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Australia not standing up to China, Tibetan PM says
Phayul[Tuesday, December 08, 2009 18:33]

Dharamsala, December 8: Australia and the rest of the world lack the courage to stand up to China on human rights abuses, Australian media reported Tibetan Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche as saying.

In this file photo, Tibetan Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche addresses during a public function in Dharamsala, India. (Photo: Phayul.com/file)
In this file photo, Tibetan Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche addresses during a public function in Dharamsala, India. (Photo: Phayul.com/file)
Rinpoche, who is currently on a five-day visit in Australia at the invitation of the Parliament of the World's Religions conference, said countries merely appeased China out of fear or greed.

"The small countries appease China due to fear, the bigger countries appease China due to greed,'' AAP quoted Rinpoche as saying in Melbourne today.

"The human rights and democracy is not important. The market is more important.

"So we are not satisfied with the behaviour of outside states and powers,” he said.

Rinpoche, however, said that no grudge is held against leaders who do not meet with the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Dalai Lama is towards the leg of his 11-day tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Leaders of both the countries have decided not to meet Dalai Lama during the exiled Tibetan leader’s visit.

"Not meeting, or not welcoming the Dalai Lama, we have no grudge,'' Rinpoche said.

"But what we are disappointed with is the entire human approach as far as human rights is concerned."

The problem was not confined to China, he said.

Little progress was being made by the international community to stop human rights abuses in other countries, including on the African continent.

But China, with one of the world's largest populations, was one of the worst offenders.

"But the world has no courage to stop it, or to improve it," Rinpoche said.

Rinpoche, who became the first directly elected Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile based in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala in 2001, is currently serving his second consecutive term in the office after being re-elected in 2006.

As the elected head of the government, his two main objectives have been to find a solution to the Tibet problem and to look after the welfare of the Tibetan community in exile, particularly those living in India, Nepal and Bhutan.

His government is pursuing the Middle-Way policy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama that advocates patient negotiations with China for meaningful autonomy rather than outright independence for Tibet.

When Rinpoche was elected, talks between the Tibetan community and China had broken down eight years earlier.

The dialogue was restored in 2002 and since then eight rounds of talks and one informal meeting were held between the Tibetan and Chinese representatives, but without yielding any positive outcome.

"We are not seeking separation, we are not seeking restoration of independence," Rinpoche said.

"We are only seeking the constitutional provisions of the national autonomy for the Tibetans. That is within the constitutional framework of the PRC (People's Republic of China)," he added.

At the last round of talks held in Beijing in October 2008, a memorandum was handed to China on how to implement the constitution to give Tibet cultural and spiritual autonomy.

China categorically rejected the memorandum and the talks came to an abrupt halt since then.

But Rinpoche said the Tibetan community, in exile since 1959, must be patient.

In Melbourne, the Tibetan Prime Minister, who is a highly recognised Buddhist scholor himself, will adress the 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions, supposedly the world’s largest inter-faith gathering held after every five years.

Rinpoche will deliver a talk on “Compassion: A Buddhist Approach” on Wednesday morning.

During the inter-faith conference, Rinpoche will also take part in a panel discussion on 'Compassion as a human value – Global food crisis as a spiritual challenge'.
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