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In His Address To Uk Parliamentarians, The Dalai Lama Sounds A Warning Over Population Transfer

May 23, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tibet Society -- London UK
May 21, 2008]

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama today made an address to over 150
UK parliamentarians whilst spending the day in Westminster. When
answering a wide range of questions put by MPs, he expressed his
serious concerns for the future of Tibet in view of proposed Chinese
resettlement policies. Following the Olympics, the Chinese
authorities plan to resettle over one million Han Chinese to the
Tibetan plateau. Speaking of this, the Dalai Lama said "If this is
true, Tibet could become like Inner Mongolia where the Han Chinese
now number 20 million and Mongolians four million. It would be very
difficult to preserve the Tibetan culture ... it could become
cultural genocide, whether intentionally or unintentionally".

He went on to stress that the Tibet problem is a question of the
survival of a nation with a unique cultural heritage and Buddhist
traditions. Despite the Dalai Lama's fears for the resettlement
programme, he is hopeful that the next round of talks between his
envoys and the Chinese government , due on 11 June, could see the
start of a realistic approach to solve the Tibet problem. He
reiterated that he is seeking to establish meaningful autonomy and
wants to discuss practical and appropriate ways to preserve  the
unique Tibetan culture, language, spirituality and environment. He
also reminded MPs that under China's constitution autonomous regions
have the right to preserve their culture and religion.

Following the address, Philippa Carrick said "The recent
demonstrations and protests inside Tibet are not a flash in the pan,
they are the result of nearly 60 years or repression by China.
Tibetans have had enough. The Dalai Lama is a remarkable man who has
steadfastly offered the hand of peace to the Chinese government in
order to find justice for his people. China needs to believe in the
honesty of the Dalai Lama's position and not always see him as a
threat to the motherland.  Gordon Brown has fostered good relations
with the Chinese leadership - it would be great to see him use these
good relations for positive ends by supporting the Dalai Lama and
encouraging the Chinese government to take that first step to
negotiate a settlement that sees true self determination for the
Tibetan people."

Currently Tibet is effectively under lockdown and isolated from the
outside world, with the Chinese government showing no sign of
allowing any independent audit of the situation, let alone free media
access. There are real and urgent concerns on humanitarian issues and
deep apprehension as to the measures that will be taken by local
authorities on any demonstrations when the Olympic torch goes through
Tibet in June. Hundreds of Tibetans have been killed or injured since
March this year and thousands more are in detention with no idea of
what fate awaits them. Already 30, without any access to legal
representation, have been covertly tried and found guilty. The
sentences varied from three years to life imprisonment.

The Dalai Lama is in London at the invitation of the Tibet Society
and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet.

-- 30 --

For background / further information contact:

Philippa Carrick, Chief Executive Tibet Society:
020 7272 1414 / 07941 105485
email: philippa@tibetsociety.com

---------------------------
BACKGROUND NOTES TO EDITORs: Five critical actions in support of Tibet

Tibet support groups in the UK urge the government to take the
following critical actions to support the Tibetan people and their
basic human rights.

1. Immediate access be granted to all areas of Tibet by the UN, Red
Cross or another recognised independent body for an objective and
true account of the situation, report on casualties and availability
of medical care, verify the number of deaths, visit those in
detention and confirm access to legal representation.

2. The re-opening of all areas of Tibet to foreign journalists and
ensure open access to the media in accordance with the promises given
to the International Olympic Committee when Beijing was awarded the
2008 Olympic Games.

3. China and representatives of the Dalai Lama to set a date for a
meeting, to be held in a neutral country under the auspices of an
agreed objective mediator, to begin substantive dialogue, without
preconditions, to find a legitimate and negotiated solution for the
Tibetan and Chinese people. (Premier Wen Jiabao gave an assurance to
Gordon Brown that if the Dalai Lama renounces violence and does not
seek independence, both of which the Dalai Lama has repeatedly and
publicly confirmed, he would talk with the Dalai Lama.)

4.  UK government officials and other dignitaries to demonstrate
their condemnation, abhorrence and concern at the Chinese
authorities' overreaction and hostile repression of the Tibetan
people's right to freedom of expression by not attending the opening
ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing.

5.  The International Olympic Committee and the Chinese government to
review and amend the route of the Olympic torch to ensure that, out
of respect for Tibetan people, it does not go to Lhasa or through any
regions of Tibet.

Official Torch relay route

Tibet: 19-21 June:
19 June in Shannan Diqu, Tibet and
21 June in Lhasa.
http://torchrelay.beijing2008.cn/en/journey/map/

WEN JIBAO COMMENTS
As quoted by Gordon Brown in Prime Minister's Questions 19 March 2006:

"I spoke to Premier Wen this morning and I made it absolutely clear
that there had to be an end to violence in Tibet, the Premier told me
that subject to two things that the Dalai Lama has already said -
that he does not support the total independence of Tibet and that he
renounces violence - that he would be prepared to enter into dialogue
with the Dalai Lama."

EDM 1444 HUMAN RIGHTS AND TIBET,
Tabled by Norman Baker MP, 28 April

That this House is both alarmed and disappointed by the refusal by
the Chinese government to accede to a request from Louise Arbour, the
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, to grant access for a
delegation from the UN to visit Tibet in April in order independently
to assess the current working situation; urges the Government to
express its grave concern to the Chinese authorities over this
decision, to ask why it is not convenient at this time and to press
for an early date at which it would be convenient; and further urges
the Government actively to support the recent European Parliament's
resolution on Tibet wherein its calls for an open and independent
inquiry, under the auspices of the United Nations, into the recent
riots and repression in Tibet; and urges the Chinese authorities to
issue a standing invitation to the UN High Commissioner for Human
Rights and other UN bodies to visit Tibet.
http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=35705&SESSION=891

EDM 1387 HUMANITARIAN SUFFERING IN TIBET
Tabled by Harry Cohen MP, 22 April

That this House expresses deep sadness and concern for the current
situation in Tibet which sees the country in severe lockdown by the
Chinese authorities following recent demonstrations by the Tibetan
populace that resulted in over 140 Tibetans killed, over 4,000
Tibetans in detention, a lack of medical aid for those injured,
restricted movement, many in hiding for fear of their lives, leaving
villages deserted at the crucial time of year when crops need to be
sowed and severe food shortages in the cities; and calls on the
Government to urge the Chinese authorities to end this suffering by
allowing humanitarian aid, under the auspices of the International
Red Cross, the UN or other independent bodies, into the Tibetan
Autonomous Region and other areas of Tibet.
http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=35634&SESSION=891
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