My name is Sophie Bouris. I am studying human rights at the University of Sydney. I have many years of experience working with the Tibetan community.
You may have seen me on 7.30 on ABC TV last night speaking about my university cancelling a talk by the Dalai Lama on the importance of education.
The Dalai Lama is a champion of human rights, democracy and peace. In particular, he has made tremendous investments in the education of the Tibetan people. I can’t think of anyone more appropriate in today’s world to speak on these values than the Dalai Lama.
By bowing to Chinese pressure and withdrawing its support to host the Dalai Lama, Sydney University has seriously compromised its academic freedom and integrity.
Please join me in sending a strong message to the Vice-Chancellor of Sydney University to defend the values of our academic institutions and our free society.
The Dalai Lama is a global icon of peace, democracy and human rights. He speaks to thousands of students on campuses around the world. He is loved and respected by the public, institutions and governments worldwide for his unparalleled contribution to humanity.
China is the only country which fails to recognize the Dalai Lama's contribution. It shocks me to learn that a prestigious Australian university allows itself to be swayed by China's pressure. With this decision, your university has breached the values of academic freedom and integrity.
It has also sent a disheartening message to the Tibetan people, who look to the Dalai Lama with hope, in their non-violent struggle for basic human freedom and justice.
I am deeply concerned over the wider ramifications that your university’s decision has for the much-cherished values of our free and open society.
Stand up for academic integrity. Stand up for the Dalai Lama and his unparalleled work in promoting democracy, human rights and peace in the world.