Media Contacts: Tenzin Wangyal (President, Seattle Regional Tibetan Youth Congress.
(206-234-5179) or (206-265-7123) email@example.com
Seattle, WA – Tibetans and local friends of Tibet will join in Seattle Downtown (front of Westlake Mall from 3-6pm) to commemorate the 47th Anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day on Friday, March 10, 2006 in solidarity with demonstrations around the world.
The March 10th protest comes off the heels of worldwide condemnation and government criticism of US internet corporations’ partnership with the Chinese government in denying rights to freedom of speech and information in China. Most recently, Google’s new censorship system designed to omit search results for “sensitive” issues such as democracy or Tibet and instead present users with government-sanctioned sites has been decried by Tibetans and human rights supporters as a step beyond mere compliance to actually augmenting the oppressive capabilities of the Chinese government.
An estimated 80,000 Tibetans were killed by the armies of the People’s Republic of China in 1959 following the March 10th Tibetan National Uprising. Forty-seven years later, Tibet continues to be under the brutal rule of Chinese armed forces, hundreds of political prisoners continue to languish in detention for expressing the simple belief that they should be allowed to openly practice their religion, and many Tibetan people still suffer from a lack of basic access to health care, education, and employment despite the Chinese government’s claims of “modernization.”
“China must understand that Tibetans and supporters all over the world will not forget what happened on the darkest day in the history of Tibet,” explained Rinchen Gadhey of the Seattle Regional Tibetan Youth Congress. “World community would not have the current 14th Dalai Lama if the Tibetan people didn’t unite on this very day 47 years ago, Chinese communist army had all the intention to eliminate one of the most profound leader of non-violence in the 21st century”.
China invaded Tibet in 1949 and occupied the country in 1959, forcing the Dalai Lama and 130,000 of his followers into exile in India. By the end of Cultural Revolution in 1977, over one million Tibetans had died as a direct or indirect result of Chinese government’s occupation of Tibet. China has rejected negotiations with the Dalai Lama until he acknowledges that the region is a part of China and that Taiwan is a Chinese province. The Dalai Lama already formalized his renouncement of independence for Tibet in a speech to the European Parliament in 1988 and recently stated that it was up to the people of Taiwan to determine their own future.
“We want our local citizens to put pressure on our State representatives, since Washington State has a tremendous trade relationship with China.” said Tsering Lhadon, of University of Washington’s ‘Student for a Free Tibet’ Chapter, “Human rights issues should not be forgotten when dealing with China, and if China genuinely wants respect in world community then they must resolve the issue of Tibet immediately, before its too late.”
Organizers & Sponsors: Seattle Tibetan Youth Congress* Tibetan Association of Washington * Students for a Free Tibet * Tibetan Nuns Project