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FOREIGN AFFAIRS—CHINA AND TIBET—HUMAN RIGHTS

Senator Hanson-Young, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 671—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.

Question put.

The Senate divided—

AYES, 10

Senators—

Brown, Bob

Di Natale

Hanson-Young

Ludlam

Madigan

Rhiannon

Siewert (Teller)

Waters

Wright

Xenophon

NOES, 37

Senators—

Abetz

Arbib

Back

Bernardi

Bilyk

Boyce

Brown, Carol

Cameron

Carr

Cash

Colbeck

Cormann

Crossin

Edwards

Fawcett

Feeney

Fifield

Furner

Gallacher

Hogg

Kroger

Ludwig

Lundy

Macdonald

Marshall

McEwen (Teller)

McKenzie

McLucas

Moore

Parry

Polley

Pratt

Ryan

Singh

Thistlethwaite

Urquhart

Williams

Question negatived.