DHARAMSHALA: A Tibet Support Group in Australia has urged Prime Minister Julia Gillard to raise the issue of ongoing repression in Tibet and encourage revival of dialogue process on Tibet during her visit to China from 25 – 27 April.
In a letter to the Australian premier dated 12 April, the Australia Tibet Council said: “We understand that discussions around trade and economic matters will be the main focus of your trip. However, since this will be your first visit to China as Australia’s Prime Minister, we believe that it is imperative to establish that human rights must be an important ongoing component of the Australia China relationship.”
The council expressed concern about the Chinese government’s repression on writers, bloggers, poets, artists, environmental activists in China and Tibet.
The council has urged prime minister Gillard to “raise the issue of ongoing repression of political and religious freedom, environmental damage and marginalisation of culture and language in Tibet”.
It also called on the prime minister to “press China to revive the dialogue with the Tibetans and engage sincerely in the process to bring about a mutually beneficial resolution”.
Quoting a latest report by a US Senate delegation to Tibet, the council raised concern over the “influx of Chinese population, growing income inequalities and restrictions on religious practices fuelling discontent and unhappiness among the Tibetans.” The report noted that China’s massive economic investment in Tibet has come at the cost of Tibet’s ancient culture, its fragile environment and social ills from drugs to prostitution.