Australia Tibet Council

Enabling everyone in Australia to be part of change in Tibet

Tibetans And Australian Supporters Call For Government Response To Tibet’s Deepening Crisis

Friday, 09 March 2012

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.

 

The Tibetan community of Sydney, many of whose members are former political prisoners, will hold a protest at the Chinese consulate, Camperdown, from 1.30pm-2.30pm.

"As Tibetans in Tibet continue to resist China's violent regime to the point of taking their own lives in protest, we will be on the streets to ensure that their calls for freedom are echoed in the Australian corridors of power," said Kyinzom Dhongdue, a spokesperson of Australia Tibet Council.

A total of 26 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since 2009 to call the world's attention to their situation and to demonstrate their rejection of the Chinese government's policies in Tibet(2). In recent months, several Tibetan protesters were shot dead by the Chinese police in a fresh wave of demonstrations in many areas in eastern Tibet. Tibet has been closed to journalists, tourists and observers for a month due to the approaching anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising. A handful of journalists who have managed to sneak into Ngaba revealed the alarming extent of the military presence in the town where most of these immolations have taken place(3).

"We urge the Australian government to speak out publicly and join other countries in pushing the Chinese government to end the crackdown and listen to the grievances of the Tibetan people."

Contact: Kyinzom Dhongdue Australia Tibet Council, 0416 695 590

NOTES TO THE EDITOR:

1. Third Tibetan immolation in three days, International Campaign for Tibet
2. Self-immolation fact sheet
3. Sky News footage of heavy military presence in Ngaba, eastern Tibet