Tim Loughton, British MP, Philippa Carrick, CEO of Tibet Society, and Nyima, representing Students for a Free Tibet UK delivering the new report, 'A New Global Approach: Unite for Tibet' to 10 Downing Streeton, London on June 17, 2013.
DHARAMSHALA, June 17: Tibet campaigners today called on leaders of the G8 countries to stand together in addressing the crisis in Tibet and lead the way on a new diplomatic initiative on Tibet.
Leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, USA, and UK are meeting at Lough Erne in Northern Ireland for the 39th Summit of the Group of Eight, June 17-18. The European Union is represented by Jose Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, and Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the European Council
Tibet activists submitted a short report, 'A New Global Approach: Unite for Tibet
' to 10 Downing Street, along with a 10,000 strong petition calling on G8 leaders to lead the way on a new diplomatic initiative on Tibet.
Delivering the report, Tim Loughton, British MP and member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet, said China continues to deprive Tibetans of their freedom and urged world leaders to stand up against China’s abuse.
“China must not be allowed to use her financial muscle and burgeoning economic clout internationally to intimidate peace loving countries from raising the plight of the peace loving Tibetan people,” Loughton said. “It is time to stand up against the abuse going on within China’s own borders.”
Since 2009, as many as 119 Tibetans living under China’s rule have set themselves on fire demanding freedom and the return of Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile. On June 11, nun Wangchen Dolma
set herself on fire in Tawu region of Kham, eastern Tibet, protesting China’s occupation, becoming the latest Tibetan to self-immolate in the unprecedented wave of fiery protests.
The report prepared by International Tibet Network and its member organisations, points out the “abject failure” of the current policy to address China’s occupation of Tibet through bilateral approaches and challenges the widely held view that angering China over Tibet will lead to onerous economic and diplomatic penalties.
While the report contends that most of China’s punitive reactions are “more hot air than genuinely damaging in the long-term,” it goes on to demonstrate that Governments held for angering China over Tibet have in fact “seen their exports to China at the very least hold up if not increase in the aftermath.”
“For many years we have been urging Governments to unite for Tibet, and stand together against China’s bullying,” said Lhadon Tethong of the Tibet Action Institute. “With the crackdown in Tibet intensifying still further, the Tibetan people urgently need a show of diplomatic strength from G8 in the form of a multilateral initiative that will impress upon China the legitimate international concerns about Tibet.”
While submitting the report, Philippa Carrick, CEO of Tibet Society noted that British PM David Cameron “knows more than anyone the importance of defending core values and democratic principles,” referring to his decision earlier this year not to bow down
to China’s demands of an apology for meeting the Dalai Lama in 2012.
“As host of this G8 summit, we urge him (David Cameron) to stand by his Government’s averred commitment to seeking a solution for Tibet and initiate a robust response that has the potential to bring about genuine progress on the 60-year occupation of Tibet, whilst safeguarding G8 members’ diplomatic relationships with China."
The annual summit provides an opportunity for G8 leaders to have “frank and open discussions” about the important global issues.