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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."

Pelosi Sends Urgent Letter to Bush On Behalf of Tibet

August 3, 2008

Tibet Space
August 1, 2008

Nancy Pelosi today sent an urgent letter to President Bush before he
leaves for the Beijing Olymics.  The text of the letter follows:

August 1, 2008

President George W. Bush

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C.

Dear President Bush:

On the eve of your trip to China to attend the 2008 Summer Olympic
Games, the human rights situation in China and Tibet is worsening and
new restrictions are being imposed on international journalists as
they attempt to cover the Olympic Games. I am writing to ask that you
make human rights and freedom of the press top priorities of your visit.

The Olympic Charter states that the goal of the Olympic Games should
be to promote "a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of
human dignity." Sadly, the Chinese government has failed to create an
atmosphere that honors the Olympic traditions of freedom and
openness. In fact, human rights conditions have worsened in the time
leading up to the Olympic games as Chinese authorities have
intensified efforts to detain and imprison people who have publicly
spoken out about conditions in China and Tibet.

In exchange for the privilege of hosting the Olympic Games, the
Chinese government made commitments regarding freedom of the press,
human rights, and the environment. Many of these commitments have
been violated repeatedly and blatantly. Prominent human rights
defenders have been arrested and imprisoned. International and
Chinese journalists have been censored, threatened, and detained.
Most recently, we have learned that international journalists are
being blocked from accessing websites deemed offensive by the Chinese
government. This action is in direct contradiction of Beijing's
commitment to allow international media free access to cover the
Olympics in China.

The recent dialogue between the Chinese government and
representatives of the Dalai Lama did not result in any progress.
Thousands of peaceful Tibetans still languish in prisons in the
aftermath of protests that began in March. Chinese authorities
stepped up their so-called "patriotic education" campaigns that
require Tibetan Buddhists -- regardless of their true thoughts,
beliefs, and convictions -- to publicly denounce the Dalai Lama.

On the international front, the Chinese government's policies of
supporting the genocidal regime in Sudan and the military junta in
Burma run counter to the interests of peace and stability in the
world. It is my hope that you will persuade China to end its support
for the human rights abuses in these countries.

On July 30, the U.S. House of Representatives considered a resolution
calling on the Chinese government to end abuses of human rights,
cease its repression of Tibetan and Uighur citizens and end its
support for the governments of Sudan and Burma. The resolution also
calls on the President to make strong statements on human rights and
meet with the families of jailed prisoners of conscience while in
Beijing. It passed by a vote of 419-1.

Your recent meetings with Chinese dissidents at the White House are
to be commended. However, your participation at the opening ceremony
of the Olympics will send a signal to the Chinese people and the
international community that could be misperceived as your approval,
and that of the American people, for the draconian policies of the
Chinese government. Therefore, it is essential that you unambiguously
speak out for human rights and meet with the families of jailed
prisoners of conscience while you are in Beijing.

Thank you for your attention to these concerns.

Sincerely,

NANCY PELOSI
Speaker of the House

cc: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

SOURCE  Office of the Speaker of the House
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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