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Tibet Society strongly urges the Foreign Secretary to stand up and defend Tibetan rights

January 29, 2012

Following the British Minister's statement on Wednesday (http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/news/latest-news/?view=News&id=721015082), Tibet Society have reiterated the call made in our press release (http://www.tibetsociety.com/content/view/236) for the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, to stand up for Tibetans rights with the statement below.  

This has been forwarded by the Foreign Office directly to the Foreign Secretary’s and Jeremy Browne’s offices, and the British Embassy in Beijing. We have had assurances from the FCO that, "we do absolutely appreciate the seriousness of these incidents, and are exploring all the options, including some of those which you mention."

26 January 2012: Tibet Society statement
The British government yesterday publicly acknowledged its concern about the escalating situation in Tibet with Jeremy Browne, Minister of State at the Foreign Office, urging the Chinese government to exercise restraint, further calling on China to "release full details of the incidents, and to work to resolve the underlying grievances".  

Whilst Tibet Society welcomes this statement, it has contacted the Foreign Office to ask what further means the government plans to use, both with the Chinese government and at a local level, in order to ascertain details of the incidents and encourage dialogues to resolve grievances. It also asked if British diplomatic staff will be visiting the area by and if there are any plans for a multi-lateral diplomatic ask to visit to the area. 

Philippa Carrick, CEO, Tibet Society said, “Sadly I think things are going to escalate inside Tibet and this could lead to a serious loss of life; there comes a point of despair when the risk of losing your life is no longer a deterrent and I fear this point has been reached."

Ms Carrick added, "Given the tinderbox nature of the current situation, Tibet Society strongly urges the Foreign Secretary to stand up and defend Tibetan rights and make a public statement rebuking China for its brutal and dangerous actions in quashing peaceful Tibetan demonstrations.”

In 2010, in the third of his speeches on the coalition government’s foreign policy and human rights, William Hague commented, “all our efforts to advance our values must involve working with others, whether speaking out against abuses and rallying other countries to do the same, using our own conduct to set an example.” 

With this in mind, Tibet Society further calls on the British government to work together with other governments to construct a pragmatic multi-lateral approach on Tibet, acknowledging the rights of the Tibetan people and the urgent need for resolution of their grievances before more lives are lost. It is crucial that the Chinese government is not only substantively held to account for its flagrant disregard of Tibetans’ rights and of international human rights norms, but is also encouraged and supported to engage in points of substance with representatives of the Tibetan people to seek a solution to their long-standing and deeply held opposition to Chinese rule.


The statement and supporter actions can be viewed at http://www.tibetsociety.com/content/view/239
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