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Press Release: Serfs Emancipation Day

March 29, 2009

TIBET 1959-2009: 50 years of oppression; 50 years of resistance
Press Release
Tibet Society (UK)
March 26, 2009

London UK, Thursday 26 March, 2009

Interview and photo opportunity:
Outside Chinese Embassy, 49-51 Portland Place, London, W1B 1JL
Time: Friday 27 March, 9.30am

On the eve of the newly declared "Serfs
Emancipation Day," a PR exercise thought up by
the Chinese government to try and persuade the
world that Tibetans are living in peaceful
harmony, members of the Tibetan community join
Britain will join Palden Gyatso and Lama Lobsang
outside the Chinese Embassy in London to express
their condemnation of the continued whitewash of
the situation in Tibet by the Chinese government.

At the age of 28, Palden Gyatso was arrested in
Tibet in 1959 for peacefully demonstrating
against the Chinese occupiers. He spent the next
33 years in jail or labour camp, suffering
horrific torture and deprivation. He has survived
his ordeal and can give first hand testimony of
treatment meted out by the Chinese regime, but
many thousands of Tibetans have not survived and
died whilst in detention. Palden has submitted
testimony to the current lawsuit in the Spanish
courts against Jiang Zemin and other Chinese high ranking officials.

On 21 March, Lama Lobsang, received the news that
his best friend, Tashi Sangpo (28), a Tibetan
monk based in Amdo Golok Ragya monastery,
committed suicide by throwing himself in to the
Machu river. He was driven to this ultimate act
of protest by his intense frustration and despair
at the continuing situation in Tibet.

Recently released video evidence clearly shows
the extent of the brutal measures taken by
Chinese police and soldiers in suppressing
unarmed Tibetans taking part in demonstrations in
Tibet last year. The clip gives a shocking
glimpse of what Tibetans can expect to encounter
if they do no more than peacefully protest for
their human and civil rights. This has been the
reality for Tibetans for over 50 years.

Tibet today is a nation under de facto martial
law, cut off from the outside world, with no
media access, its people effectively gagged and
silenced. Meanwhile China continues to get away
with its portrayal of Tibet as being a liberated
country and condemns any evidence to the contrary
as lies. It is time China’s lies are exposed.

[ends]

For background / further information contact:
Philippa Carrick, Chief Executive, Tibet
Society:  020 7272 1414 / 07941 105 485 email: philippa@tibetsociety.com
Terry Bettger, Campaigns Officer, Tibet
Society:  020 7272 1414 / 07910 056606 email: terry@tibetsociety.com

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T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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