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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

World Social Forum: CTC calls for international solidarity with the Tibetan people

August 08, 2016

Montreal, August 8, 2016 - The Canada Tibet Committee is calling for international solidarity in support of the Tibetan people during the 12th annual World Social Forum (WSF) underway this week in Montreal.  Thousands of social and environmental activists from around the world are expected to attend the event which describes itself as an inclusive convergence of social movements. [1]

“The World Social Forum offers an open space for idea-sharing and network-building amongst activists from around the world”, said Carole Samdup, Executive Director of the Canada Tibet Committee. “But Tibetans from Tibet are effectively excluded from the event because of discriminatory travel restrictions including denial of passports [2], pervasive surveillance of electronic communication [3], and the risk of imprisonment for expressions of dissent ]4].”

The Canada Tibet Committee calls upon delegates at the World Social Forum to stand up for all peoples who are excluded from its process because of political repression, including Tibetans.  We ask that their absence be acknowledged in the final conference communique and that delegates highlight the Tibetan struggle within future campaigns related to WSF thematic priorities such as self-determination, participatory democracy, environmental justice, human rights, and refugee protection.

The WSF was originally conceived as an alternate to the World Economic Forum.  The first WSF took place in Porte Alegre, Brazil in 2004.  Since then, it has been held in various countries in South America, Africa and in Asia. This is the first time the event has been held in a northern country.

[1]       www.wsf2016.org

[2]       For information about passport denial for Tibetans, see: https://www.savetibet.org/policy-alienating-tibetans-denial-passports-tibetans-china-intensifies-control/

[3]       The WSF offers participation-via-internet capacity for delegates who are unable to travel to Canada.  State surveillance of electronic communications in Tibet prevents Tibetans from electronic participation.  See: http://www.tibet.ca/tibet/en/library/wtn/12704

[4]       For information about punishment related to the expression of dissent in Tibet, see: https://www.savetibet.org/the-teeth-of-the-storm-lack-of-freedom-of-expression-and-cultural-resilience-in-tibet/

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