• Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

Dicki-Chhoyang-Tibet-2014Canberra: - Tibetans living in Australia -- most of them now Australian citizens -- face intimidation from Chinese representatives here when they seek visas to visit relatives.

Dicki Choyyang, Kalon or Minister of the Central Tibetan Administration, yesterday made the allegation after holding meetings with members of the Tibetan and Chinese communities in Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne during her visit, ROWAN CALLICK has reported for The Australian.

"This is a development to which the Australian government and people have to be alerted," Ms Choyyang said.

She said people of Tibetan background -- of whom there are about 1000 in Australia -- had to travel to Canberra to apply in person for visas. The Chinese authorities, she said, "monitor the Tibetan community here closely".

People from Tibet were routinely asked whether they were members of the Australian Tibetan Association, whether they had participated in any demonstrations while in Australia, and whether they had made contributions to the Central Tibetan Administration based at Dharamsala in northern India.

"They are free as Australian citizens to participate in any lawful, peaceful activities," Ms Choyyang said. "This is a blatant infringement of Australia's sovereignty. For people involved, this is emotional blackmail."

Michael Danby, the Labor MP for Melbourne Ports and chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet, said: "The intimidation of Australian citizens is very concerning, and should not be put up with. I'll be writing to the Minister for Foreign Affairs to investigate these reports."

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Chinese embassy declined to comment.

In an interview with  the Australian News Network's Jim Middleton on Tuesday, she has appealed to Australians to help it engage with the Chinese Government, saying it wants Tibetan autonomy but not independence.

"We are not seeking independence, we are seeking a resolution to the issue of Tibet, through genuine autonomy or the ‘middle way’ approach, within the framework of China’s constitution, without challenging the political and territorial integrity of China," she added.

Cheap & Effective Advertising
E-mail: editor@thetibetpost.com