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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Flag Campaign: Tibet Initiative Deutschland

March 18, 2011

Press Release for March 10, 2011,
52nd commemoration of the Tibetan National Uprising

“A Question of Integrity”
1150 Mayors fly the flag for Tibet!

Number of participants as of March 8, 2011 (12 p.m.) – 1150 towns and cities

1150 cities, municipalities and counties all over Germany are raising
the Tibetan flag on March 10 at town halls and public buildings and
displaying it on their websites, including the regional capitals
Bremen, Hanover, Magdeburg, Potsdam, Saarbruecken, Stuttgart and
Wiesbaden. By doing so, they affirm on behalf of thousands of citizens
the Tibetan people’s right to self-determination and protest against
the violations of human rights and the destruction of the Tibetan
people's culture, religion and national identity. Every year since
1996, Tibet Initiative Deutschland (Tibet Support Group Germany) calls
for this nationwide action.

The ever growing number of participants on one side clearly
demonstrates that the issue of Tibet is still regarded as unresolved,
on the other side it signals that Beijing’s permanent assertions of
everything in Tibet being at its best have lost their credibility.
Beijing’s Tibet policy has obviously failed. Three years after the
protests of 2008 the region is still closed to journalists and
representatives of international organisations. But a country which
suppresses others is not a free country itself.

China’s “Death Watching” – the assumption that once the Dalai Lama is
gone the issue of Tibet will fade away – will not work out. The
Chinese leadership should abandon its rigid attitude and finally
consent to hold meaningful talks with the Tibetan side. Afer all, it
would be to its own advantage. There is no guarantee at all that after
60 years of repression the Tibetan people, without the moderate
influence of the Dalai Lama, would accept the alternative of autonomy.
It seems that the Tibetan leader’s willingness to compromise is seen
as weakness.

Flying the Tibetan national flag under these circumstances is a
commitment to global responsibility – also in politics. “If Germany’s
interests are defended at the Hindu Kush why should the rights of the
Tibetans not be defended from within Germany?”, said Monika Deimann,
the campaign’s coordinator. “It is imperative to perceive the Tibetan
people as an acting subject in politics. It’s overdue that our
government talks directly to the Tibetan people. It should welcome the
Dalai Lama as legitimate representative of his people and be willing
to engage with representatives of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile. On
March 20 a new Tibetan-Government-in Exile- will be democratically
elected by the Tibetan diaspora. However important the dialogue with
China might be, it’s unacceptable to keep on talking with the
occupiers about the occupied.”

The flag campaign on March 10 is not a matter of human rights’
violations or of foreign policy – it is a matter of justice and
injustice. An injustice that the Tibetan people have endure for
decades up to the present day and which we should not accept if we do
not wish not to violate our own democratic values. This year, one of
the participating mayors put it in a nutshell: “To fly the flag for
Tibet is a question of integrity”.

Tibet Initiative Deutschland thanks the heads of cities,
municipalities and counties for supporting the Tibetan cause and for
their commitment to the universality of democratic values.

For the current list of participants 2011, messages of support as well
as background information about March 10 and the flag-campaign please
refer to There is also a digital Tibetan Flag
available for download.

Participants 2011(as per 7 March): Baden-Württemberg 175, Bavaria 188,
Berlin 4, Brandenburg 27, Bremen 12, Hesse 157, Mecklenburg-Western
Pomerania 19, Lower Saxony 117, North Rhine-Westphalia 131,
Rhineland-Palatinate 115, Saarland 33, Saxony 82, Saxony-Anhalt 56,
Schleswig-Holstein 22, Thuringia 10.

In 1949/50 the sovereign Tibet was illegally and in violation of
international law occupied by the People’s Republic of China and in
1951 it was annexed. On March 10, 1959, Tibetans in Lhasa stood up
against their Chinese occupiers. According to official Chinese figures
87.000 Tibetans lost their lives in the following crackdown. On March
17, 1959 the Dalai Lama fled into exile to India to evade the
stranglehold of the Chinese.

For further information and requests for interviews please contact:
Monika Deimann-Clemens
Flag campaign’s coordinator /Tibet Initiative Deutschland (TSG Germany)
Tel. +49 - 6047 – 7816
Mobile: +49 - 174 – 789 63 36

CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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