Organisers Martin Connelly and Helen McLaughlin – Jones and a crowd of over 200 people assembled on 29th March at the Wesley Mission in Perth (Western Australia) to promote public and political awareness of the need for human rights and justice internationally and especially at the moment in China and Tibet.
Amidst a sea of Tibetan flags, banners and prayer flags a march along Hay Street Mall was led by Zatul Rinpoche (former representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for East Asia and former member of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile).
Accompanied by plain clothes and uniformed police the rally returned to Wesley Mission for Speeches. Speakers included Giz Watson (Greens) and Zatul Rinpoche, additionally a public address made by the Dalai Lama was presented by one of the organisers.
This event was repeated on the steps of Parliament House on Monday 31st (International Global Day of Action for Tibet). Shielding against the rain more than 50 people assembled to hear the message at the political heart of Perth’s elected leaders. The message was aimed at the Prime Minister Mr Rudd, who will meet with the Chinese government from the 9th to the 12th of April. The message was that Mr Rudd should bring up the issue of Human rights in China and especially Tibet, and in doing so meet growing public concern about the Tibetan situation existing currently and in the wake of the coming Olympics. Again at this rally a public address made by the Dalai Lama was presented by one of the organisers.
Amongst the speakers who addressed the crowd at Parliament House was 12 year old Amelia McLaughlin-Jones, whose speech was interrupted by spontaneous public applause when she opened by saying that in her opinion, “…all children throughout the world should have the right to grow up in a peaceful and free society … including children in China and Tibet”.
Dear Prime Minister Rudd. My name is Amelia; I’m 12 years old and in my last year of primary school. I believe that all children throughout the world should have the right to grow up in a peaceful and free society … including children in China and Tibet. One day we will be the adults. We, the children of the world need you Mr. Rudd to prepare the world we are growing up into, to be a just, safe and happy world. We need you to make human rights, such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom from any kind of oppression whatsoever, important issues which are never neglected. Mr. Rudd, please don’t neglect us. Please discuss strongly the issue of human rights in China and especially Tibet when you meet with the Chinese government in the next few weeks. Please be strong and don’t let us down. I’d now like to sing a song called The Rose and I’m dedicating it to all the children of the world who may be experiencing hardship, especially the Tibetan children living in Tibet and the Tibetan children living in exile. Thank you.