(From left to right) Kalon Dicki Chhoyang, Department of Information and International Relations, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay and Tashi Puntsok, Spokesman, CTA, addressing the press at the Kashag Secretariat in Dharamshala at the launch of 'Solidarity with Tibet Campaign' on December 5, 2012. (Phayul photo/Phuntsok Yangchen)
DHARAMSHALA, December 5: The Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration today launched a barrage of new initiatives as a precursor to the 2013 ‘Solidarity with Tibet Campaign’ year as earlier announced.
Addressing a press conference here, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people, released a six-minute video
on the ongoing wave of self-immolations in Tibet, a microsite
, and Facebook page
, all aimed at mobilising the international community, which he said, “must not remain an idle bystander.”
Sikyong Dr Sangay said that with the launch of the new initiatives, the CTA plans to take the increasing number of self-immolation cases straight to the living rooms of people around the world and “urge directly to the people of faith, opinion makers, and news media” to cover the issue given its “urgency and gravity.”
A total of 92 Tibetans have self-immolated inside Tibet since the wave of fiery protests began in 2009, demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.
Dr Sangay further appealed to the international community to provide support for the self-immolation protests in Tibet, on par with the support earlier rendered to the self-immolation in Tunisia.
“One self-immolation in Tunisia was labelled by some media and the international community as the ‘catalyst’ for the Arab Spring. The coverage, awareness, and the international support that the Arab Spring received was justified and was welcomed from our side,” the de facto Tibetan prime minister said.
“On the same token, we want to inform the international community and the media that not just one, now, there have been 92 cases of self-immolations in Tibet. So, they ought to be paying equal attention and also extend equal support to the issue of Tibet.”
The six-minute video explains the reasons behind the ongoing wave of fiery protests and carries a few of the last testaments left by Tibetan self-immolators. The microsite www.solidaritywithtibet.org contains links to various resources on the critical situation in Tibet and campaign suggestions on outreach activities
for Tibetans inside Tibet.
In the new site, the CTA explains that the current situation in Tibet has stemmed from “several decades of Chinese misrule in Tibet” and discontent of the Tibetan people arsing from “political repression, cultural assimilation, economic marginalisation, and environmental destruction.”
“As Tibetans, it is the moral and sacred duty of the CTA to stand in solidarity and highlight the aspirations of the Tibetan people around the world,” the exile Tibetan administration notes, while categorically denying “any role in the spate of self-immolations in Tibet.”
At the launch of ‘Solidarity Tibet 10 December 2012’, the CTA appealed its global audiences to share the links to the microsite (www.solidaritywithtibet.org
), Facebook page (www.facebook.com/SolidarityWithTibet
), and the new video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyjFBg8mwiU
). People have also been requested to sign-up on ThunderClap to share
a “synchronised message so that on December 10 (Human Rights Day) as many people as possible will be made aware of the current situation in Tibet through the Solidarity with Tibet Campaign.”
“Governments, international bodies, human rights organisations and individuals can make a difference by intensifying their efforts to raise public awareness about the dire situation in Tibet and urge the Chinese government to resolve the issue of Tibet through dialogue,” Sikyong Dr Sangay said.