2nd September 2022
Dr. Zoe Bedford
Australia Tibet Council
Ph: 0408 262 576 or
Australia has a stake in the future of the
Event: Tibet Lobby Day
When: Monday 12 September (all day)
Where: Parliament House, Canberra
What: Tibetan delegates from across Australia will be meeting with over 30 Australian MPs and Senators for Tibet Lobby Day.
A core message that the delegates will be taking to Canberra on 12 September is that the future of the Dalai Lama is an issue for all of Australia.
Since China invaded and occupied Tibet in 1949, a hindrance to the Chinese Government has been the unwavering loyalty Tibetan people have to the 14th Dalai Lama, despite constant attacks by the CCP on the Dalai Lama over the seven decades of occupation. Tibetans, even young Tibetans, are steadfastly faithful to the Dalai Lama, because of the leadership of the Dalai Lama and also because of the fundamental importance of the position of the Dalai Lama to Tibetan history, culture and religious identity.
Since the Dalai Lama fled into exile in 1959, the CCP has banned his image. Carrying or possessing a photo of the Dalai Lama brings with it harsh penalties, including imprisonment. The enforcement of the photo ban continues with increased zeal with Tibetan monks and nuns as well as laypeople being arrested and tortured for expressing loyalty to the Dalai Lama in occupied Tibet.
“It is quite galling that the ‘atheist’ Chinese Government has announced Measures of the Management of the Reincarnation of Living Buddhas in Tibetan Buddhism” States Dr Zoe Bedford of the Australia Tibet Council, “they have decreed that all reincarnated lamas must have Chinese government approval. The measures reveal the CCP’s agenda to undermine and supplant the Tibetan religious hierarchy and weaken the authority of legitimate Tibetan religious leaders including the Dalai Lama.”
“His Holiness turned 87 in July this year. To think that the Chinese Communist Government wants to have a say and interfere in the process to identify his reincarnation is not acceptable.” says Tibetan delegate Tsering Deki “That’s why this Lobby Day, I want to urge the Australian Government to pass a resolution that it will only recognise a Dalai Lama appointed via Tibetan Buddhist traditions and practices, without interference by the Chinese Government.”
Australia has a stake in this issue as the 2021 Census found that Buddhism is a growing religion in Australia with more than 600,000 practitioners. Australia’s constitution also protects freedom of religion and as such should stand against China’s moves to control the next Dalai Lama.
“The Dalai Lama himself has said he could be reincarnated in a “free country” Says Kelsang Tsering, President of the Tibetan Communities of Australia and a delegate on Tibet Lobby Day.
The Chinese Government have shown that they will interfere with the reincarnation process in the past, in 1995 six-year old Gendun Choeki Nyima, was kidnapped by the Chinese Government after he was declared by the Dalai Lama to be the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama. Gendun Choeki Nyima, has been disappeared by the Chinese government and he has not been seen by the world since.
Over 1,000 Australians have signed a pledge “to only recognise a Dalai Lama appointed via Tibetan Buddhist traditions and practices, without interference by the Chinese Government.”
Australia’s Parliamentarians and the Australian Government need to act now, to ensure the Chinese Government understands that Australia also will only recognise a future Dalai Lama appointed by Tibetan Buddhist traditions and practices, without interference by the Chinese Government.
For further statements please contact:
Yama Choezom, Sydney – 0451 344 161 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Kalsang Tsering, Canberra – 0447 053 599 / email@example.com
Tsering Deki, Canberra – 0422 302 648 / firstname.lastname@example.org