Save Tibetan lives press conference before G20

Global Day of Action calls for global diplomatic intervention for Tibet

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Save Tibetan lives press conference before G20
Photo by David Huang

Dharamsala, November 2: On the eve of the G20 Summit, Tibetans and their supporters joined a Global Day of Action to highlight a Campaign for Global Intervention, an urgent call to world leaders to exert multilateral pressure on Chinese President Hu Jintao to ease tensions in Tibet. In Dharamsala the 5 major Tibetan NGOs held a press conference, coordinated by International Tibet Network.

So far thousands of people worldwide have supported this new campaign to resolve the escalating crisis in Tibet, where ten young Tibetans have self-immolated since March 2011; if you have not already done so, please support us by signing and sharing these petitions: Stand up for Tibet and Avaaz – Save Tibetan lives.

“These unprecedented acts by Tibetans are the ultimate form of non-violent action and TYC recognizes these as valuable sacrifices,” said Tsewang Rigzin, President of Tibetan Youth Congress. “China’s merciless and violent crackdown is intensifying Tibetan grievances and exacerbating this crisis. So long as the occupation of Tibet persists so will the resistance against it by the Tibetan people.”

Statements of concern following the self-immolations in Tibet have been issued by a number of governments, such as the United States, Germany and also the European Parliament. Campaigners are calling for a more coordinated, multilateral approach, including a joint démarche and the urgent creation of an appropriate and effective multi-lateral mechanism through which future diplomatic measures concerning Tibet can be agreed. Lobbying efforts have won the support of parliamentarians around the world, see www.StandupforTibet.org.

“Today, in 60 cities around the world, Tibetans and supporters are saying Enough! Enough to China’s violent, military rule over Tibet, and Enough to world leaders for failing to hold Beijing accountable for its atrocities in Tibet. Inaction now will only lead to the tragic loss of countless more Tibetan lives, and we cannot stand by and let that happen,” said Dorjee Tseten, National Director of Students for a Free Tibet India.

“The government of the People’s Republic of China should immediately release all those detained since 16 March 2011 and account for the whereabouts of all those who have self-immolated since 2009,” said Lukar Jam, Vice President of Gu-Chu-Sum Movement for Tibet.

“This growing tragedy, if left unchecked, could spiral even further into a nation-wide crisis across Tibet, unless the world acts now. We are calling for global diplomatic intervention to save Tibetan lives,” said Kirti Dolkar Lhamo, President of Tibetan Women’s Association.

“We are calling for a global advocacy and grassroots campaign, to put pressure on our governments to take action for Tibet at this critical time,” said Chime Youngdung, President of the National Democratic Party of Tibet.

“Since 2009, 11 young Tibetans have lit themselves on fire in an unprecedented series of actions protesting Chinese rule and calling for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet,” said Tsering Choedup, Asia Coordinator of the International Tibet Network, a global coalition of more than 180 Tibet Groups.

The harsh reaction of the Chinese government authorities to the 2008 protests across Tibet and the follow-on compulsory “patriotic reeducation” or “legal education” at Tibetan monasteries. Although protests in Tibet have been initiated and joined by all sectors of the society, including students, monks and nuns are frequent targets of repression given that religious practice connected to the Dalai Lama is viewed as subversive by the Chinese government. Elements of the security crackdown in Tibet that began as a reaction to the 2008 protests are ongoing with tightened control all around the country.

Our Demands:

The People’s Republic of China must:

1. Immediately remove security personnel from the Ngaba (Ch: Aba) and Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) regions and from individual monasteries. All monks must be allowed to return unconditionally to their respective monasteries in the Ngaba and Kardze regions.

2. Release all those detained in connection to the 10 self-immolations since 16 March 2011 and account for the whereabouts and well-being of all those who have self-immolated since February 2009.

3. Allow foreign diplomats and independent foreign media unfettered access to all Tibetan areas, especially the regions of Ngaba and Kardze.

4. Immediately suspend the implementation of religious and security policies in Ngaba.

We call on G20 Leaders and other Governments to:

1. In partnership with other concerned governments, insist that the People’s Republic of China accede to the above demands, including allowing diplomats and media access to Tibetan areas.

2. Express their concern about the situation in Ngaba directly to Hu Jintao in the fringes of the G20 summit in Cannes, France.

3. Jointly démarche (officially reprimand) China concerning the situation in Ngaba, seeking a full accounting for the removal of monks from Kirti Monastery, including an explanation of the pretext or conditions under which monks were removed and their current whereabouts.

4. Urgently establish, with other concerned governments, an appropriate and effective multi-lateral mechanism through which future diplomatic measures concerning Tibet can be agreed.

List of Self-Immolations in Tibet (11 to date; 10 in 2011 and one in 2009)

27 February 2009, Ngaba: Tapey, mid-20s, of Kirti Monastery. Whereabouts unknown.

16 March 2011, Ngaba: Lobsang Phuntsok, 20, of Kirti Monastery. Died 17 March 2011.

15 August 2011, Kardze: Tsewang Norbu, 29, monk of Nyitso Monastery. Died at the scene, 15 August 2011.

26 September 2011, Ngaba: Lobsang Kelsang, 18, monk of Kirti Monastery. In hospital. Lobsang Kunchok, 19 , a monk of Kirti Monastery. In a different hospital to Lobsang Kelsang.

3 October 2011, Ngaba: Kelsang Wangchuk, 17, monk of Kirti Monastery. In hospital.

7 October 2011, Ngaba: Choephel, 19 former monk of Kirti Monastery. Died 11 October 2011. Khaying, 18, former monk of Kirti Monastery. Died 8 October 2011.

15 October 2011, Ngaba: Norbu Dramdul, 19, former monk of Kirti Monastery. Taken away, whereabouts unknown.

17 October 2011, Ngaba: Tenzin Wangmo, 20, nun of Ngaba Mamae Choekorling Nunnery. Died at the scene, 17 October 2011.

25 October 2011, Kardze: Dawa Tsering, 38, monk of Kardze Monastery. Status unknown, possibly being cared for in Kardze Monastery after refusing hospital treatment.

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