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China’s rule in Tibet challenged by Tibetans and activists PDF Print E-mail
[9 March 2013] Press Release from coalition of UK-based Tibet groups including TIbet Society

Campaigners call on David Cameron to speak up for Tibetans’ rights and urge incoming President, Xi Jinping to revoke China’s failed policies in Tibet


[London, 9 March 2013] On Sunday 10 March in over 30 countries, including the UK, Tibetans and Tibet supporters are taking to the streets [1] to mark the 54th anniversary of the 1959 national uprising in Tibet when hundreds of thousands of Tibetans protested China’s illegal invasion and occupation of their country [2]. In London there will be a march from Downing Street to the Chinese Embassy where Tim Loughton MP will address a rally.

Tibet Society logoThese global events are being held to raise awareness of China’s escalating crackdown, anti-Dalai Lama propaganda [3] and criminalisation of Tibetan protests. All of these increasingly repressive actions are exacerbating tensions in occupied Tibet.

Through sustained and widespread actions, protests and demonstrations, Tibetan resistance is clearly not going to go away. Since 2009 at least 107 Tibetans have resorted to protesting through self-immolation; the vast majority of which calling for the return of the Dalai Lama, their spiritual leader, to Tibet. Many also called for an end to China’s oppressive policies and for the rights of the Tibetan people to be respected [4].

“Despite China’s intractable stance on Tibet, Tibetans are showing ever more resistance to China’s rule through protests, demonstrations and grassroots actions to re-assert their cultural identity. Tibetans are demanding no more than basic freedoms and human rights, something we all take for granted. They are determined to revoke China’s rule and shape their own future in their own country.”
said Philippa Carrick, CEO of Tibet Society.

The Tibet Freedom March in London will be calling on the Chinese government to end its six-decade brutal regime in Tibet and to respect the rights and freedoms of the Tibetan people. Tibetans and supporters will also be urging David Cameron to speak up for the people of Tibet and make a public statement of concern over the current human rights situation in Tibet.

The global 10 March commemorations are taking place as China completes its once-a-decade leadership handover, with Xi Jinping due to become China’s new State President in a matter of days. Since Xi’s elevation to the top of China’s Communist Party in November 2012 [5], there has been a marked escalation in China’s response to Tibetan self-immolations. These include mass detentions, arrests of friends and family members connected to a self-immolator and heavy sentences. In January, Lobsang Kunchok, a monk from Ngaba (Ch: Aba, Sichuan), received a suspended death sentence and his nephew, Lobsang Tsering, was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, for allegedly “inciting self-immolations” despite the only evidence being forced confessions [6].

“As China’s new President, Xi Jinping can end the crisis in Tibet by addressing the grievances of the Tibetan people. The global community can help this process by working together to develop a consistent approach on Tibet,” said Philippa Carrick. "Next week, Tibetans and Tibet supporters will be at Westminster lobbying their MPs, calling on them to urge David Cameron to join with other world leaders and take new, bold and coordinated actions which will encourage China to peacefully resolve the crisis and secure a just and fair resolution for the Tibetan people.” [7]

Contacts:
Philippa Carrick, CEO - 020 7272 1414, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Paul Golding, Campaigns Coordinator - 020 7272 1414, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Notes:
1. The Tibet Freedom March in London takes place on Sunday 10 March, starting at 11.30am on Richmond Terrace, opposite Downing Street. The march concludes with a rally outside the Chinese Embassy, from approx. 1pm, where guest speaker Tim Loughton MP will address the crowd.

A march is also taking place in Edinburgh on 10 March. Tibet Lobby is taking place on 13 March, where Tibetans and supporters will be calling for parliamentary support for Tibet.
London & UK event details: http://www.tibetsociety.com/content/view/156

Global events: http://standupfortibet.org/global-action/10-march-uprising-day-2013/

The London Tibet Freedom March and the Tibet Lobby are organised by a coalition of UK-based Tibet groups, comprising Tibet Society, Free Tibet, Students for a Free Tibet UK, Tibetan Community in Britain and Tibetan Youth UK.

2. On 10 March 1959 thousands of Tibetans in Tibet took to the streets of Lhasa to protest against Chinese rule and protect their leader, the Dalai Lama. As China shelled Lhasa, the Dalai Lama was forced to escape from Tibet. In 2008, 10 March was the beginning of the most widespread opposition to China’s occupation as protests swept the Tibetan plateau.

3. See "China rebukes Tibetan monastery as inciting self-immolation protests" - AP in Washington Post, 7 March 2013

4. See Tibet Society's case list of the 107 self-immolators; International Tibet Network’s report “Resistance in Tibet: Self-immolation and protest”; and, “Last words of 19 Tibetans who committed self-immolation” by Woeser, a Tibetan writer living in Beijing, published in Global Voices, 23 November 2012

5. International Tibet Network's report "Xi Jinping’s Tibet Challenge" highlights the issues facing Xi Jinping as China continues to maintain its occupation of Tibet and contextualises the growing Tibetan resistance at this time of political change and uncertainty in China.

6. See "Tibetan monk sentenced to death for "inciting self-immolations"" - Tibet Society, 31 January 2013

7. Tibet Lobby takes place on Wednesday 13 March. See http://www.tibetlobby.org


Tibet Society is a member of International Tibet Network, a global coalition of 185 Tibet related non-governmental organisations, which works to maximise the effectiveness of the worldwide Tibet movement. Network member organisations regard Tibet as an occupied country and are dedicated to ending human rights violations in Tibet, and to working actively to restore the Tibetan people's right under international law to determine their own political, economic, social, religious, and cultural status.



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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