Join our Mailing List

"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Peaceful Protest Against Chinese Crackdown in Tibet

April 3, 2008

By Dan Sanchez
Epoch Times Los Angeles Staff
Apr 01, 2008

LOS ANGELES-In the late afternoon of Monday, Mar. 31, about 100
protesters peacefully gathered in front of the Chinese Consulate in Los
Angeles as part of a global day of protest against the crackdown in
Tibet by the Chinese regime.

The peaceful but loud protest, using bull horns to express calls for
support, took place between 4:00 p.m. and 6 p.m. They called for the
protection of human rights and the cessation of the violence against
Tibetans and that the Olympic Torch not be carried through Tibet.

Request Olympic Torch Not be Carried through Tibet

According to event organizers, the protests, vigils, and marches took
place in 80 cities and 27 countries around the world on Mar. 31, in an
effort to create demands for the Olympic Torch to not be carried through
Tibet on its five-month relay schedule because of the continued human
rights abuses against Tibetans. The events were timed to coincide with
the arrival of the Olympic Torch in Beijing.

Organizers claim 140 Tibetans have died and more than a thousand
Tibetans have been detained since the uprising began with peaceful
protests on Mar. 10.

"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 Tibetan population,"
said Lisa Kelly, President of Los Angeles Friends of Tibet.

"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."

Organizers say that more than one hundred and fifty Tibet support
organizations called on IOC President Jacques Rogge to cancel the
planned visits of the Olympic torch to all Tibetan areas. The
organizations 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 also be appealing to
National Olympic Committees to support their demands.

Over 1.3 Million Petition Signatures in 10 Days

Namgyal Kyulo, President of Tibetan Association of Southern California,
reports that a global online advocacy organization, AVAAZ.org, collected
1,388,948 signatures over the last 10 days from around the world on a
petition calling for dialogue between China and the Dalai Lama.

The Epoch Times asked a long-time representative of the Los Angeles
Friends of Tibet, Tseten Phanucharas, a few questions about the current
situation in Tibet.

Epoch Times: Why does China continue to get away with these obvious
human rights violations so close to the Olympics considering that they
promised to improve their human rights for the Olympics and yet their
record is getting worse according to human rights reporting agencies and
organizations?

Tseten Phanucharas: "I think the IOC has abdicated its responsibility of
reminding China of the promises it made when the Olympics were granted
to China. Many countries in the rest of the world refuse to take a
strong position in condemning China for its brutal repression of
Tibetans because of their own self interest, usually trade and money.

Just take a look at the contrast in President Bush's response to the
Burmese government's brutal crackdown compared to one he has expressed
so far about Tibet.

The two situations are very similar, yet his response seems not to be
dictated by actions of the perpetrator but rather by who the perpetrator
happens to be, I think that's so sad. I don't understand why he
immediately announced that he's going to Beijing for the Olympics. At
least the European leaders are showing some principled stands."

ET: What information have you learned through your contacts in Tibet?

TP: "I don't have direct personal contacts, only second hand. What I
hear is that Tibetans are living in fear. When family members call from
overseas, they quickly hang up. Often they can hear someone else picking
up the line. I heard that after the departure of the foreign media and
diplomats, the army was back in Lhasa in force. I hear that people are
being targeted and rounded up indiscriminately. The latest worrying news
is that monks and the Drepung, Sera and Ganden monasteries have been
sealed off and are being denied food and water. Townspeople are not
allowed to bring them food, nor for monks to leave. There could be mass
starvation."

ET: What can individuals and governments of the world do to help the
Tibetan people?

TP: "Individuals can join a Tibet support group such as Los Angeles
Friends of Tibet, www.latibet.org. There are Tibet support groups in
most countries. They can contact their head of state asking him/her to
boycott the Opening Ceremonies in Beijing. The easiest thing to do is to
sign online petitions. A couple of petition sites, among others, can be
found at www.AVAAZ.org or www.studentsforafreetibet.org "
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
Developed by plank