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10 March 2010: Tibet Lobby at Parliament PDF Print E-mail
10 March 2010: 51st commemoration of the Tibetan Uprising in Lhasa

Tibetans and Tibet supporters marked the 51st anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan National Uprising with a series of events in London organised by a coalition of UK-based Tibet support groups.

In the morning a protest was held outside the Chinese Embassy in London. Here more than 75 Tibetans and Tibet supporters came to wave Tibetan flags, raise banners and placards to send a clear message to the new Chinese Ambassador that the issue of Tibet will not be forgotten. Tibetans sang the Uprising song and Tibetan national anthem. Following this, Thubten Samdup, the Dalai Lamas representative for Northern Europe and the United Kingdom, read the Dalai Lamas annual 10 March statement.

In the early afternoon a wreath-laying was held at the Memorial to Innocent Victims by the West Door of Westminster Abbey. This annual ceremony, organised by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet and Tibet Society, was attended MPs Kate Hoey, Julie Morgan and the Chairman of the APPGT, Harry Cohen, along with a good number of Tibetans and Tibet supporters. The service was conducted by Cannon Robert Wright from Westminster Abbey and Geshe Tashi, Spiritual Director of Jamyang Buddhist Centre, with prayers said in remembrance of those who have suffered torture and imprisonment as a result of Chinas 60-year occupation of Tibet. 

Following the wreath laying, the Tibet Mass Lobby took place at the Houses of Parliament. Over 100 Tibetans and supporters exercised their democratic rights by taking part in this mass lobby, where constituents lobbied their MPs about the current situation in Tibet. The lobbyists called on their MPs to request the British government to establish a consulate in Lhasa and asked them to sign an Early Day Motion which calls on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee to conduct an investigation into the effectiveness of the British governments policy towards China. Everyone who came to Westminster, whether they saw their MPs or gave Lobby cards and letters to their representatives, felt the lobby  was both very motivating and an effective direct action. Over 30 MPs' offices were lobbied, with some MPs meeting  a delegation of supporters from their constituencies. This was the second annual mass lobby organised by the coalition, with the first being held last year in honour of the 50th anniversary of the Uprising.

Coalition Press release | 10 March video montage from NY, Washington, London and Dharamsala |


Why a Mass Lobby?
Tibet Society believes it is vital to build a relationship with your MP to better advocate for Tibet and keep the issue of Tibet on parliamentary and government's agenda. Building on the success of the inaugural Tibet Mass Lobby in 2009, where 300 lobbyists, including well over 100 from the Tibetan community, descended on Westminster, a coalition of UK Tibet support groups, including Tibet Society, organised a second Mass Lobby on 10 March 2010.

The day was again very motivating and effective. It was a really important opportunity for Tibetans and supporters to stand up, speak out and advocate for Tibet on what is a key date for all Tibetans, the 51st anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising that took place in Lhasa on 10 March 1959.

There will be a third Mass Lobby on 10 March, 2011. Mark your diaries!
Below are details and materials used for the 2010 Tibet Lobby.

2010 Tibet mass lobby at parliament
Wednesday 10 March at Houses of Parliament, Wesminster, London, SW1A 1AA

2010 Lobby Asks
Tibet is currently facing worsening human rights abuses and restrictions of freedoms. The Chinese government increasingly shows little regard for internationally accepted human rights. Whilst the British government continues to publicly affirm its commitment to the promotion of human rights and meaningful autonomy for Tibet, it also sees building good relations with China as a major priority. However, as the Foreign Affairs Committee observed in its recent report on human rights, there is little evidence that the Governments policy of constructive engagement is leading to any significant human rights improvements in China.

The two lobby asks both highlight points that can be followed up and raised with your re-elected or new MP after the General Election. They give a good basis to ask what the new governments strategy and policy will be on Tibet and China.

1. Call on the UK government to establish a British Consulate in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, thereby increasing capacity in Tibet to monitor human rights.
The current diplomatic representation in Tibet and China is not at the level required to effectively monitor human rights or enable follow up and assessment of practical initiatives in the field. Although China is the largest country in the world, the UK government has more consulates in other, less-populous regions (Consulates in USA = 10; Canada 8; Mexico 3; China 3).  A positive step towards this would be to establish a consulate in Lhasa.

2. Sign EDM 345: Human Rights in Tibet and China, which calls on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee to conduct a formal inquiry into the effectiveness of strategies being employed by the government within its overall policy towards China.
This EDM repeats EDM 2133 tabled by Kate Hoey late in the 2008/09 parliamentary session. In total, the EDMs have now been signed by 100 MPs (up to 16 February), which illustrates both the support and need for an urgent review of the governments policy of engagement.  If your MP has already signed this EDM, you can take the opportunity to thank him or her and ask that he or she follows up by writing to the Foreign Office to ask what tangible progress the government can point to as a result of the clarification of its position on Tibet.
Further background to asks | Current situation in Tibet |
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Contacting your MP to make an appointment for 10 March
If you do not know who your MP is, you can either call the House of Commons Information Office on 020 7219 4272 or check online here; and type in your postcode. It is a good idea to contact your MP to arrange an appointment for 10 March, preferably between 2.30-4.00pm when Tibet lobbyists will be at Westminster. The best way could be to call his or her office via the House of Commons' main switchboard, 020 7219 3000. You can also write or email. Letters can be sent directly to: Your MPs name, House of Commons, Westminster, London SW1A 0AA. The website www.writetothem.com is very useful if you want to email your MP.

If you decide to write to your MP, your letter should explain that you will be in Westminster for a Tibet Mass Lobby on 10 March and you would very much appreciate a meeting to discuss Tibet. If you met your MP last year, it would be good to thank him or her and say you look forward to being updated on any subsequent actions they have taken on Tibet!

As a constituent, even without a confirmation of an appointment, your MP or his or her representative do have to come to meet you if you go to the Central Lobby in the Houses of Parliament and request to see him or her. So if you do not hear back from your MP, still make sure to come down to the Mass Lobby on 10 March ... and remember to also book some time off work!
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Other ways to lobby ...
If you are unable to get to London to meet your MP, there are other ways you can join in the Mass Lobby on 10 March ...
  • Arrange to meet your MP at his or her local constituency office during the week of 10 March.
  • Send him or her a letter along with the Lobby Card from your lobby pack that has the two asks, plus any of the background materials you think would be helpful.
  • Email him or her outlining your concerns for Tibet and the two asks from the Lobby Card. See below for downloadable materials you could send with your email.
  • Ask a friend who is able to attend the mass lobby to represent you and sign the Lobby Sign-up form for them to give to your MP.
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General Election
This year the Lobby is taking place a few weeks before the General Election (currently expected to be called for early May). This election sees an unprecedented number of MPs standing down - currently in the region of 20 per cent. It is also very close in the polls, with a high likelihood of a change of government, so it could be your MP will not be standing again or will not be re-elected.

However, it is still hugely important that you lobby your MP this year. By joining the 2010 Tibet mass lobby, not only will you be building on the momentum from last years lobby, but you will also be showing the strength of feeling and support held for Tibet. The lobby will give a strong message to the incoming government that the issue of Tibet is one of global importance and one that will not disappear off the international agenda.

Contact your parliamentary candidates
If your MP is standing down, or unlikely to keep their seat at the General Election, take this opportunity to contact your local parliamentary candidates and highlight the current situation in Tibet and draw attention to the two asks from the Lobby Card. Ask what they personally will do to protect and promote the rights of the Tibetan people and what their Partys strategy and policy will be towards China and how it will bring tangible progress towards a just solution for Tibet.
  • To find out if your MP is standing down, you can contact your MPs office or check online here. Currently there 133 MPs who are retiring 20 per cent of sitting MPs (made up of 88 Labour, 36 Conservative, seven LibDem and two other).
  • To see who your local parliamentary candidates are you can look up your constituency online here, where your current MP and all the candidates standing are listed. For details on how to contact them, you will need to check each political partys central websites or call their head office. | Conservative | Labour | LibDem | Green |
If you do contact your local parliamentary candidates, it would be really helpful if you could feedback any comments or commitment to us by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . This will enable us to contact new MPs who have expressed personal support for Tibet after the election and let them know of ways they can carry through that commitment within parliament and suggest they join the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet of which Tibet Society is secretariat.
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Lobby packs
If you would like to be sent a Lobby Pack or extra Lobby cards to send to parliamentary candidates or give to friends to encourage them to get involved please call us on 020 72727 1414 and speak to Paul or Namtse or email  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . We can also send you a feedback form to fill in if you have contacted local parliamentary candidates.
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Let us know ...
If you are planning on coming down for the lobby or will be sending your MP a letter along with a lobby card, it would be really useful if you could let us know. Please call us on 020 7272 1414 and speak to Paul or Namtse or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it to register your details, the name of your MP, whether you will be at Westminster on the day and time of your appointment (if applicable). The coalition will be coordinating lobbyists and will let you know if there are others from your constituency joining you at parliament so you can meet your MP together. It will also help us get an idea of numbers.
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Downloadable Lobby pack materials
The Lobby Card | View | Download |
Background to the asks
| View | Download |
Current situation and 10 facts about Tibet | View | Download |
Contacting your MP | View | Download |
On the Day information | View | Download |
Friends/colleagues sign up form | View | Download |
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The Coalition of UK Tibet support groups is made up of: Tibet Society, Free Tibet, Students for a Free Tibet UK, Tibetan Community in Britain and Tibetan Youth UK.
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