By, Tsering Choephel
DHARAMSALA, 21 November: The Kalon (minister) of the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) for the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), Norzin Dolma, delivered an address at the Australian Parliament House, urging Australian leaders to “have a principled engagement and not to compromise on your values, principles and priorities” as Australia recalibrate its trade relations with China.
During her inaugural visit to Australia on 16November, Kalon visited the Parliament House and engaged with Australian politicians from various political spectrums. The Australian All-Party Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet hosted a “Tibet Briefing” meeting, attended by Deputy Speaker Sharon Claydon and Co-Chairs MP Susan Templeman, Senator Dean Smith, and Senator Janet Rice, as reported by Tibet.net, the official site of CTA.
At the meeting, Kalon addressed the critical situation inside Tibet, outlined Tibetan expectations from the Australian government, and spoke on CTA’s efforts to resolve the Sino-Tibetan Conflict through the Middle Way Approach, according to the report. She also called for robust recommendations on human rights in Tibet during the upcoming UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on China scheduled for January 2024.
Given the recent diplomatic tour of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to Beijing, Dolma cautioned the Australian government against adopting a “quiet diplomacy” approach to address “gross human rights abuses” and “brutal suppression” in Tibet, as reported by The Guardian on 16 November.
Dolma urged the Australian government to leverage its new Magnitsky-style sanctions laws to target Chinese Communist Party officials responsible for “threatening the very existence, survival, and maintenance of Tibetan identity, culture, and language.” Additionally, Kalon called on governments to oppose the Chinese Communist Party’s interference in the selection process of the next Dalai Lama.
On the same day, the Australian All-Party Parliamentary Tibet Group wrote to Foreign Minister Penny Wong, urging her to raise the Sino-Tibet conflict and China’s appalling human rights record at the upcoming UN Periodical Review. The letter also called upon the abolishment of human rights violation inside Tibet, including the vast network of boarding schools that the UN experts deemed as “a policy of forced assimilation of the Tibetan identity into the dominant Han-Chinese majority, through a series of oppressive actions against Tibetan educational, religious and linguistic institutions.”
The letter also condemned CCP’s hijacking of Tibet’s traditional process of selecting and installation of Tibetan Buddhist leaders, including the Dalai Lama.
DIIR’s Kalon Norzin Dolma attended the inauguration of the Voluntary Tibet Advocacy Group (V-TAG) Australis Strategy Meeting Gand Advocacy Training. Australian Senator Janet Rice was the guest of honour at the event.
Currently, Kalon is touring New Zealand where she is scheduled to participate as one of the speaker at the Annual Summit of Asia Pacific Security Innovation (AASPI) Forum, a leading New Zealand think tank.