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

Tibetans Call on UN Secretary-General to Appoint Special Envoy on Tibet

April 29, 2008

TIBETAN COMMUNITY IN SWISS ROMANDE, Geneva
PORTE DU TIBET, Geneva
28 April, 2008

Tibetans and their supporters in Switzerland will gather before the
United Nations in Geneva on 29 April afternoon to urge Mr. Ban Ki-moon,
the UN Secretary-General, to immediately appoint a Special Envoy on
Tibet, who will seek a fact-finding Mission to Tibet in view of the
urgent human rights crisis faced by the six million Tibetan people.

Such an independent mission is particularly essential after China
refused to receive a mission to Tibet by Ms. Louise Arbour, the UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights, saying that she could come at a later
date when the world knows that Ms. Arbour will leave her post at the end
of June.

"We believe Western countries like Switzerland should now play its
responsible multilateral role to ensure that the Secretary-General
appoints an Envoy on Tibet" said Mr. Jacques Arnal, President of Porte
du Tibet, the Tibet Support Group in Geneva. "Bern must support our call
to Mr. Ban Ki-moon.”

The Tibetan demonstration before the United Nations will in a symbolic
solidarity carry a huge coffin draped with the Tibetan National Flag to
pay homage to all Tibetans killed by China since 10 March. "As the
Chinese authorities are not handing over the dead bodies to their
families, this is our gesture to pray and remember those Tibetans who
sacrificed their lives for the Land of Snows," said Ms. Tsamchoe
Wiederkehr, President of the Tibetan Community in Swiss Romande.

Since 10 March when the Tibetan Uprising was spearheaded by the Tibetan
people, more than 50 demonstrations, small and large, urging for the
human rights and fundamental freedoms of Tibetans be respected, were
suppressed by brutal military force. Tibetans believe that China has
launched a second "Cultural Revolution" to eliminate the very notion of
their existence on this human planet. "Ungrateful" Tibetans is the word
spreading among the Chinese people in a hate attacks instigated by the
Chinese authorities. "Tibet was and will always be a part of China" is
the slogan spread to Chinese communities all over the world.

During the past 45 days, according to official Chinese announcements
4,000 Tibetans have been arrested while over a thousand have disappeared
after arrests. According to the Tibetan Government in Exile more than
150 Tibetans have been killed as a direct result of the "people's war"
which China launched upon the non-violent freedom struggle of Tibet.
Torture of those Tibetans arrested is a routine practiced of the Chinese
authorities described by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture as a
policy of "breaking the will" of a person. On a massive scale Tibetans
from all walks of life are now being forced to the Cultural Revolution
style-struggle sessions to condemn His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the
spiritual and temporal leader of the six million Tibetan people.

We are grateful that Mr. Ban Ki-moon had already expressed his concern
on the situation in Tibet in early March but we are disappointed by the
Secretary-General's silence thereafter on the tragic human rights crisis
unfolding on the Tibetan Plateau. We believe the topic of the
Secretary-General's lecture at the United Nations here on 29 April, "Are
the development goals doomed for failure?" is equally relevant to the
situation faced by the Tibetan people, since China is totally failing to
meet the UN Millennium Developmental Goals (MDGs) when its matters to
Tibetans.

Developmental issues affecting the Tibetan people are decided by Beijing
without the prior consent of the indigenous inhabitants. The cheap
railway ticket into the Tibetan capital which brought more than a
million people in the first year is one example. Exploitation and
extract of the rich natural resources of the Tibetan Plateau is another
example while the increasing population of Chinese settlers is
considered as China's final solution to the Sino-Tibetan conflict.

For instance, the 2007 Human Development and Environment Report of the
Tibetan Government in Exile (TGIE) stated how China’s massive investment
in Tibet has produced a lopsided economy: “Wealth is concentrated in
towns and cities largely populated by non-Tibetans immigrants while vast
areas of countryside have been stripped of forest and their pastures
degraded, leaving rural people impoverished and marginalized. This is
not sustainable,” the report said. A new approach is needed so that the
UN’s Millennium Developments Goals (MDGs) can be achieved in Tibet and
Tibet’s environment largely restored,” the report added.

We believe an immediate intervention on Tibet by the UN
Secretary-General would be the most responsible urgent step to be taken.
On 10 April, 7 human rights experts procedure of the UN Human Rights in
a public statement stated: “The Government of China has invited several
fact-finding delegations, including one consisting of journalists and
another of foreign diplomats, to visit the Tibet Autonomous Region. Such
visits are no substitute for granting access to those United Nations
experts who have requested a visit to China. While welcoming the
Government of China's previous invitations to United Nations mandate
holders, it is nevertheless urged to respond equally positively to
outstanding visit requests to enable mandate holders including the
Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions to
carry out the responsibilities entrusted to them by the Human Rights
Council.”

Contact:
Jacques Arnal, Porte du Tibet: 079 436 6531
Deki Falcombello, Tibetan Community in Swiss Romande: 076 332 6765
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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