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Joint demonstrations urge APEC leaders to raise Human Rights issues against China

September 8, 2007

Sydney, September 8: The Tibetan community travelled from all over Australia to protest at APEC Summit Meetings, alongside the Vietnamese community, the Free China movement, the Federation of Democratic China and representatives from Turkestan.

Banners saying “Trade without Human Rights – Shame”, "Prime Minister Howard - Please raise human rights during APEC”, "Stop Genocide in Tibet" and several other slogans were displayed.

After the singing of the Tibetan national anthem, Mr Tenpa Dugdak, spokesman for the Tibetan Community said: “Freedom is a beautiful thing; I stand here today, speaking to you, without any fear of being prosecuted, imprisoned, and tortured or killed.

I would not be exaggerating to say that the Tibetan people’s struggle is the most non-violent and peaceful one that the world has seen for many centuries. Sadly, no governments and world leaders have actively supported or encouraged Tibetan people’s peaceful struggle. All world leaders speak about peace and non-violence, yet no one is doing anything at all.

We are not against China as a nation or the Chinese people. We have always regarded Chinese people same as us. We are all human beings. But we are here today in this free country to raise our voice against the Communist Government of China for her Human rights abuses in Tibet.”

He then went on to call on world leadership to challenge the environmental exploitation which is seriously damaging the Tibetan watershed of the major Asian river systems, which supplies water to 47% of the worlds population.

“Tibet is no longer just the Tibetan issue. It is a global issue. The human rights and rampant environmental exploitation affect the whole globe, not just Tibet.

We need to do something fast. As His Holiness the Dalai Lama said during his recent tour of Australia “Tibet could be gone in 15 years if current situation remains the same”.

The Chinese Communist Party recently passed a new law requiring all reincarnate lamas [Tib: Trulkus] to get permission from government, a overnment that does not believe in religion. How transparent and hypocritical can this regime be?

Thank you for your sympathy, but I ask all of you for action. Time is running out.”

This moving speech by Mr Tenpa raised great support and much applause from the Tibetan community as well as the other demonstrating communities.

The Tibetan community then proceeded by reciting the prayer “May the Enlightenment Mind grow in All” on their march to Sydney Town Hall, where they chanted "The Prayer of Honest Words". Passers by were taken aback by the emotion and commitment of the crowd, carrying banners of “Stop the Genocide in Tibet”, “Stop Killing in Tibet”.

>From Sydney Town Hall, as the march headed into the locked-down area of APEC's security zone, the Tibetans opted for a silent walk all the way to Circular Quay. Mr Dhawa Dhondup who had done a reconnaissance walk yesterday, guided the peaceful walk.

As the march progressed through the city of Sydney, cars honked and passers by cheered their support. The Tibetan issue has now become much higher profile amongst Australians, and the response of the Australian and world governments is being closely watched by the general public.

The Tibetan and other community members are calling on Prime Minister John Howard and other APEC leaders to publicly raise concerns about human rights abuses in China and Vietnam during the APEC talks.

For more details, contact: Mr Tenpa Dugdak, thsbatch2002@hotmail.com, mobile 0434 322 449

Report Filed by Sue Bloom from Australia

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