We would urge Turnbull to meet the Dalai Lama: Australian Parliamentary delegation


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Dharamshala, November 23, 2017: A visiting delegation ofa Australian legislators have urged the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to meet Dalai Lama when the spiritual leader visits Australia next year.
A four-member Australian Parliamentary delegation that is currently on a visit to Dharamshala held a press conference today at Norbu House, Mcleod Ganj. The visit is coordinated by Representative Lhakpa Tshoko from the Office of Tibet, Australia. Responding to a question ,the delegation that Tibet is one of the few issues that enjoy bipartisan support in the Australian parliament.
“We would certainly urge the PM to meet with His Holiness as other world leaders have met the Dalai Lama. Both former PM Rudd and Abbot have supported the Middle Way Approach. So Australia’s view about this is clear on both sides of the politics – Labor Party and the Liberal National Party,” said Hon Kevin Andrews, member of Liberal Party and former defence minister. Set to visit the land down under in June next year, the 82-year-old Tibetan leader Dalai lama’s 2017 trip to Australia was cancelled and in August the office of PM Turnbull had officially stated that the PM had ‘no plans’ to meet the exiled Tibetan leader.
Hon Kevin Andrews said“The autonomy of the Tibetan people is something which has attracted the attention of world leaders. Presidents, prime ministers, chancellors and many other world leaders from various countries around the world have spoken from time to time about the need to resolve the situation inside Tibet.”
“When I go back to Australia, I will continue to raise the issue of Tibet in the Australian parliament and more broadly internationally, to bring about a peaceful resolution to this ongoing problem,” he assured.
Speaking first, Senator Derryn Hinch spoke about Tibetan movement which has kept itself alive under the leadership of the Central Tibetan Administration CTA. He also expressed concern about China trying to reduce the Tibetan population into a minority in its own land by encouraging large-scale migration of ethnic Chinese nationalities into traditional Tibetan areas
Speaking about China’s unjust policies in Tibet, he said: “Years ago, we have an expression in Australia called ‘populate or perish’. That means increase your population or you will perish. But in Tibet, China is implementing a different version of the expression. They are trying to populate Tibet with Han and other ethnic Chinese nationalities in the hope that you (Tibetans) would perish. However, I am certain that your backbone, your background and your passion will see you through under the guidance of the Middle Way approach.”
Senator Kimberley Kitching from the Australian Labor Party said: “It has been an incredible few days to come here and meet various people and visit the different institutes. I was particularly inspired by the Tibetan people’s emphasis on education of Tibetan children. We visited the Tibetan Children’s village TCV school, it was one of the happiest places I have ever visited. I was also impressed by the emphasis placed on education of Tibetan children. It reminded me of Israel and the emphasis on education that is given in that society.”
Ms Meryl Swanson from the Australian House of Representatives, said: “Tibetans have masterfully continued their culture through great difficulty in exile.”
Lead by Senator Derryn Hinch (Jutice Party), - Hon Kevin Andrews, MP, (Liberal Party); Senator Kimberly Kitching (Labor Party); and Meryl Jane Swanson, MP, (Labor Party) –, the Australian delegation met with the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama in New Delhi on November 20.

Date: 
Thursday, November 23, 2017