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Senate President says ‘no’ to Dalai Lama as Beijing bosses hover.

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Senator Bob Brown Senator for Tasmania

Senate President says ‘no’ to Dalai Lama as Beijing bosses hover

15th May 07

The President of the Senate, Paul Calvert, has rejected the proposal that Nobel Peace Prize winner, the Dalai Lama, be given an official parliamentary reception when he visits Canberra next month.

Releasing the president’s letter (attached) in which he says “unfortunately, as I am sure you will understand, I have to be mindful of international sensitivities…’ Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown said that this was a craven capitulation to the communist bosses in Beijing.

“Beijing rules. This is in such stark contrast to the Prime Minister’s $2 million allocation to have Australian cricketers withdraw from the tour of Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.”

“President Hu represses political and religious dissent and has 23,000 police monitoring citizens emails. If a Chinese citizen seeks a website about freedom in Tibet, the police are knocking on their door within the hour. There are more than 100 political prisoners in jail in Tibet alone.

“If John Howard tried to set up a Liberal Party in Beijing he would go straight to jail. Yet the Senate President, who is acting under Government direction, has banned the Dalai Lama at president Hu’s pleasure - it is Howard Government kowtowing to President Hu and

it lets down Australia’s proud self-image of defying dictators and welcoming peace makers.”

Senator Brown said that he is working with MPs from other parties to co-host a parliamentary reception for the Dalai Lama in Parliament House’s Main Committee Room between 4.30pm and 5.30pm on Tuesday, 12th June after the Dalai Lama’s Press Club appearance.

Further information: Ebony Bennett 0409 164 603