The 4th Annual India-Tibet Advocacy Week in New Delhi

New Delhi: Tibet Advocacy Coalition gathered in New Delhi during the monsoon session of the Indian Parliament to raise serious concerns about the impact of China’s failed Tibet policies, particularly the new wave of dam building affecting India’s water security, and to urge Indian MPs to continue to support Tibet, and the Tibetan people.

13776004_793451634088561_809855281327092203_n“India has played an important role in the lives of the Tibetan people over the last six decades, both through the ongoing support to the exile community and the commitment to Tibetans in Tibet,” said Dolma Yangchen, President of the TIbetan Women’s Association. “However, the situation in Tibet continues to seriously decline, most dramatically in recent years since President Xi Jinping has implemented more severe policies that affect the fundamental rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and religion.”

After more than 60 years of China’s repressive Tibet policies and an increased violent crackdown on Tibetans fundamental rights, a crisis has been created in Tibet; a crisis that saw international rights group ‘Freedom House’ rank Tibet as the 2nd ‘Worst of the Worst’ in their annual ‘Freedom in the World 2016’ report [1], with only Syria scoring lower. Furthermore China is implementing brazen infrastructure projects at an alarming rate; projects that are not only aggravating environmental degradation across Tibet but are seriously impacting the the water security and quality of vital Indian rivers.

“China’s mega-dams and water diversion projects are currently being built at a disturbing rate across the Tibetan plateau, and are set to seriously affect India’s already overstressed water supply,” said Jyotsna Sarah George, Campaigns Director of Students for a Free Tibet – India.

13692738_1238713576162717_3643231069469717700_n“China is riding roughshod over the Tibetan plateau, building hundreds of mega-dams that threaten not only Tibet’s unique and important ecosystem, but also threan the water security of nearly 2 billion people in Asia,” said Nyima Lhamo, Asia Coordinator of the International Tibet Network.

“We are urging Indian MPs to take China’s adverse environmental policies in Tibet very seriously and to not turn a blind eye,” said Dr. Manoj Kumar, Executive Member of the India-Tibet Friendship Society “We appeal to MPs to make a commitment to urge Prime Minister Modi to raise serious concern about China’s dam-building, and to press China to halt the irresponsible environmental policies in Tibet and cease in the construction of mega-dams on Asia’s headwaters.”

Prime Minister Modi will be meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping face to face at two international Summits during 2016; G20 China [2] and BRICS India

During the week long Advocacy, Tibet Advocacy Coalition met with 23 Members of the Indian Parliament [4] and decision makers representing Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha, Standing Committee of External Affairs and Independent MPs. 13 Members of the Indian Parliament [5] signed the Petition urging PM Narendra Modi to raise the Tibet’s River issue with his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping during the G20 and BRICS summit this year. Letters urging the same were also delivered to the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Ministry of Water Resources. An online version of the petition has also been launched to garner further support https://actions.tibetnetwork.org/Narendra-Modi-save-tibet-rivers

Tibet Advocacy Coalition team comprises of delegates from Tibetan Women’s Association, Students for a Free Tibet-India, India-Tibet Friendship Association, and Youth Liberation Front of Tibet, Eastern Turkestan, Manchuria & Inner Mongolia (YLFTM) working in coordination with International Tibet Network.