Australia’s top diplomat in China will be requesting Chinese authorities for an official visit to Tibet, where about 30 monks and nuns, mostly young people, have set themselves on fire in protest against Chinese policies in the region. Via AP:
Foreign Minister Bob Carr told the Senate on Monday that Ambassador Frances Adamson “will be seeking today to travel to Tibet to see for herself the grievances which have given rise to the self-immolations.”
She will also request separate permission for Australian lawmakers to visit the Himalayan region.
Tibetan news site Phayul adds:
Senator Carr’s announcement came as a delegation of 12 Tibetan-Australians visited Canberra to discuss the shocking protests with government, opposition and crossbench parliamentarians.
Delegation leader Kyinzom Dhongdue welcomed Senator Carr’s announcement but said, “we’ll have to wait and see” whether the Chinese government allows the Australian delegation to visit Tibet.
Interestingly, Carr described the Dalai Lama as a “significant religious leader.” He has previously been known to describe the Tibetan spiritual leader as a “cunning monk” on his personal blog, but he deleted those remarks shortly after being appointed foreign minister.