Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tibet: Australia seeks access for its diplomats

Michelle Grattan, March 21, 2008

AUSTRALIA has stepped up pressure on China by asking for its diplomats to be allowed to travel to embattled Tibet.

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said Australia was seeking permission for its diplomats to go into Tibet to ensure the safety and welfare of the remaining few Australians there, and to look out for the welfare of Tibetans.

The move came as China yesterday expelled the remaining foreign journalists from Tibet, and launched a massive military build-up in the capital, Lhasa, in reaction to the recent spread of violent protests against its rule.

One of the last journalists expelled from Lhasa, German Georg Blume, described a convoy about two kilometres long, with 200 trucks. "Each had 30 soldiers on board, so that's about 6000 military personnel in one convoy," he said. Witnesses described security forces moving from door to door. Full Article Link

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