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Bianca Jagger: "We appeal to you Prime Minister to support Tibet" PDF Print E-mail
[10 May 2012] At a press conference held today in Westminster, human rights advocate Bianca Jagger issued a statement expressing her grave concerns for the Tibetan people living under Chinas increasingly repressive regime in Tibet.

Image Noting the strong historical connection the UK has with Tibet, Ms Jagger began by saying, There is a historic relationship between Tibet and Britain, and an old friendship. Britain was the only country to deal with Tibet as an independent nation before China's invasion in 1949. Recognising those ties, were here today with the Tibet Society in the UK, the most long-standing Tibet support group worldwide and among its founders are some of the British who served in Tibet in those early days. With that special connection in mind, we are here today to deliver a message to the UK government, in the week before the Dalai Lama's arrival in the UK. The Dalai Lama a global icon of peace will receive the Templeton Award on Monday at St Pauls Cathedral.

Ms Jagger went on critique Chinas policies in Tibet, saying, Over the past 60 years, the Chinese government has instituted increasingly hardline policies that undermine Tibetan culture and religion. The Tibetan people have been denied freedom of expression. Their language has been downgraded. And their economic resources have been appropriated by the Chinese state, with increasing numbers of Chinese migrants moving to the Tibetan plateau.

ImageShe also drew attention to the critical geopolitical role Tibet has, commenting, It is not enough to treat Tibet as simply a moral issue of persecution of Tibetans it is also of unique geopolitical and strategic significance. Resolving the issue of Tibet the high plateau lies between the two nuclear giants India and China - is tied to Asian and international security.

Noting the urgency of the situation, Bianca Jagger ended her statement saying, In a critical year for China, in which Chinese Communist Party divisions are exposed amidst a new clamour for genuine reform, more visible engagement from the international community on the crisis in Tibet is urgently needed. I appeal to Prime Minister David Cameron to lead the multilateral efforts in support of Tibet at this critical time in Tibet's history.

She went on to urge governments of the Member-States of the European Union to:

Consistently express strong, collective concern to Chinas leaders at the highest political level about repressive policies and call for the withdrawal of security forces from all Tibetan areas.

Renew pressure on China to permit a high level EU delegation to visit all parts of Tibet, including the regions where self-immolations have taken place.

To appoint a EU Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues as recommended by the European Parliament, in order to strengthen the Unions policies on Tibet.

To seek the release of Tibetan political prisoners, including Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the Eleventh Panchen Lama of Tibet.

To express concern about Tibet in appropriate multilateral fora, including the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Human Rights Council.

ImageThe press conference was chaired by Cathy Jamieson MP, member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet who picked up on points raised in Ms Jaggers statement and reminded everyone present that Tibet matters, not just for Tibetans but to millions of people throughout the world, both because of its unique culture, religion and traditions and being the worlds third pole and key water source for much of Asia.

ImageOutside parliament a banner was displayed saying David Cameron, Tibet needs you now. Bianca Jagger, Cathy Jamieson, joined by Nic Dakin MP, added their messages to the banner. Ms Jagger made a further direct appeal to David Cameron to support Tibet. Cathy Jamieson reiterated that Tibet matters, adding, please show leadership and stand up for Tibetan people. Nic Dakin called on David Cameron to, listen to the people of Tibet. They deserve our support. Further messages will be collected before the banners delivery to 10 Downing Street.

Bianca Jagger and Cathy Jamieson then made their way to Downing Street to hand in two reports about Tibet to No 10; The Human Rights Crisis Tibet - Europe must act released today by the Society of Threatened peoples and 60 Years of Chinese Misrule: Arguing Cultural Genocide in Tibet recently published by International Campaign for Tibet (ICT).

ImageBoth reports condemn the Chinese governments policies in Tibet. In their publication statement, the Society for Threatened Peoples draw attention to the fact that human rights violations in Tibet have increased dramatically since spring 2008, saying, Since then, 1134 Tibetans have been arrested for political reasons. At least 527 political prisoners are still in Chinese custody. Until this day, the Chinese government has ignored appeals of the United Nations Convention against Torture and of UN human rights experts, that the fundamental human rights of the arrested Tibetans must be observed.

In its findings ICT commented, Chinese policies and practices of cultural repression and destruction are so systematic and persistent in Tibet, and their effects are so serious, that they contain elements of cultural genocide.
The Society for Threatened Peoples report calls on European governments to make stronger public expressions of concern; to press China to allow a high level EU delegation to visit Tibetan areas and to appoint an EU Special Coordinator for Tibetan issues. Both reports can be read online (see links below).

The actions in London today begin the countdown to a European Solidarity Rally for Tibet that is being held in Vienna on Saturday 26 May where the Dalai Lama will be giving an address.

Photographs copyright Anna Branthwaite & Tibet Society (Bianca Jagger & Cathy Jamieson)

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Press Release  

Download links
Intro & download The Human Rights Crisis Tibet - Europe must act  
Intro to International Campaign for Tibets report 60 Years of Chinese Misrule: Arguing Cultural Genocide in Tibet
Download 60 Years of Chinese Misrule: Arguing Cultural Genocide in Tibet

European Tibet Solidarity Rally in Vienna, Austria  
Saturday, 26 May 2012
A large Europe-wide solidarity rally will be held in Vienna where speakers will include His Holiness the Dalai Lama and elected Tibetan Political Leader Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay.
Further details:   

From Tibetan Community in Britain, Organising Committee of the European Tibet Solidarity Rally in Vienna, International Tibet Network, All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet (UK)
David Cameron, Tibet Needs You Now
Bianca Jagger calls on UK Prime Minister to take urgent action on the deepening human rights crisis in Tibet

[London, 10 May 2012] Today, five days before the Dalai Lama is presented with the prestigious 2012 Templeton Laureate at St Pauls Cathedral, renowned human rights advocate Bianca Jagger will deliver a report on Tibet to 10 Downing Street and urge David Cameron to make a public statement of support for the Tibetan people who are facing increasingly hardline policies from the occupying Chinese regime and press China for permission to visit Tibet .

Speaking about the current conditions in Tibet, Bianca Jagger, who has won numerous awards for her work promoting peace and justice, said, The situation in Tibet has deteriorated dramatically in the last 12 months. The Chinese governments Tibet policies are a total failure, and have created a spiralling crisis of unrest and brutal crackdown. Our government must not shy away from addressing Chinas violations of Tibetans basic human rights.

Following a press conference in Westminster chaired by Cathy Jamieson MP, member of the All Party Parliamentary Party for Tibet, Bianca Jagger will unfurl a banner saying David Cameron, Tibet needs you Now in front of the House of Commons, before delivering the new report, The Human Rights Crisis Tibet - Europe must act, to 10 Downing Street.

The report, released by the Society for Threatened Peoples, condemns the Chinese governments policies in Tibet and calls on European governments to make stronger public expressions of concern; to press China to allow a high level EU delegation to visit Tibetan areas and to appoint an EU Special Coordinator for Tibetan issues.

In a statement, the Society said, "The Chinese government violates international laws as well as its own laws. Tibetans who dare to speak out are systematically criminalized. This policy will further increase the alienation of the Tibetans from the so-called 'Harmonious Society' propagated by the Chinese."

Accompanying Bianca Jagger to Downing Street will be members of the Tibetan Community in Britain including Tibetans who originally came from the areas of Tibet where over 35 Tibetans, many young monks and nuns, have made the drastic decision to self-immolate. Over 20 instances have been within the last five months.

A member of the delegation, Tsering Passang, said, China says it has nothing to hide, so why do they not let any independent access to Tibet? The Prime Minister, along with all European governments must urge China to allow European government representatives to visit Tibet and see the situation for themselves; we would hope this would also give some protections to the people of Tibet.

This UK action and message to the Prime Minister initiates the countdown to the European Tibet Solidarity Rally on Saturday 26 May in Vienna where the Dalai Lama will address thousands of Tibetans and supporters. Joining the Dalai Lama at the rally will be the newly elected Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister) of the Tibetan government in exile, Dr Lobsang Sangay.

At the rally Tibetans and supporters all over Europe will call on the European Union as a whole to appoint a Special Coordinator for Tibet and to enhance multi-lateral political action on behalf of the Tibetan people.

Francesca von Habsburg a leading figure in the art world and long time friend of Tibet, calls for international participation in the rally saying, We need to show the world and China that it supports the Dalai Lamas peaceful solution for Tibet and that it is high time to stop the mindless and brutal colonisation of its people and culture.

In a video address for the London press conference, she goes on to say, We should not forget that the Chinese have signed on to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and thats a solemn commitment that goes hand in hand with membership in the UN. The Tibetans are asking for no more and no less than what is documented and provided for in that declaration of human rights. Lets join together with the Dalai Lama in sending a clear message of support from Europe to Tibet from 4 pm onwards on the 26 May from the beautiful and historic city of Vienna.

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