Thursday, 28 June 2012
Statements by Members
Sangay, Dr Lobsang
I want to mention the visit to parliament this week of Dr Lobsang Sangay, who was sworn in as the Tibetan leader in exile, the Kalon Tripa or Prime Minister, after a democratic process that followed a handover by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2011. Dr Sangay was born in a Tibetan refugee settlement in northern India, and his remarkable life and talent led him to become a Fulbright scholar and the first Tibetan to receive a doctorate from Harvard Law School. Dr Sangay won the historic election as leader after a campaign calling for unity, self-reliance and innovation.
It was an honour to meet Dr Sangay and welcome him to his important and critical role at a time when the situation in Tibet has intensified. In the last 12 months we have seen a new wave of resistance and repression, marked by more than 30 self-immolations by Tibetans in protest, and the harsh Chinese military crackdown that has occurred.
The new Tibetan Prime Minister calls for a peaceful resolution of the Tibet issue in keeping with the Dalai Lama's 'middle way' policy of seeking genuine autonomy for Tibet within the framework of the Chinese constitution. There are many people in this place who support Dr Sangay and his desire to pursue a peaceful but swift resolution to the Tibetan issue. Dr Sangay's election has been widely welcomed by people in Tibet and by Tibetans in exile, and I know that many people in Australia would wish him well in his difficult but important role.