World Human Rights Day in Australia



World Human Rights Day in Australia: The Tibetan Nonviolent Struggle
with Tenzin Dorjee and Jenny Leong MP – Member for Newtown

NONVIOLENT MOVEMENTS FOR FREEDOM and democracy over the last decade, particularly during the Arab Spring, have brought the subject of civil resistance some long overdue attention from global media, scholars and practitioners. There is a small body of literature on the role of nonviolent resistance in the Tibetan struggle. While some have studied the subject in anthropological terms, few have examined it in sociopolitical terms.

US-based Tibetan activist, writer and musician, Tenzin Dorjee who is visiting Australia in December to promote his book, The Tibetan Nonviolent Struggle: A Strategic and Historical Analysis, also points out that the current discourse casts Tibet as a problem of human rights, cultural preservation or religious freedom, thereby drastically reducing the scope of discussion as well as action on the subject.

Tenzin argues that reframing Tibet as a problem of self-determination or decolonization, will make possible a more expansive discussion of the subject in any forum, put China on the defensive, and allow the free world to engage with China from a position of strength.

Tenzin Dorjee is a leading figure in the global Tibetan freedom Movement. In his Monograph published by the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC), Tenzin explores the birth and evolution of the Tibetan nonviolent resistance movement from the 1950s to present through the lens of strategic nonviolent conflict. His study, which involved rigorous research and quantitative analysis of 323 movements over the course of a century, concludes that nonviolent movements are more than twice as likely to succeed as armed movements.

“Tibet is the ultimate laboratory of nonviolent conflict,” says Dorjee. “Success for the Tibetan movement for self-determination will forever overturn conventional notions about the power of violence, and will promote nonviolent action as the supreme instrument to pursue freedom and justice. Therefore, all those who seek peace and shun war must support the Tibetan cause,” he appeals.

The launch of this book comes at a time the Chinese government are exercising an increasing amount of influence culturally, politically, economically and socially in both domestic and international affairs. China watchers and human rights defenders are alarmed at China’s growing regional influence and infiltration of Chinese money into Australia’s major political parties and institutions, and the continued crackdown on human rights domestically and all forms of dissent within Tibet.

During this intensely repressive political environment, this is a rare and inspiring study on how Tibetans are channelling their spirit of resistance into both non-cooperative and cultural capital building activities to non-violently press for freedom.

Jenny Leong MP, State Member for the Electorate of Newtown and Greens spokesperson for human rights affirms, “The nonviolent struggle of the Tibetan people has been an inspiration for so many and it is wonderful that we are able to host Tenzin in the NSW Parliament.”

At a time of serious threat to the collective defence of universal human rights worldwide, Jenny Leong MP affirms with optimism, “We must do all we can to ensure human rights remain front and centre in all the work we do – whether locally in NSW or across the globe.”

To kick off Tenzin’s Australian program, Jenny Leong MP will be joined by special guests on 7 December at the Jubilee Room at NSW State Parliament, Sydney to officially launch Tenzin Dorjee’s landmark study at 6pm.


Tenzin Dorjee is available for interview from 6 December.
Contact Tenpa Dugdak to arrange on 0431 024 813
or email

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