DHARAMSHALA, November 17: Parliamentarians in South Africa and Australia have raised concerns over the recent spate of self-immolations in Tibet, as a result of which six Tibetans have died since March this year.
Michael Danby and Laurie Ferguson, both members of the Australian parliament called upon China to end its “heightened repressive measures” against the monks at Kirti Monastery in Ngaba in eastern Tibet.
Danby, Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, speaking in the Australian parliament last week said that the crackdown on Tibetan monks since the 2008 uprising has been “brutal and repressive.”
“The crackdown on the monks at Kirti Monastery exemplifies the wider crackdown across Tibet against any expression of Tibetan identity through their religious practice. This process of eliminating Tibetan cultural heritage and the removal of monks from their monasteries is in direct violation of the freedom of religion and belief,” Danby said.
Last month, the Australian government had asked Beijing to address the underlying causes of tensions in Tibet.
Delivering statements in the South African Parliament, members of parliament, Mario GK Oriani Ambrosini and Steve Mokgalapa last week paid tribute to 35-year old Tibetan nun Palden Choetso, who burned herself to death, calling for freedom in Tibet, and return of the Dalai Lama earlier this month.
“We must join hands and voices to urge the Chinese government to stop its repressive polices and human rights violations, allow basic freedom of religion and speech, allow independent media and international delegation of parliamentarians to travel to Tibetans areas to examine the actual situation,” Mario-Ambrosini appealed to the parliament.
Steven Mokgalapa, while addressing the Parliament, urged fellow parliamentarians to stand up for the rights of the Tibetans.
“As a nation that has benefited from international pressure to end apartheid, we too need to support the right to self-determination of to other states,” said Mokgalapa.