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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."

Australia's Tibetans Appeal to the Prime Minister

March 8, 2009

March 05, 2009

Tibetans and Tibet supporters from across Australia will gather on the lawns in front of Parliament House to commemorate 50 years since Tibetans rose up against Chinese rule and the Dalai Lama was forced into exile. Speakers will include Senator Bob Brown, Tibetan community leaders and representatives of the Australian All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet, Australia Tibet Council and Amnesty International Australia.

A delegation including Tibetan monks, community leaders and youth representatives will deliver a letter to the Prime Minister requesting he spearhead a new multilateral effort to resolve of the Tibet crisis.

"The actions of our Prime Minister and other world leaders have regrettably failed to relieve the suffering of the Tibetan people," said Ms. Zoe Bedford, Chair of the Australia Tibet Council. "We must move beyond our softly, softly approach and bring concerted international pressure on the Chinese Government to negotiate constructively on Tibet's future."

Last April Kevin Rudd raised the Tibet issue publicly in Beijing and in private with the Chinese leadership. However, Mr. Rudd has remained almost silent on Tibet since, despite the worsening crackdown and collapse of the Tibet-China dialogue.

The Chinese Government has rejected a proposal for genuine autonomy for Tibet(1) within the PRC and embarked on further provocation with the announcement that 28 March will be celebrated as "Serf's Emancipation Day"(2).

The lead-up to this year's anniversary has already seen a number of protests in Tibet areas(3), despite massive military presence and the threat of imprisonment and torture.

"Tibet is in a state of undeclared martial law," said Tenzin Gaden, President of the Tibetan Community of Sydney, describing an unprecedented military build-up across the Tibetan Plateau and strict new measures to punish dissidents, restrict all expressions of Tibetan culture and block the flow of information in and out of Tibet. "We are here today to speak out for the Tibetan people in Tibet, who for more than half a century have lived under the iron fist of Chinese rule. That the occupation of Tibet has remained unresolved for so long is one of the great disgraces of the modern world."

Tibetans in national dress and wearing black armbands will hold placards representing the scores of Tibetans left unaccounted for following the violent crackdown on demonstrations in Tibet last year.

From Parliament House, the group will march to the Chinese Embassy in Yaralumla for a demonstration condemning the continued repression and human rights abuses in Tibet.
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