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


April 22, 2008

Nepal authorizes deadly force against torch protesters; activists call
for cancellation of Tibet relay leg

SFT, April 21, 2008
Contact: Lhadon Tethong, Executive Director +1 917-418-4181
Kate Woznow, Campaign Director +1 917-601-0069

New York – Tibetans and supporters are reiterating their call for the
International Olympic Committee (IOC) to withdraw all Tibetan areas from
the Olympic torch relay route in the wake of fresh protests in Tibet,
and threats from the Nepalese government to use deadly force against

On Thursday, Chinese forces beat and detained at least 100 Tibetans from
Rebkong County (Ch: Tongren Xian) who were demonstrating for the release
of monks and other protesters who have been held since a Tibetan
uprising began last month. Rebkong is just one hour from Xining, where
the Olympic torch is scheduled to arrive in June. Just two days later,
the Nepalese government announced that it had authorized the use of
deadly force to stop protests during the torch ascent of Mt. Everest,
scheduled for May.

"The IOC is planning to parade the Olympic torch through the heart of
one of the most restive regions in Tibet while Chinese authorities have
promised to "harshly" repress Tibetans in order to assure a successful
torch relay," said Lhadon Tethong, Executive Director of Students for a
Free Tibet. "To allow the torch to go to Tibet right now would be the
height of irresponsibility. The IOC must immediately do the right thing
and remove Tibet from the Olympic torch route."

According to eyewitness reports, on April 17th scores of Chinese forces
in full riot gear raided Rong Gonchen Monastery, threatening monks at
gunpoint for having photos of the Dalai Lama. Alak Khasutsang, an
80-year old monk and former abbot of Rong Gonchen Monastery, is in
critical condition after being severely beaten by Chinese security
forces. The situation in Rebkong County remains extremely tense and
Chinese authorities have warned Tibetans not to relay information about
the protest to the outside world.

The Nepalese government announced yesterday that it has authorized the
use of deadly force to stop protests when the Olympic torch is carried
to the top of Mount Everest in May. In April 2007, five Americans,
including SFT's deputy director Tenzin Dorjee, unfurled a large banner
reading "One World, One Dream: Free Tibet" at the base camp of Mount
Everest during a trial ascent of Beijing's Olympic torch.

"That nations are authorizing the use of deadly force in order to
facilitate the passage of the Olympic torch, is a clear sign that the
situation has spiraled out of control, and a responsible organization in
the position of the IOC would immediately cancel the torch run through
Tibet," Tethong added.

Tibetans have protested nearly everyday in Nepal since the Tibetan
uprising started on March 10th. Nepalese police have used brutal and
extreme force to stop protests and intimidate Tibetans. There are
approximately 20,000 Tibetan refugees living in Nepal.
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