Sikyong Penpa Tsering, the democratically elected leader of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, formally known as the Central Tibetan Administration, will visit Australia from 17 to 25 June 2023. This is his first visit to Australia since becoming the Sikyong, a Tibetan title for President, in 2021.
His visit takes place amid China’s human rights violations in Tibet in Tibet. Reminiscent of Australia’s Stolen Generations, nearly one million Tibetan children have been reportedly separated from their families and forced into a vast network of Chinese colonial boarding schools, which UN rights experts have warned is an effort to assimilate Tibetans into the majority Han Chinese culture.
Sikyong Penpa will call on the Australian Government to help end what he calls a “cultural genocide” and the widespread human rights abuses taking place in Tibet at the hand of Australia’s key trading partner.
The visit is organised by the Tibet Information Office in Canberra and Australia Tibet Council.
There are public events in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane, and everyone is encouraged to join them, to learn about human rights abuses in Tibet.
Sunday 18 June, University of Technology Sydney
Join the UTS Asia Pacific Research Group for a public lecture by Sikyong Penpa on “Resolution of the Longstanding Sino-Tibet Conflict Is Imperative for World Peace.”
This event is organised by and for the Chinese democracy movement, but open to all. Registration for this event is essential.
Monday 19 June, NSW Parliament, Sydney
NITV Presenter & Western Arrernte woman Karla Grant will host an event with Sikyong Penpa on “Exploring the Tibetan refugee community’s resilience, embrace of democracy in exile and non-violent resistance against China’s invasion of Tibet.”
This conversation will highlight how Tibet is contributing to democracy in Exile, while Tibetan people maintaining a culture of peaceful resistance to occupation.
This event is hosted by Michael Regan, Member for Wakehurst and Mr James Griffin, Member for Manly.
Wednesday 21 June, National Press Club, Canberra
Sikyong Penpa will make an Address to the National Press Club on “Resolving Sino-Tibet conflict and securing peace in the region“.
The speech will also be broadcast live on ABC.
Thursday 22 June, Australia India Institute, Melbourne
The Australia India Institute invites you to “India and Tibet: Ancient Ties and Current Bonds” with Sikyong Penpa, in conversation with Lisa Singh, CEO of the Australia India Institute.
This event will explore thousands of years of shared culture, history and borders. Since 1959, India has become a safe haven for tens of thousands of Tibetan refugees fleeing China’s ongoing occupation of Tibet. Tibetans have built a vibrant community in India where they can freely practice their culture, provide education and build democratic institutions, including their government-in-exile.
Friday 23 June, Brisbane Powerhouse
Experience a rare opportunity to hear firsthand about the Sikyong Penpa’s vision for Tibet’s education and climate crisis, as he engages in conversation with Sarah Kanowski from ABC Radio’s Conversations, as part of the Festival of Tibet.
The evening will feature a moving performance by Grammy-nominated Tibetan-Australian musician Tenzin Choegyal.
These events are not organised by Amnesty International Australia. Amnesty International is concerned by the systematic repression of ethnic Tibetans by the Chinese authorities. Tibetans face discrimination and restrictions on their rights to freedom of religion and belief. They are subject to pervasive surveillance, arbitrary arrest and detention, decades in prison for exercising their expression, association and peaceful assembly.