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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Tibet protesters in China embassy clash

December 11, 2007

The Age
December 10, 2007


Police have clashed with Tibetan and Australian human rights protesters
in Canberra after a young man tried to scale the fence of the Chinese
Embassy.

About 200 people from the Australian Tibetan community rallied outside
the embassy on Monday to call on the federal government to stand up to
China over its human rights record.

What began as a peaceful protest of chants and songs became tense after
a failed attempt by the protesters to hand a petition letter to the embassy.

Police acted quickly to restrain the protesters, including women and
children, who threw placards and flags across the gates of the embassy
after a young man tried to scale a security fence.

Police made no arrests and allowed the protesters to continue their
organised march into the city centre.

One protester who was restrained by police, Pentap Dugeak 26, said
Tibetans were committed to a non-violent protest, but emotions ran high
when the petition was rejected.

"The emotion ran really high and a lot of Tibetans wanted to pass the
message directly to the embassy staff about what's happening in Tibet,"
he said.

"The Chinese government don't have the guts to listen to one of the most
peaceful people and I think a lot of young Tibetans nowadays across the
globe are trying to tell the Chinese government to resolve the Tibet issue."

Protest organiser Tsewang Thupten said China continues to impose
policies that are destructive towards the culture, environment and
economy of Tibet, which it occupied in 1951.

"We need to draw attention to the fact that the Chinese government for
over 50 years has been relentlessly pursuing a policy of cultural
genocide and repression of the rights of the Tibetan people under the
illegal occupation," Mr Thupten said.

Dr Simon Bradshaw from the Australia-Tibet Council called on Prime
Minister Kevin Rudd, who recently met with the Dalai Lama, to hold talks
with China over Tibet.

"Our new prime minister is certainly more informed about China than his
predecessor and does have some understanding and depth of knowledge
about China," Dr Bradshaw said.

"The Tibetan community hopes that Kevin Rudd will be more confident in
his dealings with Chinese authorities and will be willing to confront
China on the issues of human rights of Tibetan autonomy and repression."

But Lobsang Lungtok, 32, who fled from Tibet to Australia six years ago
is not confident Australia will have any influence on China.

Mr Lungtok left Tibet under self-imposed exile six years ago after
spending 18 months in jail for writing a poem condemning the Chinese
occupation.

"There are always three choices when living in Tibet, keep quiet, go to
jail or leave Tibet and I experienced all three," he said.

"Until I was 20 I kept quiet when I expressed myself I went to jail and
then it was too hard to live in Tibet so I left."

Mr Lungtok said China considered Tibet as a business venture and would
not be influenced by western countries.

"I don't hold much hope for the Australian government," he said.
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