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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."

OLYMPIC TORCH ARRIVES IN BEIJING AS CRACKDOWN IN TIBET INTENSIFIES THOUSANDS DEMAND “NO TORCH IN TIBET” IN GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION

April 2, 2008

For Immediate Release
31 March 2008
Contact: Enrico Soekarno +62816996280
The Roof of The World Foundation  /  The Indonesian Society For A Free Tibet

[Jakarta, Indonesia] – Protests, vigils, and marches took place in
dozens of cities around the globe today, stepping up demands for the
Olympic Torch not to be carried through Tibet on its five-month relay.
The events were timed to coincide with the arrival of the Olympic Torch
for the first time in Beijing and reflect growing momentum for Tibetan
areas to be removed from the Torch Relay. In Tibet, food and water
supplies have reportedly been cut off at the three major monasteries
around Lhasa. One hundred and forty Tibetans have died and more than a
thousand Tibetans have been detained since the uprising began with
peaceful protests on 10 March.

In Jakarta, The Indonesian Society For A Free Tibet, an alliance
comprising of various non-governmental organizations and concerned
citizens, staged a solidarity action in front of the Chinese Embassy in
Mega Kuningan with various orations, inter-faith prayers, performances
and theatrical plays, ending with the delivery of an open letter to Hu
Jintao which was read earlier.

“Carrying the Olympic Torch through Tibet would be a callous provocation
to Tibetans who have already risked their lives in recent days to show
the world that China’s policies in Tibet cannot be borne,”  said Enrico
Soekarno. “The events of the last few weeks prove that China’s attempts
to assimilate Tibetan hearts and minds have failed, and the Tibetan
spirit remains unbroken.”

The protestors were joined by members of Avaaz.org, a global online
advocacy organization that has collected 1.5 million signatures over the
last 10 days from around the world on a petition which calls for
dialogue between China and the Dalai Lama. This is believed to be the
largest and fastest-growing global online petition in history.

The crackdown on protests in greater Tibet (including Tibetan areas of
Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan) has taken an even more chilling tone
in recent days, with reports of several hundred Tibetans being removed
from Lhasa by train to an unknown destination, and “truckloads” of
Tibetans being rounded up and detained through house to house searches.
Those detained include former political prisoners and Tibetans who have
studied in India.

“It is unfathomable that the International Olympic Committee and Torch
Relay sponsors would allow China to take the torch through Tibet when
the entire region is on military lockdown and tactics not seen since the
Cultural Revolution are being used to suppress the population,” said
Enrico Soekarno. “We would like to see the Olympic ideals remain intact
through Beijing 2008, but the current course of the IOC seems set to
make these Olympics go down in history as an endorsement of brutality
and oppression.”

The IOC’s Coordination Commission for the 2008 Olympics is in Beijing
until April 3rd.  More than one hundred and fifty Tibet support
organizations called on IOC President Jacques Rogge in a letter two
weeks ago to cancel the planned visits of the Olympic torch to all
Tibetan areas. The organizations, part of the International Tibet
Support Network (see below) have also sent letters to the Torch Relay
sponsors – Coca Cola, Lenovo, and Samsung – calling on them to withdraw
their sponsorship unless Tibet is dropped from the route, and will now
be appealing to National Olympic Committees to support their demands.

Notes to Editors:

1. Details of the signatories of the global petition are available from
Avaaz on +1 866 394 2338 or by sending an email to media@avaaz.org.

2. National Olympic Committees of the world will be meeting in Beijing
from 7 – 9 April as part of the General Assembly of the Association of
National Olympic Committees.

3. The Roof of The World Foundation is a non profit organization based
in Jakarta, and was created two years ago as a Tibetan Support Group
with a focus on culture and its preservation.

4. The Roof of The World Foundation is part of the International Tibet
Support Network, a global coalition of Tibet related non-governmental
organizations, which works to maximise the effectiveness of the
worldwide Tibet movement. ITSN Member organizations hold varied
positions on Tibet's future political status, but all 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.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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