On Wednesday, the Canada Tibet Committee wrote Prime Minister Stephen Harper outlining the issues that we hope he will raise with President Hu when he visits China in December.
We’d like you to join us and add your voice to these important issues.
In our letter we called on the Prime Minister to raise the following concerns with President Hu and appropriate Chinese authorities and that the deliverables from the China visit include concrete progress on these issues.
- The release of Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen (you can read more about Dhondup below);
- The long-standing request for access to Gedun Choekyi Nyima, the 11th Panchen Lama;
- The provision of humane treatment and verifiable due process for all Tibetans in detention and in all future trials, as enshrined in the constitution of the People’s Republic of China;
- Respect for religious freedom;
- Canada’s readiness to host a dialogue on Tibet in 2010 between China and representatives of His Holiness; and
- Canada’s firm and principled opposition to use of the death penalty.
And while it takes more time, we ask that you write a personalized letter to the Prime Minister rather than providing a standard form letter for you to sign.
According to a recent survey of past and present Canadian MPs, in terms of motivating MPs to take action, personal correspondence on an issue is almost twice as effective as form letters. MPs count the number of messages they receive and some use this to gauge relative support on issues. Tibet and the Tibetan people need that extra push that a personal letter delivers.
Please note that Prime Minister Harper departs for China on December 1st.
You can send your comments to the Prime Minister by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or write or fax the Prime Minister at:
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
You can also contact your MP. To find their email address visit:
Thank you for your continued support.
Dhondup Wangchen [Chinese: Dunzhu Wangqin] was detained in Tibet on 26 March 2008 for filming interviews with ordinary Tibetans about their views on the Olympic Games, the Dalai Lama and Chinese government policies in Tibet. (The interviews have since been smuggled out of Tibet and made into a documentary film "Leaving Fear Behind", which gives a rare glimpse into the reality of Tibetans living under Chinese occupation. The film has been screened in over 30 countries and can also be seen online at http://www.leavingfearbehind.com .
According to information provided by official sources, Dhondup Wangchen was formally arrested in July 2008 under suspicion of "inciting separatism" and espionage. He was charged in June 2009. It is believed that Dhondup Wangchen's trial has started.