For Immediate Release
March 17, 2008
Tibetan and Chinese Canadian Youth Call For Genuine Dialogue To Resolve Conflict in Tibet
TORONTO. Tibetan and Chinese Canadian youth are calling on the Chinese Government and all parties to show restraint, to respect human rights and to adopt peaceful means to resolve the escalating situation in Tibet and surrounding provinces in China. Daily protests in Tibet since March 10th which marks the 49th anniversary of the Tibetan National uprising, have unfortunately become violent and news reports suggest that they have spread beyond Lhasa. Meanwhile, the Communist Chinese Government has reportedly locked down Lhasa by deploying their military. While news reports vary in their content, it is clear that a number of people have died or have been injured and that tension and conflict exists.
Members of the Tibetan Chinese Youth Dialogue Project met over the weekend to discuss these troubling developments. The Tibetan Chinese Youth Dialogue Project (TCYDP) urges both parties: the Chinese Government and His Holiness the Dalai Lama to re-engage in genuine, meaningful and peaceful negotiations to achieve a true and lasting peace in Tibet.
“As Canadians, we condemn violence and we urge the Chinese Government and all sides to show restraint, to respect human rights and to adopt peaceful means to resolve this conflict,” Jimmy Vuong, TCYDP member said today. “We believe that non-violence and peaceful dialogue are the only effective ways to solve problems.”
TCYDP notes that Canada has had a history of successfully promoting peaceful dialogue in other international conflicts such as Suez and Cyprus. “We therefore ask the Canadian government and concerned bodies to monitor the situation more closely, and to urge and offer assistance to the Chinese government and all parties to engage in peaceful dialogue,” Tsetan Dolkar, TCYDP member added. “We also encourage all Canadians especially ethnic Tibetans and Chinese, to engage in a respectful dialogue, to seek more information about the conflict, and to bridge understanding of the different viewpoints."
The Tibetan Chinese Youth Dialogue project (http://www.tibetchinadialogue.org/), is a joint effort of Tibetan and Chinese youth to engage Tibetan and Chinese communities across Canada and worldwide in a dialogue on the Tibet-China issue. TCYDP was officially launched during the visit by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Canada in October 2007. “Youth are able to access and lever technology in a way that generations before couldn't,” Stephanie Wan, TCYDP member said. “Young people can truly make a difference in the world and we can apply our own lens in creating a dynamic dialogue unimpeded by location or time zone."
TCYDP goals include fostering understanding between the Tibetan and Chinese communities through dialogue, sharing of information and ideas, and organizing joint events with participation from both communities. TCYDP seeks to promote education and leadership by youth and for youth, and to create community knowledge about the Tibet-China issues in areas such as the political and socio-economic situation, the environmental policies in the region, and the preservation of Tibetan Buddhism and language.
TCYDP members are available for media interviews on Monday March 17th from 3-4pm at the University of Toronto. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org on Monday March 17, 2008 for the specific location.
For more information, please contact:
Jimmy Vuong (Toronto) at 416-843-4555
Tsetan Dolkar (Toronto) at 416-270-8678
Stephanie Wan (Ottawa) at 613-276-7644