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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Global Tibet Movement Condemns China's Escalating Crackdown after Tibetans shot and beaten in eastern Tibet

January 23, 2012

Vows to Intensify Efforts for Multilateral Pressure on China as Tibetans continue to Self-immolate for Freedom


The 185 Tibet advocacy organizations that form the International Tibet Network (1) strongly condemn China's policies and continued crackdown in Tibet that have provoked an unprecedented wave of self-immolations by Tibetan monks, nuns and laypeople. Each individual who has carried out the act of self-immolation has demanded freedom for Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama. We vow to intensify our efforts in support of Tibetans inside Tibet and call on world governments, international institutions, and the global community to pressure China to address Tibetan grievances before more lives are lost.
 
On 23 January Tibetans in Drango, Kardze, eastern Tibet began demonstrating, possibly following the arrests of Tibetans suspected of distributing political leaflets around the area. Chinese security forces opened fire as large numbers of Tibetans marched towards a government office. A Tibetan named Yonten is reported to have been killed and a number of others injured (2). These events follow an incident in Ngaba (Sichuan Province) on 14 January, when Chinese security forces severely injured two Tibetans through beatings, and shot at least two others after layman Lobsang Jamyang self-immolated. Tibetans became distressed and angry after witnessing Chinese police beating Lobsang Jamyang; they began to protest and attempted to reclaim the dying man, but police beat and opened fire on some in the crowd. There have been unconfirmed reports that a woman was killed and - as in Drango - those injured are apparently not seeking medical help for fear of arrest (3).

To date there have been 17 self-immolations in eastern Tibet (4); four since 6 January 2012. At least 12 of these self-immolations have been fatal. One of these, 42-year old respected monk Lama Sopa who set light to himself and died on 8 January, left behind a tape-recording in which he paid his respects to those who had self-immolated before him. He said, “
Tibet’s future as a glorious country depends on the efforts of these heroes and heroines and all of you united as one”. He offered his life for the “well-being of Tibet’s six million people and especially of all high lamas, headed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama” (5).

At least two other Tibetans have been killed as a result of China’s security response (6). There have been numerous detentions and arrests in connection to the self-immolations. In Ngaba, three monks were charged in connection to the March 2011 self-immolation of a fellow monk from Kirti monastery, and received prison sentences of between 10 and 13 years (7).
 

The self-immolations have so far been centered in eastern Tibet (8), areas that since demonstrations occurred across the Tibetan plateau in 2008 have been flooded with armed troops and virtually closed off from the world. Many monasteries have been all but shut down and Tibetans are routinely harassed by the authorities in the streets, in their workplaces and in their homes. The region has also seen a surge in other forms of protest.

The scale of this crisis and China's unwillingness to acknowledge international concern warrants a strong international response. The worldwide membership of the International Tibet Network condemns China’s flagrant disregard for fundamental human rights and its cruel and systematic assault on the Tibetan people. 
 
We urge all governments to:

i. publicly condemn China’s use of force against unarmed Tibetan protestors, and

ii. urge China to cease all extralegal actions and policies that are contributing to the tensions, unrest and self-immolations in Tibet, and to respond positively to the calls of Tibetans for freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama.

We further urge governments to vigorously pursue actions in appropriate international forums that will focus the attention of the government of the People’s Republic of China on the severity of the situation in Tibet and on the legitimate concern of the international community that Tibetans enjoy the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international covenants to which China is a party.

Notes
1. The 
International Tibet Network is a global coalition of 185 Tibet related non-governmental organizations, which works to maximise the effectiveness of the worldwide Tibet movement. In response to this crisis, Network Members have been lobbying governments and parliaments, taking part in Global Days of Action to raise public awareness and, working in partnership with Avaaz, generating the support of hundreds of thousands of people. See Stand Up for Tibet.

2. For more information see reports by 
Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy and Free Tibet. 

3. For more information see reports by the International Campaign for Tibet (
14/16 January and18 January). The status of those injured and the timing of Lobsang Jamyang’s death are details which are not currently possible to confirm absolutely.

4. There have been 16 self-immolations in eastern Tibet since March 2011, in addition to one in February 2009. Details of each case and a map showing the locations of these self-immolations can be found at 
http://standupfortibet.org/further-information/

5. See 
report by Radio Free Asia to whom the tape was sent.

6. 
Two elderly Tibetans died after being beaten by security personnel as they tried to prevent over 300 monks in Kirti Monastery, Ngaba, from being taken away in April 2011. There are unconfirmed reports that a woman died as a result of police action in Ngaba on 14 January 2012 - a woman named Choki Dawa is said to be in a critical condition (see 2). In April 2011 the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy reported that a 24-year old Tibetan man, Chukpel, had died of his injuries after being beaten severely by police after he protested outside a local police station in the Ngaba area.  

7. 
The three monks were sentenced in August 2011. One of those was the uncle of the monk Phuntsok who self-immolated and died in March 2011. There is no evidence they had any involvement in Phuntsok’s death.

8. All the self-immolations to date have taken place in the Tibetan regions of Amdo and Kham, which are today part of China's Sichuan and Qinghai Provinces and extend into the Tibet Autonomous Region. See map at 
http://standupfortibet.org/further-information/.
 
SIGNED


A.C.T. Tibet Support Group 
Aide aux Refugies Tibetains
Amigos del Tibet, El Salvafor
Anterrashtriya Bharat - Tibbet Sahyog Samiti
Asociacion Cultural Peruano Tibetana
Asociacion Cultural Tibetano - Costarricense

Association Cognizance Tibet, North Carolina
Association Dorje
Association Drôme Ardèche-Tibet
Association of Free Tibet  
Association Rencontres Tibetaines - C.S.P.T. Midi-Pyrenees 
Associazione Italia-Tibet 
Australia Tibet Council 
Australian Tibet House Inc. 
Austrian Committee for Tibet
Autodétermination-Tibet 09/31
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Boston Tibet Network 
Briancon05 Urgence Tibet
Caisse d'Aide aux Prisonniers Tibetains 
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Centro De Cultura Tibetana
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Corse - Tibet
CTC - Calgary
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India Tibet Friendship Society 
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International Society of Human Rights, Munich Chapter (IGFM)
International Tibet Independence Movement
International Youth Human Rights Group - Human Rights in Tibet
Israeli Friends of the Tibetan People 
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Objectif Tibet 
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Polish Movement for a Free Tibet 
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Sakya Trinley Ling
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Save Tibet, Austria
Save Tibet Foundation
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Students for a Free Tibet - Japan 
Students for a Free Tibet - UK
Students for a Free Tibet – Canada 
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Taiwan Friends of Tibet
Taiwan Tibet Exchange Foundation
The Foundation for Civil Society, Russia 
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The Tibetan Alliance of Chicago 
The World Tibet Day Foundation 
The Youth Liberation Front of Tibet, Mongolia and Turkestan
Tibet 59 / 62  
Tibet Action Group of Western Australia 
Tibet cesky (Tibet in Czech) 
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Tibetan Women's Association
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