Oz diplomat granted Access to Tibet

March 27th, 2008 - 7:37 pm ICT by admin  

Sydney, Mar 27 (ANI): A diplomatic delegation, including one senior Australian official, has been granted access to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa on Friday.

A spokeswoman for Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said the minister’s office received news of the official escorted tour late tonight.

“We have received advice from the Australian embassy in Beijing that the Chinese government has agreed to take a diplomatic delegation to Lhasa in Tibet, including one senior Australian diplomat,” she said.

“The official will be checking on the welfare and safety of the four known remaining Australians in Tibet,” the spokeswoman added.

Two of the four remaining Australians working for non-governmental organisations, while the other pair is tourist who are comfortable to stay, the spokeswoman said.

Seventeen Australians have received consular assistance to leave Tibet since violence broke out in the region two weeks ago.

Smith will request a report from the Australian official as soon as possible; the Sydney Morning Herald quoted the spokeswoman, as saying.

China has come under intense political pressure over human rights abuses in Tibet, with protesters disrupting the journey of the Olympic torch as it travels to Beijing.

Earlier, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said that they will continue to push for its diplomats to be given access to Tibet.

Violence in the region is threatening to overshadow his visit to China from April 9-12. Rudd confirmed Australian diplomats had been denied access to Tibet.

“My advice is they have sought that and it hasn’t been approved,” he told ABC Television. (ANI)

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