Oxfam's 'Big Head' G8 leaders are seen here in Belfast ahead of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland in order to demand the leaders tackle the severe problem of global hunger.
DHARAMSHALA, June 18: Tibet advocacy groups have expressed “deep disappointment” at the failure of G8 leaders to make any mention on the situation in Tibet in a joint communiqué at the end of their two day annual summit.
In a statement today, Tibet campaigners deplored the exclusion of any commitment by the G8 leaders on “working multilaterally to tackle China’s failed policies” in Tibet.
“Nor does it (joint communiqué) address China’s bullying of individual nations that show support for the Dalai Lama or concern about the situation in Tibet,” Tibet groups said.
Leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, USA, and UK met at Lough Erne in Northern Ireland for the 39th Summit of the Group of Eight, June 17-18. A joint statement on Syria condemning the use of chemical weapons and calling for early peace talks between President Assad and the rebels aimed at a political solution to the two-year civil war, was issued.
Tenzin Jigme of the International Tibet Network inquired when will the G8 countries commit to seeking a political solution to Tibet.
“If a conference for Syria can be "strongly" supported, surely the G8 can also give support to the Tibetan people who have suffered occupation for over 60 years, increasing economic marginalisation and brutal repression, and yet continue to steadfastly conduct a non-violent campaign for justice,” Jigme said. “What message does this convey to peoples with grievances? That you get noticed only if you embark on armed conflict?”
On Monday, Tibet activists had 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.
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 needed 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. But our leaders have failed Tibet once again.”
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.
The United Nations, European Union, US, UK, and Canada have all in recent months called on China to address the grievances of the Tibetan people and allow investigative visits to the region.