RAILCAR SUPPLIER ACCUSED OF COMPLICITY IN TIBET'S CULTURAL GENOCIDE
[Montreal] - Tibetans from Toronto and Montreal along with their supporters will demonstrate at Bombardier's annual general meeting today as Tibet advocacy groups demand that Bombardier take immediate action to address concerns regarding its involvement in the controversial Gormo-Lhasa railway. Tibetans fear that this first railway to link mainland China to occupied Tibet represents the final phase of the cultural genocide of the Tibetan people. The demonstration will take place from 9am to 12pm today outside the Hyatt Hotel, 1255 Jeanne-Mance, Montreal
"Given that Tibet support groups have repeatedly raised concerns with Bombardier since 2002, their inaction to date is unacceptable and unethical," says Tenzin Dargyal, National Coordinator of the CanadaCanada -Tibet Committee. "In accordance with international standards of corporate social responsibility and given China's poor track record on human rights, Bombardier must immediately take concrete measures to ensure that they are not contributing to the oppression of the Tibetan people and exploitation of Tibet's natural resources."
Bombardier shareholders are being asked to support a resolution that calls upon Bombardier "to draft and adopt a human rights policy and to produce an independent report on the progress made in this regard by November 2006." Despite reports that rural Tibetan villages have been demolished and relocated and land confiscated without compensation, Bombardier's senior management is recommending shareholders to vote against this resolution. Bombardier has yet to conduct human rights, environmental or socio-cultural impact assessments in accordance with international standards.
"As a Tibetan-Canadian, I am appalled that Bombardier continues to defend their involvement in this railway," said Losang Champa, President of Students for a Free Tibet Montreal. "The railway will increase the population transfer of Chinese settlers into Tibet exponentially and poses a dire threat to Tibetans' survival as a people. This makes Bombardier complicit in human rights violations in Tibet and we will continue to hold them accountable for their unjust actions."
Bombardier is a partner in a joint venture company with Power Corporation of Canada and the Government of China to supply rail cars for the controversial railway set to open on July 1st, 2006. An international coalition, led by the Canada Tibet Committee, International Campaign for Tibet and Students for a Free Tibet, launched a campaign in February 2005 after Bombardier announced it had won the contract to build the rail cars. Today's demonstration is sponsored by: Canada Tibet Committee, Students for a Free Tibet, Toronto Regional Tibetan Women's Association, Toronto Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, Canadian Tibet Association of Ontario and Chushi Gangdruk.
CONTACT: Canada Tibet Committee: Tenzin Dargyal (514) 487-0665
Students for a Free Tibet: Kate Woznow (514) 569-2830