Australia: The Australian All Parliamentary Friends of Tibet issued a statement on the occasion of the 64th Tibetan National Uprising Day commemoration.
The statement signed by Co-Chairs of the Australian All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet -Susan Templeman MP, Senator Janet Rice and Senator Dean Smith reads, “The Co-Chairs of the Australian All Party Parliamentary Friends of Tibet want to recognise Tibetan Uprising Day today. Observed on 10 March each year, it commemorates the 1959 Tibetan uprising, which ultimately resulted in a violent crackdown on Tibetan independence movements and in the flight of the Dalai Lama into exile.
Since that time, estimated that more than a million Tibetans have been killed and the Chinese Government policy of resettlement of Chinese people to Tibet means Tibetans have become a minority in their own land.
We echo the statements of UN Special Rapporteurs for minorities, cultural rights and freedom of religion*, who have drawn attention to the separation of one million Tibetan children from families and their forced assimilation at residential schools.
Australia should continue to raise concerns about this Chinese Government policy, which “appears to amount to a policy of acculturation and assimilation of the Tibetan culture into the dominant Han Chinese majority, through a series of oppressive actions against Tibetan educational, religious and linguistic institutions, in contradiction with the right to freedom of religion and belief, the right to education and cultural rights of the Tibetan people.”
We also wish to highlight concerns about the lack of religious freedom in Tibet, including the disappearance of the Panchen Lama 28 years ago. We call on the Australian Government to support the Dalai Lama and Tibetan people by committing to recognise only a Dalai Lama appointed by Tibetan Buddhist traditions and practices.
On Tibetan Uprising Day, we want to emphatically state that universal human rights are fundamental and must be respected. Currently the Chinese Government is violating the human rights of Tibetan people and CCP officials must be held to account.
Over decades of occupation, the Tibetan spirit for freedom is still going strong, as evidenced by Tibetan Uprising Day actions across Australia. We wish Tibetans all the best and commit to supporting their rights and freedoms today and every day”.
Three days prior to the event, on 7 March, Senator Janet Rice issued a statement at the Australian Senate outlining the significance of the event.
The statement reads, “Finally, I want to note, in the time remaining, that Friday marks Tibetan Uprising Day, which commemorates the 1959 Tibetan uprising that ultimately resulted in a violent crackdown on Tibetan independence movements and in the flight of the Dalai Lama into exile. The Chinese government has continued their attacks on Tibetan people and culture to this day. Peaceful protests in Tibet have resulted in people being arrested, including monks. We have a broader pattern by the Chinese government of oppressive actions against Tibetan organisations and people. I’ve consistently noted my concerns about the disappearance of the Panchen Lama. I will continue to push, here in the Australian context, that we recognise only a Dalai Lama appointed by Tibetan Buddhist traditions and practices, without interference by the Chinese government.
To the people of Tibet and to Tibetans around the world: we are in solidarity with you and with everyone facing injustice and human rights violations. We urgently urge the Chinese government to immediately cease its violations of human rights in Tibet, and we call upon the Australian government to advocate at the highest level for human rights in Tibet and around the world”.