai Lama himself who was most criticised by Carr, let's ask ourselves how His Holiness might respond. Could, against our intuitions, there actually be an opportunity here? Buddhism teaches us that our adversaries are our best teachers, doing more than our friends ever could to reveal our weaknesses and help us grow and improve.

Read the full blog on ATC board member Simon Bradshaw's website

Grave Concern Does Nothing To Prevent Tibetan Graves

Published in Blog
Thursday, 09 February 2012

Photographer and long-time ATC member Jamie Williams writes on the candle-light vigil in Sydney yesterday and the recent wave of immolations in Tibet:

I almost started this post with these sentences - "Unless you've been hiding under a rock for a year you would know about the tragic situation unfolding in Tibet. Since March last year at least 19 monks, nuns and more recently herders have made the seemingly incomprehensible decision to self-immolate - set fire to themselves with the intention of dying - in protest over the Chinese Communist Party's continuing cultural, environmental, religious and human rights abuses inside Tibet."

But after talking with bystanders and commuters at last night's candle light vigil in Sydney's Martin Place, part of a global day of action to pay respect to those recently killed, I realised that not only were many people unaware of these recent deaths, some were even unaware of the plight of Tibet and Tibetans in general. How could this be? Read his blog

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