UK Tibet supporters to travel to Parliament to demand British government takes action on Tibet
Tibet supporters from the length and breadth of the UK will tomorrow stage a mass lobby of their MPs in the Central Lobby of Parliament, urging them to speak up for Tibet and to call upon the British government to take action on the escalating human rights crisis in the region.
Tibet supporters are due to travel from as far as Argyl in Scotland, Berwick-upon-Tweed in northern England and Montgomeryshire in Wales to meet a wide selection of MPs from across the political spectrum. Amongst MPs that Tibet supporters are hoping to meet are former Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind, present Minister of State at the Foreign Office, Bill Rammell and frontbench Lib Dem spokesperson, Norman Baker.
The mass lobby is to be staged on the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising of 1959 and against a backdrop of a deepening crisis inside Tibet where an intensive Chinese security crackdown has led to a state of de facto martial law.
In January official Chinese state media announced the launch of a “strike-hard” campaign in Lhasa in which around 3000 Tibetan homes were searched, 6000 Tibetans rounded up for interview and more than 80 detained. Since then China has denied all media access to all Tibetan areas, routinely blocked communications (email, telephone) in and out of Tibet and has simultaneously deployed thousands of additional troops and paramilitaries into Tibet.
Tibet supporters will specifically ask their MPs tomorrow to call on the British government to:
*Sponsor a thorough and independent enquiry into the Chinese government’s widely reported use of excessive force against unarmed Tibetan protesters in 2008.
* Appoint a UK Special Representative for Tibet.
* Establish a Tibet Desk at the British Embassy in Beijing, China.
Free Tibet supporter, Vivienne Briscoe from Brighton Kemptown, said:“I am very disappointed that the British government recently weakened its position on Tibet (5). When it comes to Tibet the actions of the British government do not match their words. I want my MP to support the Tibetan people in their struggle to live without the threat of human rights abuses and to be free to rule their own country.”