October 17, 2001: The Canada Tibet Committee has asked Prime Minister Jean Chr'tien to bring a message of peace and restraint to Asian leaders when they gather in Shanghai this weekend for the annual Asia Pacific Economic Forum (APEC) leaders meeting.
Reacting to China's recent characterization of Tibetans as "terrorists", Canada Tibet Committee president Thubten Samdup, said in a letter sent this week to the Prime Minister:
"It is regrettable that the Chinese leadership views recent events in New York as justification for a renewed crackdown in Tibet. The international fight against terrorism should not be an excuse to stifle legitimate dissent and peaceful struggles for human rights and democracy anywhere in the world."
Tibet's exiled leader the Dalai Lama, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, has called upon US president George Bush to use restraint in reacting to the terrorist attack in New York. "I believe violence will only increase the cycle of violence", he wrote in a September 12 letter of condolence to the US leader.
The Dalai Lama will bring his message of peace and non-violence to Canada in April 2002 when he will visit Ottawa to meet with parliamentarians, academics and members of Canada's non-governmental community. He will also speak directly to Canadians during 2 planned public events.
The Canada Tibet Committee has invited Prime Minister Chr'tien to meet with the Nobel Laureate during the Ottawa visit in order to discuss Canada's role in convening negotiations between representatives of the Government of China and representatives of the Dalai Lama. Last February, more than 80 Canadian members of parliament from all political parties signed a joint letter urging the Prime Minister to personally intervene in this regard.
Several prominent Canadians have agreed to serve on a special advisory committee in support of the Dalai Lama's Ottawa visit. They include Warren Allmand (Rights & Democracy), Ed Broadbent (former leader of the NDP), Ken Georgetti (Canadian Labour Congress), Elizabeth May (Sierra Club/Canada).
Contact: Thubten Samdup, 514-867-6770 (cell)
See www.tibet.ca for
* the full text of the Dalai Lama's letter to US President George Bush, (World Tibet News Archive)
* the list of MPs who have endorsed the letter to Chr'tien regarding negotiations (Campaign 2002)
* Tibet and the APEC: A briefing paper for Tibet Support Groups (Publications)
* Updates regarding the Dalai Lama's 2002 visit to Ottawa (Important events)