"The old parties may go on ignoring Tibetan people, but the Greens are again using their voices to highlight Tibetan peoples' rights to their traditional homelands and to spiritual and political expression," Greens' spokesperson for Tibet, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.
"Last weekend our party members agreed to keep vigilant about the ongoing problems in Tibet and surrounding areas where four monks and a nun have died by self-immolation in recent months.
"Since March this year at least 11 Tibetans have taken the desperate course of setting themselves alight to highlight continued human rights abuses.
"Despite many parliamentarians paying lip-service to the cause of Tibet, the government and Coalition banded together to vote down my motion in the Senate on October 31. In doing so they missed an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the deteriorating human rights conditions and oppression in Tibet and to remind the Chinese government that the world is watching its repressive measures.
"The Australian Greens will continue working towards an end to the plundering of Tibet's natural resources and political recognition of Tibetans' own elected representatives. Unlike the old parties, the Greens are not afraid to stand up for what's right."
Full wording of the motion accepted by consensus at the Australian Greens' national conference is as follows:
That the Australian Greens recognise the rights of the Tibetan peoples over their traditional homelands and their rights to self determination including cultural and spiritual expression. We recognise their elected representatives.
Further we condemn the plundering of Tibet's natural resources and destruction of Tibetan cultures by the Chinese Government. This conference calls on the government of China to end the repression in Tibet and heed the call of the Tibetans for restoration of their rights and freedom