On 7 February, Senator Janet Rice during a speech on human rights expressed her concerns once again for Tibet and the oppression faced by Tibetans.
Senator said, “As I speak about human rights around the world, I want to now focus on the plight of peoples who live under occupation, starting with Tibet, which China invaded in 1950, overthrowing the Tibetan government in 1959, 64 years ago. Tibetan Uprising Day is observed on 10 March each year and commemorates the 1959 Tibetan uprising, which ultimately resulted in a violent crackdown on Tibetan independence movements and in the flight of the Dalai Lama into exile. Since that time, it’s estimated that over a million Tibetans have been killed and, with the Chinese government policy of resettlement of Chinese people to Tibet, Tibetans have become a minority in their own country.”
Senator Rice also touched on the latest developments surrounding the Chinese colonial boarding schools in Tibet, which currently separates more than a million Tibetan children. She highlighted the UN special rapporteurs statement, concerning the oppressive acculturation and assimilation policies aimed at eroding Tibetan culture and absorbing Tibetans into the Han Chinese majority.
She added, “Just yesterday the UN human rights commissioner issued a media statement noting their alarm at the separation of one million Tibetan children from families and forced assimilation at residential schools. I continue to be extremely concerned about the disappearance of the Panchen Lama 28 years ago. Last year I introduced a motion to the Notice Paper calling for the Senate to recognise only a Dalai Lama appointed by Tibetan Buddhist traditions and practices without interference by the Chinese government.”
“I am looking forward to joining other members of our All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet in April to visit Tibetans in exile in Dharamshala in India and have an audience with the Dalai Lama. I wish to extend my sincere thanks to the Tibetan Information Office for extending this invitation to us.” said Senator Janet Rice.
Senator Janet Rice’s speech during Tibet Lobby Day 2022, putting forward a motion to the Notice Paper for the Senate to recognise only a Dalai Lama appointed via Tibetan traditions.