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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."

TIBET ADVOCATES URGE CLINTON TO PRESS BEIJING ON TIBET AS CHINA INTENSIFIES CLAMPDOWN

February 21, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 19, 2009

Contact: Tenzin Dorjee, +1 646-724-0748
Kate Woznow, +1 917-601-0069

Clinton to Visit China Days After Hundreds Protest in Eastern Tibet

New York – Tibet advocacy organizations are calling on U.S. Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton to increase American pressure on the Chinese
government to stop its military clampdown in Tibet. Clinton arrives in
China tomorrow on her first visit as America's top diplomat. Her visit
comes just days after a protest by hundreds of Tibetans in eastern Tibet
and as Chinese authorities are mobilizing military forces across the
Tibetan plateau in advance of the Tibetan New Year on February 25th and
the 50th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan National Uprising on March 10th.

"Secretary Clinton arrives in China as the Chinese government is
dramatically escalating its aggression against the Tibetan people," said
Tenzin Dorjee, Deputy Director of Students for a Free Tibet. "Clinton
and many American leaders have made strong statements in support of
Tibet, and it is time they matched their words with action by
prioritizing a negotiated resolution between China and the Dalai Lama as
an integral part of US-China relations."

Chinese authorities have recently banned foreigners from entering Tibet,
including the Tibet Autonomous Region and Tibetan areas of present-day
Qinghai, Sichuan, Gansu and Yunnan provinces. Large-scale troop build up
has been reported in several areas, and according to the Tibet Daily,
security forces have been ordered to 'crush' any sign of dissent.
"Chinese forces are setting the stage for the bloody suppression of
Tibetans to take place out of sight of independent eye-witnesses by
barring foreigners from Tibet and making it impossible for reporters to
access the area," said Kate Woznow, Campaigns Director of Students for a
Free Tibet. "We are gravely concerned that in the coming weeks more
Tibetans will be arrested and possibly killed, and we call on Secretary
Clinton to unequivocally convey to the Chinese leadership that its
hard-line policies must end."

The most recent clampdown appears to have been sparked by a grassroots
movement by Tibetans to refrain from Tibetan New Year celebrations next
week, instead turning the occasion into a memorial for the more than 200
Tibetans killed in protests over the past year. A few days ago, hundreds
of Tibetans protested in Lithang, Kham (Chinese: Litang County, Karze
Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province) on February 15th and
16th, calling for the return of the Dalai Lama and for Tibetans to
cancel New Years celebrations. Soldiers attacked the protesters with
batons and rifle butts, and detained at least 24 Tibetans.
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