NGOs condemn the use of force against Tibetans peaceful demonstration
16 March 2008 10:25 pm
Ten non-governmental organisations, including FORUM-ASIA, presented a statement calling on the Chinese government to stop the "merciless repression" on Tibet, on 14 March 2008 at the 7th session of the UN Human Rights Council. The statement also addresses the council to encourage the government to strengthen its relation with the envoys of the Dalai Lama.
Ten non-governmental organisations, including FORUM-ASIA, presented a statement on 14 March 2008, calling on Human Rights Council to “condemn the use of force” on the recent demonstrations in Tibet. The statement, delivered during the 7th session of the UN Human Rights Council, also addresses the council to encourage the government to strengthen its relation with the envoys of the Dalai Lama.
The statement refers to the largest protest in recent years by monks in Tibet since 1989. Peaceful rallies have been going on since 10 March 2008, involving two to three hundred monks from many parts of Tibet, such as Drepung and Sera monasteries, on the outskirts of Lhasa. The statement quotes Radio Free Asia in describing that “500 to 600 monks continued protests on Tuesday (11 March 2008) and were confronted by over a thousand armed police and personnel of the Public Security Bureau (the police), who fired tear-gas at the protesters”. In Lhasa alone, 60 monks were arrested. In the meantime, monks at Drepung and Sera monasteries started a hunger strike demanding the release of their colleagues.
The organisations urge the Chinese government “to make sincere efforts to reverse the policies that continue to marginalize the Tibetan people” and include Tibetans in decision-making processes. On the same note, the organisations also call for the Council
to encourage the Chinese government to “strengthen its current contacts” with the Dalai Lama’s envoys and to “enter into substantive negotiations towards achieving genuine autonomy for Tibetans”.
As the next Olympics will be held in China, the statement also calls upon the Human Rights Council to “pay close attention to the links between the repressive political climate in Tibet and the impacts of centrally driven development policies that threaten the very survival of the cultural, religious and national identity of the Tibetan people”.
This joint statement is by Society for Threatened Peoples, International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR), Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l’amitié entre les peuples (MRAP), Liberation, International Educational Development, International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination (IMADR), FORUM-ASIA, Worldview International Foundation, International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID) and Interfaith International.