The Australian Greens say they are disappointed but not surprised that Labor and the Coalition united to vote down a motion about deteriorating human rights conditions in Tibet.
"Since March this year at least four monks and one nun have taken their lives by self-immolation in acts of protest to highlight abuses against Tibetan people," Greens' Tibet spokesperson, Sen. Hanson-Young, said today.
"Our Senate motion urged the Australian government to raise these matters with its Chinese counterpart, but the old parties declined to back it.
"There is no reason why the elected government of Australia is being timid by not standing up to Beijing.
"The Greens will continue using our voices for those who can't and highlight abuses against Tibetans in Tibet and surrounding areas."
The defeated Senate motion in full:
That the Senate:
i) The tragic deaths by self-immolation of four monks from the Kirti Monastery and one nun from the Dechen Chokorling nunnery, in Ngaba county eastern Tibet (Sichuan province) between 16 March and 17 October 2011, and
ii) Since March 2011 ten Tibetan people have set themselves on fire in order to highlight the continued human rights abuse and oppression of the Tibetan people.
i) The people of Tibet continue to be subject to appalling human rights abuses, and
ii) The Chinese authorities have continued to take repressive measures against monks and nuns, particularly of the Kirti Monastery, since the self-immolation of a monk in March this year; and
(c ) Calls on the Government to urge the Chinese government to cease repressive measures against the Tibetan people and respect human rights in Tibet.