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[17 March 2015] Text of the letter delivered to Prime Minister David Cameron on 7 March 2015, from a coalition of UK-based Tibet groups including Tibet Society, to mark the 56th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising.

Delivery of letter, 7 March 2015Rt. Hon David Cameron
The Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA

7 March 2015

Dear Prime Minister,

This year marks the 56th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising against China's occupying forces. In 1959, Tibetans rose up against the increasing repression of China's enforced regime. Today, the Chinese government continues to rule Tibet with an iron fist, with policies designed to restrict and deny basic human rights, such as freedom of expression and freedom of religion.

In February, the US-based NGO Freedom House ranked Tibet alongside North Korea and Syria as one of the most repressed societies in the world. It is time for international governments, including the UK, to take a stand for the people of Tibet.

Though we acknowledge the British government has raised concerns over Tibet in past, such as during the human rights dialogue with China in May 2014 and during China's Universal Periodic Review at the UN in October 2013, much more should be done to press China to address the grievances of the Tibetan people.

Concerns over human rights and Tibet have all too often been brushed under the carpet during official meetings with Chinese leaders. For example, last year, during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit to the UK there was much backslapping and plaudits over the size of the trade deals signed between the UK and China, but not a word was mentioned on China's appalling human rights record or the situation in Tibet.

Tibetans in Tibet, who the Chinese government attempt to silence, need the international community to speak up on their behalf. As Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay said at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on 2 March, "We must address violations and abuses wherever they occur."

Therefore, we ask the British government to undertake the following:

► To raise the issue of Tibet and human rights both publicly and in meetings with Chinese officials, in particular during Chinese President Xi Jinping's State Visit to the UK later this year.

To press China to set a date for a visit to Tibet by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

To work with like-minded countries to support Tibetans' human rights, including their right to self-determination, in order to present a stronger, united front to the Chinese government.

To urgently call on the Chinese government to re-open unconditional talks with representatives of the Tibetan people.

We look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

Philippa Carrick, Tibet Society
Tsering Passang, Tibetan Community in Britain
Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren, Free Tibet
Padma Dolma, Students for a Free Tibet UK

Tibet Society, the worlds 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; Family 36; Life 500.
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