DHARAMSHALA, March 25: The exile Tibetans demand actions for Tibet from Xi Jinping as the Chinese president attends his first BRICS summit in Durban.
“Tibet is Xi Jinping’s number one challenge and he has to address the legitimate grievances of Tibetans living in occupied Tibet and bring about an end to the tragic wave of self-immolations,” said Dorjee Tseten, National Director of Students For a Free Tibet-India (SFT).
In their joint press statement the Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA) and SFT-India said that the two-day summit will witness Xi’s “historic meeting” with leaders from Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa while the self-immolations goes on in Tibet. The toll has reached 110.
“In the months since Xi Jinping was elevated to the top of the Chinese Communist Party, there has been an increase in China’s hardline response to dissent in Tibet, with a heightened military presence, mass detentions and a campaign to ‘criminalize’ the family member of self-immolation protestors,” said Tashi Dolma, President of TWA.
As a part of the campaign the NGO's held a mock alternative BRICS-Summit wearing masks of Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa; Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil; Vladimir Putin, President of Russia; Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India and Xi Jinping, President of China.
The two Tibetan organizations have also submitted an open letter to the embassies of the BRICS nations in India as well one to the Indian Prime Minister appealing them to speak about China’s brutal repression of Tibetans and urge Xi to allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit Tibet.
A few days ago Rajeev Chandrasekhar, an Indian MP, urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to raise the ongoing self-immolation in Tibet with his Chinese counterpart at the BRICS summit.
“I urge you to support the cause of Tibetan freedom by issuing a strong statement in light of current human rights violation and crisis in Tibet and raise this issue with the Chinese President at the upcoming BRICS meeting on 26 and 27 March 2013, in Durban, South Africa” Chandrasekhar said.
This is the fifth BRICS summit and the last one was held in India’s capital city.