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Australia bars Dalai Lama from senate

August 21, 2009

Phayul
August 20, 2009

Dharamsala, Aug 20 -- The Australian government
voted has down a motion that sought permission
for His Holiness the Dalai Lama to sit in a
parliamentary gallery when he visits Australia in December.

The Australian Greens and independent senator
Nick Xenophon who tabled the motion to invite the
Tibetan leader to the senate blamed "fear of Beijing" for the decision.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says the
spiritual leader has previously addressed the US
Congress and the European Parliament and the
Senate has missed a valuable opportunity.

Greens leader Bob Brown said it was appropriate
for His Holiness the Dalai Lama to sit in the
Senate's distinguished visitors' gallery, which
is reserved for members of governments, because
he was the political leader of the exiled Tibetan
people, reported Sydney Morning Herald

"Let's not beat around the bush here, the fact is
there's fear of Beijing alive and well," Senator
Brown told the Senate. "The China syndrome is alive and well."

Senator Brown said he would try another option,
the president's gallery in the Senate, for His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The government's manager of government business
in the Senate Joe Ludwig said the gallery was for
members of governments, which the Dalai Lama was
not, according to Sydney Morning Herald

"Successive Australian governments have
consistently adhered to the one China policy, we
recognise China's sovereignty over Tibet," Senator Ludwig told the Senate.

"The Australian government does not recognise the
Tibetan government in exile as a government."
Allowing the Dalai Lama to sit in the gallery
"could easily be misconstrued as some kind of
political recognition", he cautioned.

Relations between Australia and China have soured
over Australia granting visa to exile Uighur
leader Rebiya Kadeer and the detention of Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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