|Three women Nobel Peace Laureates asks governments around the world to press China to have constructive dialogue with the representatives of the Tibetan people.
By Phurbu Thinley
Dharamsala, Oct 28: Three women Nobel Peace Laureates on Wednesday launched a major ‘Thank You Tibet! Campaign’ to commemorate Tibetan people’s 50 years in exile.
Nobel Peace Laureates Joddy Williams of US (R) and Mairead Corrigan Maguire (L) of Northern Ireland during a press conference in Dharamsala, India, Wednesday, Oct 28, 2009. Three women Nobel Peace Laureates, including Shirin Ebadi of Iran, issued a joint statement on Wednesday announcing the launch of a global “Thank You Tibet! Campaign”. (Phtoto: Phayul)
According to the peace laureates Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi and Mairead Corrigan Maguire, the ‘Thank You Tibet’ campaign is being launched to promote the Tibetan non-violent cause around the world and to organize a global celebration of Tibetan culture during an event next year.
The three women peace laureates were on a four-day visit to Dharamsala to take part in PeaceJam youth conference with the Dalai Lama and to offer their support to the Tibetan cause.
The campaign, supported by the Colorado-based PeaceJam Foundation,
, New York-based Tibet Fund and Nobel Women’s Initiative
, will culminate into a grand event in New York on March 4, 2010, when several celebrities and Nobel Peace Laureates will come together to celebrate Tibetan culture and promote Tibet’s cause.
dedicated to the campaign will be opened from Monday and people from anywhere around the world can submit essays, poems and art works on Tibet and its culture, which the organisers plan to present during the event. The organisers hope the campaign will generate supportive action from millions around the world.
Jody Williams and Mairead Maguire announced the launch of the “Thank You Tibet!” campaign at a press conference here this morning and Jody read out a joint statement issued by the three peace laureates.
PeaceJam founder Dawn Engle, who along with the PeaceJam co-founder Ivan Suvanjieff was nominated for the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize, was also present during the press conference.
“His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the people of Tibet affirm critical values that the world is in danger of losing,” the statement said. “They are a model for all of us: despite the attack on their people and the displacement of their culture they preach and practice compassion and respect for the dignity of every person,” it added.
The statement commended the “extraordinary choice” made by the Tibetan people to “engage in peaceful nonviolent protest to the destruction of their culture and the take over of their homeland”.
“Today, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan community in exile ask for the freedom to practice and preserve their culture. Governments of the region and of the world should press the government of China to have constructive dialogue with representatives of the Tibetan people,” the women peace laureates wrote in the statement.
“There is no reason that the governments of China and leaders all over the world who support the Tibetans should not work together to listen and respond to the voice of the Tibetan people by engaging in sincere negotiations on the future status of Tibet and of relations between the Tibetan and Chinese people,” the statement said.
This year marks Tibetan people’s 50 years in exile. For the past fifty years, His Holiness, the Dalai Lama has lived in exile in Dharamsala, in northern India, since being forced to flee his homeland of Tibet.
Chinese Communist regime sent military troops to occupy Tibet in late 1949. By March 1959 China took complete control over Tibet forcing thousands of Tibetans and their leader His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to escape into India following a failed national uprising by Tibetans against the continuing Chinese rule.