Has Sydney University Snubbed The Dalai Lama To Appease China?

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Why would a supposedly apolitical academic institution, based in a nation priding itself on values of democracy and tolerance, choose to have a close association with a totalitarian regime that tortures, enslaves and murders countless numbers of people? A question that we need to place before the University Of Sydney which has been reported as appeasing the Chinese authorities in its decision to cancel hosting upon its campus a planned speech by the Dalai Lama, scheduled for June. Instead  Tibet’s former political leader is being asked to relocate to some undisclosed location, possibly his hotel where it has been suggested a number of colleges could take part and his address streamed online. It would appear the University of Sydney is happy for him to speak as long as it nowhere near their premises, raising serious questions on its independence and commitment to free speech and human rights. Meanwhile the Provost of the University has issued April 17 a statement claiming no official request was made for the Dalai Lama to give a talk. Whatever the facts it will be difficult for skeptics not to conclude that a decision to conform to Chinese sensitivities on the issue of Tibet was made,  which if so would effectively snub a Nobel Peace holder, and hardly enhance the University’s reputation. Perhaps the only people applauding this development will be found within China’s regime.

An ABC television report on this may be viewed here http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-17/university-shuts-down-dalai-lama-visit/4635906

Anyone wishing to express their concern to the University Of Sydney may email its Provost Professor Garton and Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence Office here:  vice.chancellor@sydney.edu.au

7 thoughts on “Has Sydney University Snubbed The Dalai Lama To Appease China?

  1. Grace says:

    I suggest to all potential students- boycott Sydney Uni. Their standards are obviously slipping to below unacceptable.

    • Thanks Grace, yes we hope that students at the University Of Sydney will take action on this disgraceful attitude towards a man representing values which usually would be expected to be at the center of a University’s ethos.

  2. Kerry Wright says:

    Dear Professor Garton (Acting Vice-Chancellor, Sydney University) and Dr Michael Spence (Vice-Chancellor)
    vice.chancellor@sydney.edu.au;

    Re 7.30 Report 17/4/13 ABC TV
    http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2013/s3739450.htm

    I am a senior Australian teacher, and live, study, research and work in Dharamsala, India. I am a highly credible and long-term witness to all that is happening for Tibetans, largely unreported. I am completely shocked by what you have done here, and the implications for our nation and our democracy.

    Sir, this all goes far, far beyond ‘who is supporting who’…

    Not only is His Holiness the Dalai Lama CLEARLY AND UNEQUIVOCALLY a true global peacemaker, with NO insidious intent and consistent adherence to non-violence and autonomy for Tibet – but you have just thrown up the worst side of the current ‘sell-out’ that Australia is doing morally around this crucial global issue. Of course the Tibetan people all want freedom from their murderous oppressors who are destroying everything – who wouldn’t if it was us? – including a large part of the water supply of the world. So would China as they well know (which is why they are relying on Australian stupidity to help them keep this brutal control). Sir, with this single act of oppression you are making Australia seem uninformed, greedy and backward, when even India (who faces off China on its borders every day, and is deeply, deeply uncertain and nervous, and looking for example that will work) has far more courage than us!

    How can we hold our head up – in an international sense – and assist others from a place of privilege to be free and transparent in a world heading for disaster, when we are so self-serving (and should I say the truth, dangerously naive?) and blatantly profiting like this short-term from the genocide and misery of others?

    You cannot talk about peace and sell out principles, and basically ‘suck up’ to an inhumane monster like this, and not be seen as completely cowardly – and corrupt.

    This is not the time to ‘do deals’ with the 2013 mass murderers. It is a time for Australia (and its Chinese people, who must also think carefully) to stand clearly – with all decent people and all nations – on its principles. I just hope it has some left!

    The reasons for the self-immolations are clear: the situation in Tibet is like a gulag. The Tibetans are being wiped out in all ways, slowly and surely. They are silenced, which is why decent people speak for them. The way to go with China is NOT to play the game, it is to universally stand up to their demands and absurd ‘petulence’ – and object to the endless games and murders. SIR, CHINA DOES NOT RESPECT THOSE WHO SHOW NO STRENGTH!

    These (over 120 people: nuns, monks, mothers, men, women, wives, sisters, children) have sacrificed their precious lives in such a painful way BECAUSE THEY HAD NO CHOICE- and to show the world the truth: that they would have lost their lives anyway. This way they are merely doing it publicly. THEY HAD UNBELIEVABLE COURAGE!

    There was another on 16/4, a young mother.
    No-one is encouraging them- quite the opposite. They have just had enough.

    If the Dalai Lama is ‘lying’ (in any way) as the Chinese regime so constantly insists, then USE YOUR ACADEMIC TRAINING AND INVESTIGATE! Surely that is better than making money from such a brutal, inhumane – and totally uncompromising – regime.

    Ask your friends if you can go and visit Tibet. Or India. Take Tibetans from here as interpreters, forget the gross lie of ‘Mandarin-speaking, happy Tibetans’. (Nazi Germany had flower boxes in their camps, as they killed… 8-20 million?) See what China says to you as an answer, to this simple request… ‘Friend’.

    All China has done with this massive and highly significant Tibet issue since 1959 is… lie. And project. Endlessly. And ‘finger-wag’. And attack. And block free speech. Anyone who has ever met His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and heard and read all his speeches, could not miss the consistency of his stance, the basic point.

    Professor Garton, there is a dangerous price to pay for all this obsequiousness. Tibet is showing the world clearly what is ahead, if we do not stand up for what is right. CHINA DOES NOT CARE ABOUT ANYTHING MORE THAN ITS BIZARRE CONCEPT OF WORLD DOMINANCE! The new leaders are not making ANY private or public changes.

    The call for integrity is individual: where do YOU stand, Sir, on clear genocide.

    It is not rocket science to work out why your ‘friends’ will not allow any visits to Tibet! It is not rocket science to see why so many people are afraid of China, as it rewrites any part of history it wants to. It is not rocket science to see where truth lies.

    The worrying signs have been in my country now for some years, but I must admit, I (and none of my friends who all graduated from Sydney and NSW Universities) could have expected such a shoddy incident as this.

    This all also begs the question: Who is to gain form this stance, and who gave you a mandate to commit Australia to an alliance with a huge threatening nation with no moral integrity? You are certainly not doing this terrible thing in my name!

    Australia is at a deeply worrying juncture. We are now 1/26 Chinese, (the Chinese people tell me they are now 1.5m) most of whom are heavily propagandised, even to the point of saying ‘They can all burn, we don’t care’ and ‘They are never getting their land back’. This is yet another incident that spells a systematic eroding of freedom of speech in Australia, and basic democratic rights – not to mention common human decency. From an educational institution of the status of University of Sydney there are no excuses.

    Sir, the world does not belong to the USA and China. Old paradigms of male and war and military dominance are surely from a terrible past. We need to EDUCATE China’s backwards, out of touch leaders, not smile at them, obey their every whim – and cause more deaths of innocents.

    I would suggest an IMMEDIATE retraction, and a meeting with the Tibetan torture survivors and the Tibet Information Office, and a reinstatement of this event with some remaining dignity.

    Alternatively, you could publicly state exactly who you are representing in Australia – and why. There would be for example very few informed women (many of whom were educated to have a voice) who would support your stance.

    At the moment I have never felt so ashamed to be Australian.

    Sincerely
    Kerry Wright
    (Teacher, and humanitarian)

  3. Jane Crow says:

    Bravo Kerry Wright and Tibet Truth for highlighting the many problems with this news. The continuing pressure from China’s CCP on politicians, the media and now educators gives lie to the reason the West gave for having economic dealings with them. We were told economic ties would help bring Chinese politics towards a more humanitarian approach. Wrong! Instead they are trying to buy our silence or muddy the water with more lies.

    It is so important for universities to have integrity, freedom of expression and debate. What message is Sydney Uni sending out to young people with this move? That money and power are more important than freedom, education, non-violence and compassion? I hope students around the world will tell them this is not an acceptable way to act..

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