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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."

Rights & Democracy calls for restraint and dialogue in Tibet

March 21, 2008

Montreal, March 19, 2008 – Rights & Democracy today called on the
People’s Republic of China to exercise restraint in its response to
ongoing protests in Tibet and neighbouring provinces.

Employing violence to control the situation will only enflame the
legitimate grievances that led Tibetans to the streets and result in
further unrest down the road. China’s only hope for true and lasting
peace in the region is to engage the Tibetan leadership in an open
dialogue based on respect for free expression, freedom of association,
freedom of religion and self-determination.

“China’s government has made numerous promises on human rights in these
months leading up to the Beijing Olympics and they are being put to the
test on the streets of Lhasa,” said Jean-Paul Hubert, Interim President
of Rights & Democracy. “This is an important opportunity for China to
show that it has turned a corner in terms of respecting international
human rights commitments.”

China’s claim that the Dalai Lama is behind the riots denies the very
real and justified grievances that led to these recent protests. Since
China’s armed annexation of Tibet in 1950, Chinese policies in the
disputed territory have underpinned a campaign of cultural, religious
and political repression that the Dalai Lama has since deemed a case of
“cultural genocide.”

Rights & Democracy also calls on the Government of China to ensure that
its efforts to stem the unrest in Tibet respect the rule of law and due
process.

“Continuing to rule Tibet at the expense of human rights is destined to
fail,” said Mr. Hubert. “Lasting peace and prosperity in Tibet will only
be secured through an honest and open dialogue that puts human rights
first.”

Rights & Democracy has published the following reports on human rights
in Tibet, all of which are available online at www.dd-rd.ca:


- Tibet-China Negotiations: A Case for Canadian Leadership (2004)
- Economic Dimensions of Autonomy: The Right to Development in Tibet (2004)
- Tibet-China Negotiations: Building Peace Through Dialogue (2004)
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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