Melbourne: Australia on Monday sought China`s permission to send a top diplomat and lawmakers to Tibet to investigate a spate of reported suicides in the Himalayan plateau, a move that could irk Beijing.
Foreign Minister Bob Carr said that Australian Ambassador to Beijing Frances Adamson was seeking permission to visit Tibet to investigate the reasons for the self-immolations by young Buddhist monks and nuns, Australian news agency AAP reported.
Close to 30 Tibetans have set themselves ablaze during the past 12 months to protest against Chinese rule and Carr described protests as "distressing".
The Foreign Minister said that the ambassador will also ask Beijing to allow an Australian parliamentary delegation to tour Tibet.
"Our ambassador will be seeking today to travel to Tibet to see for herself the grievances that have given rise to the self-immolations," Carr told the Senate.
Adamson`s deputy also would make a request to inspect Tibetan establishments in adjourning Sichuan province. Carr`s announcement came as a delegation of 12
Tibetan-Australians visited Canberra to discuss the shocking protests with government, opposition and cross-bench parliamentarians.
Delegation leader Kyinzom Dhongdue welcomed Carr`s announcement.
China is Australia`s biggest trade partner in Asia with the two-way trade topping USD 106 billion in 2010.