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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Australian MPs visit Tibetan community in Dharamsala, express constructive support for Tibet

July 6, 2009

Friday, 3 July 2009

Dharamshala: The visiting Australian parliamentary delegation to Dharamsala
said Friday (3 July) they will be returning to their country with a greatly
enriched understanding of the Tibetan issue and with many new ideas for
providing constructive support from Australia.

The six-member unofficial delegation met His Holiness the Dalai Lama and
Kalon Tripa Prof Samdhong Rinpoche on Thursday, besides visits to Tibetan
cultural, educational and medical institutions.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama thanked the all party group of MPs and senators
for their support, ABC News reported.

"Usually I describe our supporters not like pro-Tibetan, but rather
pro-justice," His Holiness said.

Labor MP Michael Danby says several members of the delegation are hoping to
travel to Tibet later in the year during an official visit to China.

"If the Parliament asks the Chinese Government to allow this group to go, I
don't see why they shouldn't be," Danby was quoted as saying by ABC News.

"They would be breaking their word and I'm sure the Chinese Government
wouldn't like to be seen to be doing that."
The delegation spoke to Tibetan and Indian media on their experience of
meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and about their getting first hand
information on the preservation and promotion of Tibetan cultural heritage
and democratic system of governance in exile.

"We support, strongly, His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Middle-Way proposal for
a peacefully negotiated settlement of the Tibetan situation and regret that
the Tibet-China dialogue has so far failed to bring genuine progress towards
a mutually acceptable resolution," the delegation said.

The delegation said they will continue to encourage the Chinese government
of enter into sincere and substantive discussions with His Holiness the
Dalai Lama or his representatives over the eleven "subjects of governance"
outlined in the memorandum.

"We look forward to welcoming His Holiness back to Australia in December of
this year, a visit that will coincide with the twentieth anniversary of his
Nobel Peace Prize," the delegation said.

They offered their gratitude and appreciation for getting the unique
opportunity to visit Dharamsala and expressed their best help in securing a
better future for Tibet.

The delegation will also attend the commemoration of His Holiness the Dalai
Lama's 74th birthday on 6 July.

The full text of the statement follows:

Statement by The Australian All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet on the
Occasion of the First Australian Parliamentary Delegation to Dharamsala

Friday, 3rd July 2009

We, the representatives of the Australian All-Party Parliamentary Group for
Tibet, offer our sincere thanks to His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama,
Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche, Speaker Penpa Tsering, Deputy Speaker
Gyari Dolma, the Kashag (Tibetan Cabinet) and the Tibetan Parliament for
this opportunity to visit Dharamsala and learn first hand about the
challenges facing the Tibetan people today.

We further thank the people of Mcleod Gank for their warm hospitality, and
the many Tibetan non-governmental organisations with whom we have met for
providing us with a rich insight into Tibetan culture and the situation of
Tibetan refugees in India.

May we first acknowledge the extraordinary successes of the Tibetan people
here in Dharamsala and in many settlements throughout India and overseas in
building a vibrant and flourishing community in exile. We congratulate you
on the time and effort you have invested in education, health services,
community building and the preservation of your unique culture, heritage and
religion.

Our delegation reflects all major parties of the Australian Parliament and
is testimony to the depth and breadth of support in Australia for a peaceful
resolution of the Tibetan situation. We speak als on behalf of many
Parliamentary colleagues and friends in the Australian community who are
unable to join us in person.

Australia is home to over six hundred Tibetans. This growing community has
become a cherished part of our multi-cultural landscape and we are very
grateful for the contribution that Tibetan people and their culture have
made to Australian society.

We support, strongly, His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Middle-Way proposal for
a peacefully negotiated settlement of the Tibetan situation and regret that
the Tibet-China dialogue has so far failed to bring genuine progress towards
a mutually acceptable resolution.

In this, the fiftieth year since the Tibetan uprising of 1959 and the Dalai
Lama's exile, we express our deepest concern and sympathy over the enduring
situation inside Tibet, in particular the deteriorating conditions of the
last year. Religious repression, "patriotic education" and undemocratic
social-economic reforms, including the forced settlement of nomads, have
fanned the flames of unrest in Tibet and brought untold suffering to the
Tibetan people.

We express our disappointment at the Chinese Government's outright rejection
last November of the "Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan
People" - a detailed proposal for meeting the needs of the Tibetan people
within existing provisions in the Constitution of the People's Republic of
China. We support the memorandum as a basis for constructive negotiations on
Tibet's future and will continue to encourage the Chinese Government to
enter into sincere and substantive discussions with the Dalai Lama or his
representatives over the eleven "subjects of governance" outlined in this
important document.

It has been an honour to meet with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Professor
Samdhong Rinpoche and several members of the Central Tibetan Administration
here in the heart of the Tibetan exile community. We commend His Holiness,
with whom we had the privilege of conversing at some length, for his
pragmatic and conciliatory approach to the Tibetan situation and for his
calm determination.

We look forward to welcoming His Holiness back to Australia in December of
this year, a visit that will coincide with the twentieth anniversary of his
Nobel Peace Prize. The visit, which has been given the theme "Our Future:
Who is Responsible?", comes at a time when Australia and the world at large
are facing sime their greatest challenges and opportunities. We look forward
to hearing more His Holiness's thoughts on universal responsibility, peace,
justice and the global environment.

We have been very well looked after here in Dharamsala and are enjoying our
visit to India immensely. We will be returning to Australia with a greatly
enriched understanding of the Tibetan situation and with new ideas for
providing constructive support from Australia.

Once again, we offer our thanks and appreciation for this unique opportunity
and will be doing our best to help secure a better future for Tibet.

Tashi Delek
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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