Uprising 2014: Letter to the Chinese Ambassador
[17 March 2014] Text of the letter to China's Ambassador to the UK from a coalition of UK-based Tibet groups including Tibet Society, on the occasion of the 55th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising. The Embassy refused the letter when representatives of the coalition attempted to deliver it, so the letter has since been posted. We await a reply.

Representatives of UK Tibet coalition outside Chinese EmbassyHis Excellency Liu Xiaoming
Ambassador, People’s Republic of China
Chinese Embassy
49-51 Portland Place
London W1B 1JL

15 March 2014

Your Excellency,

The 10th of March marked the 55th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising against China’s rule.

China would like the world to believe that Tibet is stable, Tibetans are happy and living in social harmony. The overt presence of the People’s Armed Police and other security forces belies this image.

Whilst your government promulgates an image of Tibet as a “Shangri La”, the reality is that, despite your government’s increasingly repressive policies, Tibetans continue to resist through peaceful protests, and by promoting their own culture, language, religion and traditions. In reaction, China chooses to respond with even greater suppression. This flawed policy only serves to exacerbate the situation and does nothing to address the grievances of the Tibetan people.

With the palpable presence of security forces, checkpoint searches and denial of internet access in Tibet, even Chinese tourists visiting Tibet are finding the official version of life in Tibet difficult to believe.

That Tibet remains closed to both the world’s media and diplomatic representatives calls into question the veracity of China’s claims about the peaceful harmony that supposedly is to be found. How long will your government keep up the lie? When will your government have the confidence to open Tibet to the international community?

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said in her opening remarks at the 25th session of the Human Rights Council on 3rd of March, “Respect for human rights is not a mere legal obligation but also bestows legitimacy on those leaders who ensure this respect.”

Until China takes substantive steps to respect and realise human rights in China and Tibet, it cannot be a legitimate, credible and responsible member of the international community. In contrast, the continuation of its current policies will eventually endanger the stability and prosperity of China and Tibet as widespread protest and unrest grows. This is something no one wants to happen.

We would welcome an opportunity to meet you to discuss Tibet and foster better understanding.

We look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

Philippa Carrick, Tibet Society
Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren, Free Tibet
Tenzin Samphel, Tibetan Community in Britain
Tenzin Wangdu, Students for a Free Tibet UK

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; Family £36; Life £500)
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