19 March, 2008

Tibet - Support the Dalai Lama

After decades of repression under Chinese rule, the Tibetan people's frustrations have burst onto the streets in protests and riots. With the spotlight of the upcoming Olympic Games now on China, Tibetans are crying out to the world for change.

The Chinese government has said that the protesters who have not yet surrendered "will be punished". Its leaders are right now considering a crucial choice between escalating brutality or dialogue that could determine the future of Tibet, and China.

We can affect this historic choice--China does care about its international reputation. China's President Hu Jintao needs to hear that the 'Made in China' brand and the upcoming Olympics in Beijing can succeed only if he makes the right choice. But it will take an avalanche of global people power to get his attention.

The Tibetan Nobel peace prize winner and spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama has called for restraint and dialogue: he needs the world's people to support him. Click below now to sign the petition--and tell absolutely everyone you can right away--our goal is 1 million voices united for Tibet:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/tibet_end_the_violence/6.php

China's economy is totally dependent on "Made in China" exports that we all buy, and the government is keen to make the Olympics in Beijing this summer a celebration of a new China, respected as a leading world power. China is also a very diverse country with a brutal past and has reason to be concerned about its stability -- some of Tibet's rioters killed innocent people. But President Hu must recognize that the greatest danger to Chinese stability and development comes from hardliners who advocate escalating repression, not from Tibetans who seek dialogue and reform.

We (Avaaz.org ) will deliver our petition directly to Chinese officials in London, New York, and Beijing, but it must be a massive number before we deliver the petition. Please forward this email to your address book with a note explaining to your friends why this is important, or use our tell-a-friend tool to email your address book--it will come up after you sign the petition.

The Tibetan people have suffered quietly for decades. It is finally their moment to speak--we must help them be heard.


Human Rights Watch :China: Restrain Forces From Violently Attacking Protesters in Tibet

Chinese security forces should stop violent attacks on protesters in Tibet and allow the United Nations to conduct an independent probe into alleged abuses, Human Rights Watch said

To quell the protests that continued in Lhasa and Sangchu County, Chinese security forces responded by beating protesters, firing live ammunition, surrounding Ganden, Drepung and Sera monasteries, and cutting phone lines into the monasteries, according to media reports and sources in the capital, Lhasa. There are unconfirmed reports that some protesters have been shot. The city is now reported to be under curfew and there is a heavy presence of security forces on the streets.

“The Chinese government should exercise restraint in responding to the protests and should work toward addressing the grievances of the protesters,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “It should invite the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to Tibet so that it can begin a thorough and independent investigation into alleged abuses.”

The Chinese government has long banned independent human rights observers from Tibet and responds harshly to Tibetans sending information out of the country regarding the human rights situation. Human Rights Watch called on the Chinese government to respect the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, and to ensure proper treatment of all protesters and others detained in recent days.

- Human Rights Watch

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