Canberra, Australia: Representative Karma Singey of Tibet Information Office in Canberra wrote to Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on the eve of his visit to China, urging him to raise Tibet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other Chinese Communist Party leaders.
In a letter dated 30 October 2023, Representative Karma said, “The situation inside Tibet is critical. Tibet’s national identity is facing an existential threat under China’s repressive policies and security apparatus. The Tibetan people are being systematically subjected to cultural assimilation, political repression, economic marginalisation and ecological destruction. Due to these oppressive conditions and an absence of civic space in Tibet, at least 157 known Tibetans have resorted to tragic self-immolation protests calling for more freedom in Tibet and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet.”
He further said, “It has been reported that around 1 million Tibetan children have been separated from their families and forced into Chinese colonial boarding schools. The Tibetan language has been systematically replaced by Mandarin and Tibetan medium schools are forcibly shut down. Over two million Tibetan nomads have been forcibly removed from ancestral lands in the name of “development” and “poverty alleviation”. The continued enforced disappearance of Tibet’s 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, is a cause of major concern for not only Tibetans and Buddhist practitioners but for human rights advocates around the world.”
He also drew the Prime Minister’s attention to China’s coercive system of harvesting mass DNA collections inside Tibet transforming the nation into an Orwellian Surveillance State, remarking that such would have negative implications not just for Tibetans but for the wider humanity.
The Representative concluded his letter by stating that “At this critical juncture, I call on you during your visit to China to make a strong public statement highlighting Australia’s concerns regarding the situation in Tibet and calling on the need for dialogue between the Representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Chinese Government to resolve the longstanding Sino-Tibet Conflict. A solution to the Tibet issue will be a major step towards greater peace in the world and securing a stable and prosperous future for not only the Tibetan people, but also China and the region.”
The Australia Tibet Council, the largest Tibet Support Group in Australia, also urged the Prime Minister Albanese to raise the human rights abuses occurring in Tibet at the hands of the Chinese Government with Chinese Government counterparts while in China.
In a media advisory released on 2 November 2023, Zoe Bedford, Executive Officer of Australia Tibet Council , said, ” Recent polling of Australians via Essential Media found that two-thirds (66%) felt that trade resumption with China was less important than action on China’s human rights abuses.”
She further added,” Australian do not want to see Australian values compromised when negotiating trade with China, failing to raise Tibet allows China to believe they have the tacit approval of their trading partners, Australians have an expectation our values will be represented by the Prime Minister and that he will raise China’s human rights abuses in Tibet.”