Wednesday, May 21, 2008

International Campaign for Tibet - Cancel Permission for the Olympic Torch Relay through Tibet!

Dear Tibet supporter,

The Chinese government has a chance to show the world that it is a worthy host of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. But as August approaches, a crackdown in Tibet is taking place. In response to this spring’s demonstrations against Chinese misrule in Tibet, thousands of Tibetans, including Buddhist monks and nuns have been detained. More than a hundred have reportedly been killed.

Tibetans are risking their lives to get their message out of Tibet. On March 27, 2008, during a State-organized journalists’ trip to Lhasa, monks at Lhasa’s Jokhang Temple initiated a spontaneous protest on camera and in front of security personnel. On March 29, Tibetans also began a protest related to a tightly controlled visit to Lhasa by foreign diplomats.

The Chinese government response continues to be very harsh. A Tibetan woman in Ngaba County died on May 5 after being subjected to brutal torture by Chinese prison guards, according to confirmed information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy. On May 7, thousands of Chinese armed police raided Labrang Monastery and arrested 140 monks. These are but a few of the many incidents that have occurred in Tibet since the beginning of March.

With the Olympics less than 80 days away, Tibet needs your help.

Take action now!

1) Petition world leaders not to attend the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The International Campaign for Tibet is participating in a global effort to encourage world leaders not to attend the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. World leaders can make this important political gesture in support of human rights and the people of Tibet.

While the Olympics are an international sporting event, there is a clear distinction between the Chinese government’s opening day extravaganza and the sporting competitions that follow. We urge world leaders to use their attendance at the opening ceremony as political leverage to press for positive change in China. Click here to sign this petition.

2) Petition the International Olympic Committee to cancel permission for the Olympic Torch Relay in Tibet.

With complete disregard for the tension in Tibet, the Chinese government still intends to take the Olympic torch through the region. This is likely to provoke new demonstrations and intensify the crackdown. We do not wish to see any more Tibetans imprisoned or killed.

The Olympic Games are an international sporting event. The Olympic torch is a symbol of peace. Neither the torch nor the Games belong to Beijing, but to the citizens of the world, including the Tibetan people. It is in their name that we call for the IOC to re-route the Olympic Torch and avoid further crackdown in Tibet. Click here to sign this petition.

Help us reach our goal of 500,000 signatures for both petitions! We need to have a big impact over the next 80 days, and now is the time to act. Please forward this message to as many people as possible, and help make an impact for Tibet.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Can this be? Chinese Army in Tibetan monk garb!

The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) does not regard this photo as credible evidence of Chinese soldiers disguising themselves as Buddhist monks during unrest in Lhasa last month. This image is most likely from a movie set in which soldiers dressed as monks to serve as extras. ICT is in possession of similar images dating from 2001.

It does beg the question, what was the purpose of a film that recruited PRA regulars as Tibetan monk extras? I hope it was'nt for propaganda purposes. The PRA has its own film studio, after all! There have been accusations that soldiers dressed up as monks have been deployed to create propaganda.