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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Hu Failed Tibet; Will Singh, Zuma and Rousseff be its champions?

June 2, 2012

28 March, 2012

Hu Failed Tibet; Will Singh, Zuma and Rousseff be its champions?
Tibetans and Tibet Supporters on Three Continents Call for Multilateral Action for Tibet at BRICS Summit

Press contacts: 
Dorjee Tsetan, Students for a Free Tibet-India: English, Tibetan             +91 9911 521 009      
VJ Kranti, Core Group India: English, Hindi             +91 9810 245 674      
Elizabeth Gaywood, Tibet Society South Africa: English             +27 083 551 3709       
Cerys Tramontini, Tibet Culture Centre Brazil: English, Portuguese             +55 4891 299 662      

New Delhi – On the eve of the BRICS Summit, as leaders from Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa prepare to meet China's President Hu Jintao in Delhi, Tibetans and Tibet groups on three continents urge their leaders to apply joint pressure on Hu to end his military crackdown in Tibet and find a solution to the on-going crisis. Over the past two years, 30 Tibetans in Tibet have to date lit themselves on fire in protest of Chinese rule; 17 have taken place since January 2012. Four self-immolations have also been carried out by Tibetans living in exile, the most recent on Monday by Jamphel Yeshi, a Tibetan man in New Delhi who is currently in critical condition. Hundreds of Tibetans were arrested and Tibetan refugee settlements cordoned off by police following his self-immolation and before Hu's arrival. 

"Hu Jintao's failed leadership has brought nothing but increased repression and military control of Tibet and he must be held accountable for his human rights atrocities," said Dorjee Tsetan, National Director of Students for a Free Tibet - India. “His brutal and violent occupation of Tibet, coupled with abuses committed against his own people, clearly show the truth that China today remains an unchanged, repressive and authoritarian state. Tibetans in Tibet – and in exile – have been galvanized by the events of the past several months, and are doing everything possible to build political momentum for an international diplomatic intervention to save Tibetan lives.”

Hu's failed policies in Tibet have created a human right crisis, provoking an unprecedented wave of self-immolations by Tibetan monks, nuns and laypeople. There have been over 30 self-immolations in Tibet, 17 since January 2012, all by Tibetans calling for freedom for Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama. The same calls for freedom were also heard during a recent wave of large-scale peaceful protests in Tibet. Chinese security forces responded to this resistance by opening fire on crowds and then arresting and disappearing people suspected of being involved in the protest.

“Hu Jintao has tried  – and failed – to convince the world that China is more open and democratic and that Tibetans are somehow prospering under Chinese rule,” said Vijay Kranti of the Core Group for the Tibetan Cause. "But we know the truth and are today appealing to our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh - leader of the world's largest democracy - to speak out in support of the people of Tibet."

President Hu Jintao’s failed policies in Tibet began in the 1980s when he implemented the twin strategy of "grasping with both hands", combining economic incentives with an increasingly harsh crackdown on dissent, culminating in the imposition of martial law in Tibet in March 1989. Hu has maintained a tight grip on Tibet policy throughout his career, overseeing the crackdown against peaceful protests in 2008. His legacy in Tibet is an overwhelming failure to address the legitimate grievances of the Tibetan people by implementing policies that repress and marginalize the Tibetan people.

Cerys Tramontini, President of the Tibet Culture Centre Brazil said, "Many Brazilians share the international concern about the current crisis in Tibet. With President Rousseff's credentials as an advocate of human rights and freedom (4) I believe she is in a strong position to emphasize the importance of respecting the Tibetan people's rights to freedom, and I hope she will be a champion for Tibet."

Elizabeth Gaywood of Tibet Society South Africa added, "As a South African I am proud at how our country overcame the adversity of apartheid; but we did not do it alone - we had the help of people around the world who united to champion freedom and human rights. We now need to ensure Tibet is given the same opportunity and President Zuma must join his counterparts in uniting behind Tibet to find a lasting solution to the current situation."

This is likely to be Hu Jintao's last visit to India and his last appearance at a BRICS summit as 5th generation leader Xi Jinping is widely expected to become General Secretary of China's Communist Party later this year, and China's President in March 2013.

1. Core Group for the Tibetan Cause, Students for a Free Tibet India and Tibet Culture Centre Brazil are all members of International Tibet Network; a global coalition of 185 Tibet related non-governmental organizations, which works to maximise the effectiveness of the worldwide Tibet movement. Network Member organisations regard Tibet as an occupied country and are dedicated to ending human rights violations in Tibet, and to working actively to restore the Tibetan people's right under international law to determine their own political, economic, social, religious, and cultural status. See The Network works closely with Tibet Society South Africa.

2. See Resistance in Tibet: Self-immolation and Protest is a timeline report which documents the current wave of self-immolations and protests across Tibet -

3. See Hu Failed Tibet: 17 Points of Disagreement, a report documenting 17 points of disagreement between China and Members of International Tibet Network:

4. Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil, is a former political prisoner having fought against the military dictatorship in Brazil in the 1970s. Rousseff was captured and jailed between 1970 and 1972 and reportedly tortured.
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