By Tendar Tsering
Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay with Michael Danby, MP, House Speaker Mr Peter Slipper and former Speaker Harry Jenkins
DHARAMSHALA, June 28: In the Australian capital of Canberra, Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay met with a group of around 30 parliamentarians, including House Speaker Peter Slipper, Wednesday.
Dr Sangay who is currently on a weeklong maiden visit as the elected leader of the Tibetan people to the island nation, met with lawmakers from both Houses, representing all the political parties.
“The Australian parliament sent a strong message of support for Tibet by turning up to meet Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay in large numbers,” Central Tibetan Administration said on its official website today.
The report said Dr Sangay held in-depth discussions on the state of “Tibet-China relations, Tibetan democracy, the Middle Way policy and China’s leadership change.”
“The parliamentarians expressed their strong support for the Tibetan people and showed a keen interest in gaining a deeper understanding of the Tibet issue by engaging in a robust discussion with Kalon Tripa,” CTA said.
Speaking in the House of Representatives, Michael Danby, MP and Chair of the Australian All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet called on his government to speak the truth on Tibet.
“The truth is the Tibetan people have suffered enough under 60 years of Chinese oppression. Self-immolation is an act of desperation. It shows the Tibetan people are at the end of their rope,” Danby said.
Later in the day, the Tibetan leader took part in a roundtable discussion with Australia’s top China scholars at Australian National University, a leading university on China studies and international relations.
At the beginning of his trip, Dr Sangay, while acknowledging that Australia and China's trade relationship makes the Tibetan issue a sensitive subject, had noted that Tibetans need a “third party to intervene” as the situation in Tibet continues to worsen.
"Australia could intervene and assess the ground reality as to why Tibetans are self-immolating, why they are protesting, why they're getting shot at,” the 43-year-old Harvard law graduate had said.