UK must back up statement with practical measures
[26 January] In response to the British government's statement yesterday, voicing concern over the situation in eastern Tibet, Tibet Society has issued a statement calling on the UK to follow up its concern with practical measures. Tibet supporters can take action by writing to the Foreign Minister and to the Chinese Ambassador.
Statement I Take Action I Further information
26 January 2012: Tibet Society statement
The British government yesterday publicly acknowledged its concern about the escalating situation in Tibet with Jeremy Browne, Minister of State at the Foreign Office, urging the Chinese government to exercise restraint, further calling on China to "release full details of the incidents, and to work to resolve the underlying grievances".
Whilst Tibet Society welcomes this statement, it has contacted the Foreign Office to ask what further means the government plans to use, both with the Chinese government and at a local level, in order to ascertain details of the incidents and encourage dialogues to resolve grievances. It also asked if British diplomatic staff will be visiting the area by and if there are any plans for a multi-lateral diplomatic ask to visit to the area.
Philippa Carrick, CEO, Tibet Society said, “Sadly I think things are going to escalate inside Tibet and this could lead to a serious loss of life; there comes a point of despair when the risk of losing your life is no longer a deterrent and I fear this point has been reached."
Ms Carrcik added, "Given the tinderbox nature of the current situation, Tibet Society strongly urges the Foreign Secretary to stand up and defend Tibetan rights and make a public statement rebuking China for its brutal and dangerous actions in quashing peaceful Tibetan demonstrations.”
In 2010, in the third of his speeches on the coalition government’s foreign policy and human rights, William Hague commented, “all our efforts to advance our values must involve working with others, whether speaking out against abuses and rallying other countries to do the same, using our own conduct to set an example.”
With this in mind, Tibet Society further calls on the British government to work together with other governments to construct a pragmatic multi-lateral approach on Tibet, acknowledging the rights of the Tibetan people and the urgent need for resolution of their grievances before more lives are lost. It is crucial that the Chinese government is not only substantively held to account for its flagrant disregard of Tibetans’ rights and of international human rights norms, but is also encouraged and supported to engage in points of substance with representatives of the Tibetan people to seek a solution to their long-standing and deeply held opposition to Chinese rule.
1. Write to Foreign Minister Jeremy Browne
► Tell Mr Browne it is encouraging to see his statement calling for restraint from the Chinese government in eastern Tibet and urging for a resolution to the underlying grievances.
► Ask Mr Browne what the British government plans to do to follow up his statement and ensure that Tibetan protestors are safeguarded and the fundamental human rights of Tibetans are respected.
► Also ask for the British government to call on China to allow access for independent observers, humanitarian agencies and foreign media to Tibetan regions in Sichuan and Qinghai provinces.
Mr Jeremy Browne, Minister of State
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London SW1A 2AH
Or use the feedback form on the FCO website.
2. Write to the Chinese Ambassador to the UK, calling on the Chinese government to:
► use restraint in dealing with unarmed Tibetan protestors and withdraw its armed forces from Tibetan regions in order to reduce tensions.
► allow independent observers, humanitarian agencies and foreign media access to Tibetan regions in Sichuan and Qinghai provinces.
► release full details of the incidents in eastern Tibet and explain how it plans to resolve the underlying grievances of the Tibetan people, i.e. the abuse of fundamental human rights, and the lack of basic freedoms such as freedom of expression and religious freedom.
Ambassador Liu Xiaoming
49-51 Portland Place
London W1B 1JL.
Note: The Embassy occasionally disables this email address (so your email is returned). If that is the case please try
Please send any replies you receive to Tibet Society as this helps us to monitor the situation.
Overseas members: please write to the Foreign Ministry and the Chinese Embassy in your country with these concerns.
19 Jan: Tibetans shot following self-immolation
24 Jan: Three Tibetans shot dead in Drango
24 Jan: Tibet Society calls on Hague to speak up for Tibet
25 Jan: Protests escalate in eastern Tibet; further fatalities
25 Jan: Foreign Minister Jeremy Browne's full statement
Tibet Society, the world’s first Tibet support group, was founded in 1959. Funded by its members, it has been working for over 50 years to seek justice for Tibet through parliamentary lobbying, campaigns and actions. Help keep Tibet alive by joining Tibet Society today. (Annual membership £24; Overseas £36; Life £500).
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