March 2, 2006
Kalon Tripa Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche visited Australia from 15 to 21 February 2006 at the invitation of Mr. Michael Danby, MP of the Labour Party and chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet. The Australia-based All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet was founded on 6 December 2005 and the group announced that the year 2006 will be observed as the Year of Tibet in their country.
One of the major highlights was his visit to the Federal Parliament in Canberra, Australia. Kalon Tripa briefed the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Defence and Trade, the National Security Caucus Committee of the Australian Labour Party (ALP) and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet on the Middle-Way Approach of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, ongoing talks with the People's Republic of China and the present situation of the Tibetans in Tibet and in exile.
As requested, Kalon Tripa inaugurated the second Tibet conference in Australia and New Zealand on 18 February. The conference was organised by the Tibetan community of New South Wales and the Tibetans from New Zealand, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, New Castle and Darwin attended the conference.
Besides, Kalon Tripa addressed the prestigious Sydney Institute and took part in an interfaith gathering in Melbourne. During his week-long visit to Australia, Kalon Tripa met the members of the Tibet Support Groups like Australian Tibet Council, Tibet Friendship Group, etc.
Kalon Tripa also participated in a fund raising event as a chief guest along with Sogyal Rinpoche. The event was organised by Mr. Steve Kellelea and his associates who are old friends of the Tibetans. They raise funds for the Central Tibetan Relief Fund under the Home Department of the Central Tibetan Administration. Around 100,000 Australian dollars were raised at the charity event.
In New Zealand also Kalon Tripa briefed Tibet Support Groups, Tibetan community, members of the Dharma centre on the Middle-Way Approach, ongoing talk with the Chinese counterparts and present situation in Tibet and in exile.
Report sent by the Tibet Information Office, Australia