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Thursday, 1 March 2012
Page: 1365


Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (11:58): I move:

That the Senate—

   (a)   notes the deteriorating human rights situation in China and Tibet over recent months, including the following developments:

      (i)   the imposition of a media blackout by Chinese authorities in Sichuan, Qinghai and the region of Tibet since 24 January 2012, including shutting down the presence of international and non government media organisations and coverage of pro-Tibetan activities, which has been documented by global press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders,

      (ii)   the continuation of Tibetan people self-immolating as a form of protest that now amounts to 23 self-immolations and 15 deaths since February 2009,

      (iii)   the increased Chinese military presence since early 2012 on the streets of Lhasa, Serthar and parts of eastern Tibet which has been described by the exiled Tibetan Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay as a state of ‘undeclared martial law’, and

      (iv)   a reported increase in arbitrary arrests of hundreds of Tibetans by Chinese authorities since 6 February 2012 upon the Tibetans’ return from the annual Buddhist Kalachakra ceremony in Bodhgaya, India, which has been condemned by international organisation Human Rights Watch; and

   (b)   calls on the Australian Government to:

      (i)   urge the Chinese Government to restore press freedom and release any Tibetan people who have been arbitrarily arrested on account of their political or religious views, and

      (ii)   support the call by exiled Tibetan Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay on 21 February 2012 for a United Nations special investigator to undertake a fact finding mission in Tibet to better inform the international community of the situation.

The PRESIDENT: The question is that the motion moved by Senator Hanson-Young be agreed to.