His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Special Envoy Lodi Gyari Visits Australia

CANBERRA, Australia: Kasur Lodi Gyari, Special Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Washington DC and leader of the Tibetan team in the dialogue process with the Chinese leadership, visited Australia from 22 to 28 August 2011 on the invitation of Tibet Information Office and Australia Tibet Council.

During his visit, Special Envoy Gyari met government officials, members of Parliament, scholars, members of Tibetan community, Tibet Support Group members, Chinese scholars and democracy activists and Rigpa Centre members and shared his views on the state of dialogue with the Chinese leadership and on recent changes in the Tibetan political system in exile.

In Canberra, the capital of Australia, Kasur Gyari was invited to brief the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade on the status of the dialogue process with China, His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s recent devolution of his political power to the elected Tibetan leadership.

Kasur Gyari made a strong presentation on the dialogue process and asked the Australian government to harness its strong ties with China not only for common economic interests, but also to demonstrate its commitment to universal principles and help China to become a responsible global citizen.  Members of Parliament in the Committee evinced keen interest in the briefing and raised several questions. On the implication of the historic change in Tibetan political leadership on the dialogue process, Gyari Rinpoche conveyed the commitment of the new exile administration towards the resolution of the Tibet issue and the Middle Way Approach as laid down by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Melissa Parke MP and member of Australian All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet made a statement in the House of Representatives on Kasur Gyari’s visit to the Parliament.

A reception was hosted for Mr Gyari in the office of Deputy Speaker Hon Peter Slipper, one of the co convenors of All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet which was attended by members from both the Houses. He also met one-on-one meetings with ranking MPs and Senators.

Special Envoy Gyari had a meeting with the head of the China section of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade during which he shared his frank views on the most beneficial way in Australian Government’s approach towards China and the issue of Tibet. He emphasized that the Tibetan people  strongly supported Australia’s engagement with China but that it should also be accompanied by forthright stand on certain fundamental values that Australia stood for, which will also be of benefit to the Chinese and the Tibetan people in the long run.

Kasur Gyari participated in a high level roundtable with some of the senior China scholars convened by Australian National University’s (ANU) China Institute and Australian Centre on China in the World. He discussed the Tibetan case for genuine autonomy within the PRC, future potential for reconciliation in Sino-Tibetan relations and implications of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s devolution of power. He also gave a seminar lecture on Tibet to the post graduate students of international relations at ANU.

In Sydney Special Envoy Gyari gave interviews to ABC Radio, ABC TV, SBS Mandarin TV and RFA Tibetan language and Tibetan language media.  He met and briefed the representatives of various Tibet support groups in Australia and expressed his appreciation of their support. He gave a packed house public talk “The Way Forward on Tibet – Prospects for Genuine Autonomy” at Mitchell Theatre, Sydney Mechanics School of Arts. He spoke on the dynamics of the Tibet-China relationship, the aspirations of the Tibetans, and China’s approach towards resolution of the Tibetan issue. He spoke at the seminar ” Dialogue between Chinese government and Envoy of Dalai Lama: Retrospect and Prospects” to a well attended audience of Chinese scholars and democracy activists at the University of Technology in Sydney.

On the invitations of Rigpa Centre of Australia and Rigpa Practical Wisdom group, Kasur Gyari made presentation on the dialogue with China, devolution of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s political power and Tenzin Gyatso Institue Scholars Program which sponsor Tibetan monks and nuns to study science in the Universities in the United States.

Kasur Gyari spoke to the Tibetan Communities of Canberra and Sydney on the dialogue process and recent change of leadership in the Central Tibetan Administration. Chinese democracy activist, scholars, members of Chinese Tibetan Friendship Associations of Sydney and Melbourne took the  opportunity to meet Gyari Rinpoche.

Kasur Lodi Gyari’s visit was organized and coordinated by Australia Tibet Council with support from Tibet Information Office. He was accompanied by Sonam Dagpo, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia, Paul Bourke, Executive Director and  Tsering Kyinzom, Research and Government Relations Manager of Australia Tibet Council in all the programs.