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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Australia not standing up to China - Tibetan PM

December 12, 2009

From: AAP December 08, 2009 8:36PM

Herald Sun, Australia

AUSTRALIA and the rest of the world lack the courage to stand up to
China on human rights abuses, the first elected political leader of the
exiled Tibetan Government says.

In Australia at the invitation of the Parliament of the World's
Religions conference, Tibetan Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche 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,'' he said 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.''

Mr Rinpoche, who has lived in exile in Dharamsala, India - the base of
the Dalai Lama - since fleeing Tibet in 1959, said that no grudge is
held against leaders who do not meet the Dalai Lama.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will not be meeting the Dalai Lama during the
Tibetan spiritual leader's visit to Australia this month.

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

Mr Rinpoche was elected as the first leader of the exiled Tibetan
government in 2001 and re-elected to a second term in 2006.

His two main objectives have been to find a solution to the Tibet
problem and to look after the welfare of Tibetans in exile, particularly
those living in India, Nepal and Bhutan.

The first goal is underway.

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

He restored the dialogue in 2002 and has since held eight rounds of talks.

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

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

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

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