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Tibetans stand watch at Chinese Embassy

20 March 2008 Press Release:

Tibetans stand watch at Chinese Embassy in Wellington

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Today and tomorrow Tibetans and their supporters will have a presence outside the Chinese Embassy in Wellington to call for restraint in dealing with the ongoing and wide spread protests going on in Tibet at present.

‘We are extremely worried after reports today of a massive transfer of military personal carrying guns into the traditional Tibetan areas of Amdo and Kham and the ‘Tibetan Autonomous Region’. Said Karma Tenzin ‘Tibetans have no weapons, why do they need to bring in tanks?’

The Tibetans have been overwhelmed by an outpouring of support from Wellington’s public as a constant stream of toots from passing cars is heard and generous donations of freshly baked bread, thermoses of tea and other unsolicited practical support is received. ‘We very grateful for the New Zealand people’s support for Tibetans in Tibet and in New Zealand during these very worrying times for us.’ Said Karma Tenzin as he reiterated the key messages for the Chinese and New Zealand Governments: The key message is that the people in Tibet needs help to avoid more loss of life, particularly in the coming days and weeks. We want to make the following three points:

We call on the New Zealand Government to write a letter of condemnation to the Chinese Government over the brutal atrocities now occurring in Tibet. Genocide is happening as the Chinese oppress the Tibetan people. The NZ government must urgently request that a delegation of UN independent monitors we allowed into Tibet right now to ascertain exactly what is going on there and to protect Tibetans from more shootings and the Chinese Government must allow this.

The NZ government must call on the Chinese Government to immediately release all prisoners that have been rounded up or are locked into monasteries and schools across Tibet. They might like to trade these prisoners for the Free Trade deal. These prisoners face harsh torture and jail terms of up to 20 years.

The Olympic torch should not go through Tibet, and not to Mt Everest. It is China’s Olympics and so the torch should be in China not Tibet.

For a brief time in the early morning the Tibetans were joined at the embassy by a young man with a Chinese flag. The conversation was friendly and the Tibetans were offered breakfast. The Tibetans reiterated that they are not anti Chinese people at all, but rather are opposed to the ongoing oppression and brutal crackdown by the Chinese Government and Army in Tibet.

The Tibetans agreed that if the Chinese Government were to engage in meaningful dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama about the Tibetan issue, if UN monitors and independent media were allowed into Tibet now, if prisoners were released, and if the Olympic torch does not go into Tibet, that would go a long way towards preserving and improving relationships between Tibetan and Chinese people for the long term.

The Tibetans welcome the public to come and stand with them or talk with them about the issues outside the Chinese Embassy in Glenmore Street, opposite the botanical gardens in Wellington. They will be there for the rest of Thursday and for the whole of Friday.

Group Issuing Press Release: Tibetan Solidarity Network


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