Australian Greens Leader calls for PM Rudd to intervene on Tibet

Press Release, 15th Mar 2008: Greens Leader Bob Brown has called on the Rudd government to use all its diplomatic powers to have China resist a violent crackdown in Tibet. There are reports of serious riots in Tibet’s capital Lhasa in a rebellion against Chinese military occupation of Tibet.

Senator Brown said, “history indicates the potential for a ruthless response from Beijing. He has called on PM Rudd to put pressure on President Hu Jintao to play a more peaceful role and to have talks with Tibetan leaders.

“The Dalai Lama would be a peace-maker if given an opportunity here”, Senator Brown said.

The riots will flag worldwide concern for Tibet in the run to the Beijing Olympics later this year.

Contact: Emma Belfield 0400 181 748

Senator Brown has a motion before the Senate in relation to Tibet – see below

SENATOR BOB BROWN’S MOTION TO THE SENATE – TO BE MOVED 18 MARCH 2008

Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Bob Brown): To move – That the Senate:

(a) having regard to:

  • (i) the 11th Australia-China Human Rights Dialogue held in Beijing on 30July 2007
  • (ii) the United Nations (UN) Olympics Truce, as passed by the UN General Assembly on 31 October 2007 (A/RES/62/4),
  • (iii) the 49th anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising of 10 March 1959,
  • (iv) the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with particular attention to Article 9, concerning arbitrary arrest and detention, Article 13 on the right to freedom of movement and Article 18 on the rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion,
  • (v) the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and the People’s Republic of China on 21 December 1972 resulting in Australia-China relations developing strongly, politically and economically, and
  • (vi) the Australia-China Strategic Partnership, established on 7 September 2007, which is of great importance for the relationship between Australia and China;

(b) regrets that there have been no further rounds of the Sino-Tibetan dialogue since February 2006 and that the five rounds of talks between Chinese officials and representatives of the Dalai Lama from 2002 to 2006, led by his Special Envoy Lodi Gyari, brought no substantive results;

(c) calls on the parties to make every effort to continue the dialogue and on the Chinese Government to engage in substantive negotiations, taking into due consideration the Dalai Lama’s Middle Way Approach to the resolution of the Tibet issue; and

(d) reiterates its concern over the reports of continuing human rights violations in Tibet, including torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, repression of religious freedom, ‘patriotic re-education’ including forcing Tibetans to denounce the Dalai Lama, arbitrary restrictions on free movement, rehabilitation through labour camps and coercive resettlement.