Monday, March 24, 2008

NGOs Demand Halt to China’s Crackdown, Announce Temporary Pause to March

Dharamshala – The five largest Tibetan non-governmental organizations (NGOs) today denounced China’s military crackdown in Tibet and called for an immediate end to the killing and international intervention. In a majority decision, the Organizing Committee of the March to Tibet temporarily paused the March in order to focus on the emergency response to the crackdown inside Tibet. They joined the Tibetan government in exile in demanding the immediate and unconditional release of all Tibetans arrested in connection to the protests, medical aid for those injured and for unhindered media access to all Tibetan areas. The March, which had reached Roper in Punjab, 38kms from Chandigarh, will continue to Delhi where the participants will join in a public outreach campaign meant to build pressure on the Chinese leadership to end the crackdown.

“In this moment of extreme crisis, Tibetans in India and around the world must stand together in solidarity with Tibetans inside Tibet and condemn the Chinese government’s vicious attacks against our people,” said B. Tsering, President of the Tibetan Women’s Association. “As reports of arbitrary arrests, beatings, and disappearances in Tibet increase, we are calling on the Indian government and the international community to use their diplomatic influence to press for an immediate withdrawal of Chinese troops from Tibet and the release of all Tibetan protesters.”

As emotionally devastating first-hand reports of the Chinese government’s violent crackdown on Tibetans continue to trickle out despite the media blackout in Tibet, Tibetans in exile focused their attention on securing the release of hundreds of Tibetans arbitrarily detained, beaten and abducted by Chinese forces. They called on Tibetans everywhere to support these efforts by launching a nation wide campaign to garner the support of the international community, in particular Indian citizens and decision-makers, to build pressure on the Chinese government.

“We are calling on Tibetans everywhere to mobilize the global public into action so that decision-makers and governments are compelled to condemn China’s actions in Tibet,” said Chime Youngdung. “As we have seen Tibetans inside Tibet unite in their opposition to China’s ongoing repression, Tibetans in exile are coming together across India and around the world to demand the immediate release of all Tibetans currently held in Chinese detention centers and prisons.”

On March 10th, the 49th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan national uprising, monks from Drepung, Sera and Ganden monasteries on the outskirts of Lhasa began peacefully protesting. By March 18, Tibetan protests occurred in more than 20 counties, most of them in Tibetan autonomous prefectures located in Sichuan, Qinghai, and Gansu provinces, and involving monks, laypeople and sometimes schoolchildren and elderly Tibetans.”

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Campaign Coordinators:
Tsering Chodup: +91 9418 221 605
Sherab Woeser: +91 9418 394 426 Dhasa /+91 9868 332 883 Delhi

Tsewang Rigzin: +91 9805 247 259 (President, Tibetan Youth Congress)
B. Tsering: +91 9418 792 810 (President, Tibetan Women’s Association)
Ngawang Woebar: +91 9418 102 483 (President, GuChuSum Ex-Political Prisoners’ Mvmt)
Chime Youngdrung: +91 9418 069 179 (President, National Democratic Party of Tibet)
**Tenzin Choeying, President of Students for a Free Tibet India, is currently being held in detention.

March 24, 2008

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