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Tibetans call for end to China’s military crackdown in Tibet

June 4, 2009

Northern Voices Online

Jun 3rd, 2009


Dharamshala - Tibetans and their supporters around the world will take to the streets today to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre and to call for an end to the Chinese government’s military crackdown in Tibet. June 4th marks the fateful day in 1989 when the Chinese government ordered the military to open fire on unarmed students and workers in Tiananmen Square. The anniversary comes just months after the Chinese government flooded Tibet with troops in advance of the 50th anniversary of the March 10th Tibetan National Uprising, another sensitive anniversary for Beijing.


“Tibetans know the brutal nature of the Chinese government and we stand in solidarity with the tens of thousands of Chinese students, labor organizers, and pro-democracy advocates whose struggle for an open and democratic China was violently crushed by the tanks in Tiananmen Square twenty years ago,” said Lhadon Tethong, Executive Director of Students for a Free Tibet. “The legacy of Tiananmen, like the military occupation of Tibet, is a stark reminder that the Chinese government will stop at nothing to quash the voices of dissent that are perceived as a threat to its control.”


In recent days, Chinese dissidents have been detained and harassed and popular websites and social networking sites have been blocked in China as Beijing steps up security measures in advance of the anniversary. Meanwhile, Tibet remains a militarized zone with armed police and troops on high alert while foreign media is still effectively banned from the area.


“Twenty years have passed since the Tiananmen massacre and yet the Chinese government continues to ruthlessly crackdown against democracy activists, lawyers, Tibetans, and anyone who dares to openly advocate for human rights and freedom,” said Tenzin Choeying, Director of Students for a Free Tibet India. “The Chinese leadership must be held accountable for their heinous crimes and we call on the international community to stand in support of the Tiananmen survivors and all those who continue to advocate for democracy in China.”


Solidarity marches and vigils will take place in India, Japan, Germany and the United States on the eve of the Tiananmen anniversary. Tibet advocacy groups are also joining global Tiananmen commemoration events organized by Chinese democracy groups on 4th.

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