Sydney University condemned for banning Dalai Lama

Human rights groups blast Sydney University over its decision to cancel a planned visit by the Dalai Lama.

John Kaye media statement:
The University of Sydney has withdrawn an invitation to the Dalai Lama to
speak on campus in June. The University has compromised its independence to
protect its financial ties with the Chinese government, according to Greens
NSW MP John Kaye.

('Uni under fire for pulling pin on Dalai Lama event', ABC TV 730, 17

Greens NSW MP John Kaye said: "The University has allowed its close
financial ties with the Chinese government to drive a decision that
impinges on freedom of speech and the institution's integrity.

"The evidence is clear that the University's close and lucrative
relationship with the Chinese government would have come under significant
financial pressure if the administration had allowed the Dalai Lama speak
on its campus.

"It has sacrificed its integrity and reputation as a place of impartial
learning to placate the Chinese government and protect the continued
funding of its Confucius Institute and support from other agencies of the
Chinese government.

"This is the worst kind of constraint on intellectual freedom.

"When an institution allows economic pressure or even the threat of
economic to determine who can and cannot be heard on campus, then the
values of scholarship and inquiry have been badly compromised.

"Sydney University has developed extremely close ties with the Chinese
government, which part funds the Confucius Institute and host a number of
exchanges, including numerous visits from the Vice Chancellor.

"It appears that even the risk of damaging these ties and the money they
bring to the university is enough for management to compromise its
reputation and deny their students exposure to an important 21st century

"Management is currently trying to remove guarantees of intellectual
freedom including the right to criticise the admiration of the university.

"It is perhaps a bit clearer why they would want to muzzle academics who
might not be happy when a leading international figure is excluded from the
campus because of economic pressure, either direct or indirect, from the
Chinese government," Dr Kaye said.

Sydney Uni student Sophie Bouris has started a petition at

Sign the petition here: