By Tenzin Sangmo
ATC and young Tibetan lobbyist at the Australia's Federal Parliament. Photo by ATC
DHARAMSHALA, September 10: The eighth round of Tibet lobby day of Australian Tibet Council (ATC) today sought to get reciprocal access to Tibet bill introduced in the Federal Parliament of Australia.
Sixteen young Tibetans from across the continent spent three days in Canberra getting trained for the first two days and meeting close to 50 Representatives and Senators
The Spring session of the 46th Parliament began from 9th to run till 19th September where both chambers sit for ten days.
Four groups of four members each met with the members of parliament and senators across parties to share their stories and to have Reciprocal Access to Tibet legislation passed in the parliament demanding equal access to Tibet for Australians as Chinese to Australia.
After the United States passed RATA in December last year, UK MP Tim Loughton introduced Tibet Reciprocal Access Bill in the House of Commons in June this year.
ATC is led by the member of the Tibetan parliament in exile, Kyizom Dhongdue representing the Tibetan community in Australasia and East Asia.
The lobby this year has stepped up its agenda to capitalize on the global spotlight on Beijing, sparked by the resistance of the Hong Kong protestors, the outcry over China’s treatment of Uighurs and cumulative threat China poses to democratic countries with its underhanded and pandemic influence.
China is the biggest trading partner of Australia, and its universities have become financially dependent on the fees paid by the overwhelming number of Chinese students.
The government has sought to curb the number of Chinese students, and representatives have rallied behind Hong Kong protestors recently.
Australia Tibet Council was founded in 1988, a nonprofit funded by members across Australia and campaigning for freedom and human rights of Tibetans.