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Tibetan people express solidarity with and support for the Chinese Democracy Movement

June 2, 2009

Northern Voices Online
Jun 1st, 2009

Dharamshala: As we approach the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square
massacre, exile Tibetans stand in solidarity with the Chinese democracy
movement and express support for their demand for freedom, human rights and
democracy in China. In commemorating twenty years since the watershed event
in the history of contemporary China, we condemn the brutal manner with
which the heavily armed troops suppressed and killed the unarmed
pro-democracy protesters and bystanders. According to Amnesty International,
1000 people were killed and thousands more injured in early June
pro-democracy protests.

On June 3, Tibetan People’s Uprising Movement (TPUM) will organize a
signature campaign during the day and a candlelight vigil in the evening
followed by the screening of the feature-length documentary movie about the
Tiananmen Square protests, “The Gate of Heavenly Peace”. June 4, will be
observed as ‘White China Day” an initiative by Wan Dan, a key figure in
the 1989 pro-democracy protests in China. We request Tibetans around the
world to wear “White Clothes” on June 4 to pay our respect to the victims
and heroes of the Tiananmen protests. The series of events have been
organized to express our deepest solidarity for the victims of the Tiananmen
Square massacre and to express our profound and unwavering support for the
Chinese democracy movement.

It can be evidently inferred that the Chinese army’s quelling of the 1989
protests is similar to the Chinese government’s brutal crackdown on the
thousands of Tibetans who took part in the peaceful uprising against the
repressive Chinese rule in 2008. The protests have continued this year
despite the imposition of ‘de facto’ martial law and in the midst of
abominable acts of arbitrary arrests, unfair trials and executions including
the death sentences for two Tibetans; Lobsang Gyaltsen and Loyak that could
virtually take place any day. Tibetans continue to peacefully protest the
mining activities in Markham County in Chamdo prefecture, Tibet Autonomous
Region. Local sources report that approximately 500 Tibetans continue to
blockade the road leading to Ser Ngul Lo Mountain, although officials in
Markham told Radio Free Asia on May 27 that the standoff was close to being
resolved. The blockade reportedly started on May 16th to protest the mining
activities of Zhongkai Co., a Chinese mining and lumber company. Local
Tibetans also complain that mining in the area has contributed to water
contamination in the region. In response to the protests, Chinese
authorities in Markham are reported to have deployed at least 300 troops in
the region. A local source reported that, on May 31st, Markham county
officials declared it illegal for anyone to pass information to the outside
world about the protests or the deaths caused by the mine. The source
appealed for help from the international community stop the mining
operations and averts the environmental crises befalling Tibet. We call on
the Chinese government to immediately withdraw troops from the region, agree
to negotiate an end to the mining operations, and offer compensation to all
families affected by the water contamination.

With the affirmation and reassertion of our support for the Tiananmen
massacre victims, we join the voices of the Tiananmen mothers in their call
for reassessment of the June 4 incident by the government. We demand the
Chinese government to release all the political prisoners of the June 4,
1989 protests in Beijing and the March 2008 Uprisings in Tibet. The Chinese
government needs to realise that the call for freedom, justice and democracy
will catapult into becoming a stronger, unified and an irrevocable force.
While we reaffirm our commitment to work together with the Chinese community
as an integral part of finding a lasting solution for democracy, we support
the Chinese democracy movement and call for human rights in China and
freedom for Tibet. From Tiananmen Massacre (1989) to Charter 8 (2008) to the
Tibet Uprisings (2008-09), the road to democracy is vindictive. TPUM is
convinced that a truly democratic China will enable Tibetans to determine
their own future.
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