For Immediate Release
Words are cheap, deeds are priceless
(Montreal, Tuesday, 14 April 2009) – China’s "National Human Rights Action Plan" released on Monday has many of the right words, but is nonetheless still authored by a regime that has consistently relied on words over deeds, said the Canada Tibet Committee today reacting to the plan.
“It’s impossible to have confidence in an action plan drafted by leaders who have all too frequently disregarded international treaty obligations and domestic commitments in the past to brutally repress the rights of Tibetans and Chinese citizens,” said CTC executive director Dermod Travis.
“Coming in the wake of last week’s sentencing of two Tibetans to death for their alleged roles in last year’s Tibetan uprising demonstrates that Chinese leaders have quite a distance to travel before their actions live-up to their commitments.”
The CTC drew issue with sincerity of the plan by noting earlier promises made to the International Olympic Committee to secure the rights to host the 2008 Olympic Games. “If the Chinese government is willing to break its word to the IOC, why should Chinese citizens expect their government to keep its word to them?”
In the past three months, the Chinese government has arrested dozens of Tibetans including Tsayang Kunga, a monk from the Amdo Labrang Tashi Kyil Monastery and Golok Jigme Gyatso. Kunga wrote online political commentary and disappeared as part of a sweep of Tibetan online writers and Golok assisted the filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen of “Leaving Fear Behind”. Neither has been heard from since their disappearance.
In January, Pema Tsepak, age 24, was beaten to death by Chinese police following his participation in a peaceful protest. Pema was the nephew of a Victoria, B.C. resident. In February, Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who has been called "the Conscience of China," was detained by Chinese police in the middle of the night and has not been seen since.
The CTC believes that this action plan is a veiled attempt by the Chinese government to address global criticisms of China’s human rights conduct without recognizing that world opinion isn’t so easily fooled.
The Canada Tibet Committee is an independent non-governmental organisation of Tibetans and non-Tibetans living in Canada, who are concerned about the continuing human rights violations and lack of democratic freedom in Tibet.
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