Australian Premier Requested to Facilitate His Holiness’ China Visit With Chinese Premier
Wednesday, 29 March 2006, 3:00 PM
Dharamshala: The Australia Tibet Council (ATC) has asked Foreign Minister Alexander Downer to raise the issue of Tibet when he meets with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during his visit to Australia, which begins this weekend.
In particular, ATC has urged Mr. Downer to support His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s request to visit a number of sacred Buddhist sites in China as part of an ongoing process of dialogue and confidence building.
Representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Chinese Government have held five rounds of talks since 2002, with the most recent taking place in China in February this year.
“Allowing His Holiness the Dalai Lama to make this pilgrimage would raise the level of trust towards the Chinese government among the Tibetans, both in Tibet and in exile,” Mr. Farley of the ATC said. “It would also provide the Chinese leadership with an opportunity for a face-to-face preliminary contact with His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his stay.”
In his most recent formal public statement, issued on 10 March 2006, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who last visited Beijing in 1955, said that he wants to see for himself the economic and social developments, which have occurred in China since then.
In the statement, His Holiness the Dalai Lama stressed once again that he was seeking genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people, not independence from China.
(www.tibet.net is the official website of the Central Tibetan Administration.)