Seanad debates

Wednesday, 12 March 2003

10:30 am

Photo of David NorrisDavid Norris (Independent)

The Leader graciously accepted that there might be a need for a debate on Tibet. Will she examine the matter with more urgency and arrange a time for such a debate? When I raised the matter yesterday, I did not realise that the Minister for Foreign Affairs, without consultation of either House of the Oireachtas or the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, has, on behalf of the people, made a violent change in the attitude of Ireland to Tibet. Without any substantiation, he has suggested that we accept Tibet is a part of China. This was never discussed, is not part of Government policy and contradicts what has been said by previous Ministers for Foreign Affairs.

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform should further explain Garda rules under which a ludicrous situation recently obtained in a Dublin courts. In the instance to which I refer, the trial of a Mongolian national was aborted because the translator was not fully competent and was also a witness for the prosecution. It is quite bizarre that a witness for the prosecution was translating the contribution of the Mongolian national accused.


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