50 years since Dalai Lama exiled

Tibetan exiles have gathered all around the world to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Tibetan uprising that forced the Dalai Lama into exile.

Rallies are expected to be held all around the world, including the northern Indian town of Dharamshala, where the Dalai Lama now lives in exile.

There have been calls around the world for China to end its repression of Tibet, and today a US lawmaker has introduced a non-binding resolution before Congress that would urge China to end its “repression” of the Himalayan region.

The US Congress was to vote Tuesday on the resolution. The bill, authored by Democratic Representative Rush Holt, also urged China to respond to initiatives of the Dalai Lama to find a lasting solution on Tibet.

China has initiated dialogue with the Dalai Lama but brands him a separatist. The 74-year-old monk, who preaches non-violence, says he is only seeking greater rights for Tibet within China.

Not everyone seems to be concerned with the anniversary however. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Beijing that concerns about Tibet and other human rights issues would take a back seat to working together in areas such as fighting the global economic crisis- a position the Tibetan demonstrators demanded she renounce.

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Will Australia have a Bill of Rights?

In December last year the Federal Government used the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to discuss the possibility of legislating a human rights charter. The document would not be based on the America charter which allows courts to override laws but on those legislated in the ACT, Victoria and Britain. I spoke to the Dean of Law at the University of Wollongong, Professor Luke McNamara about the likelihood of Australian gaining a Bill of Rights and the consequences of legislating such a charter.

Interview with the Dean of Law at the University of Wollongong, Professor Luke McNamara