You may or may not have seen Prime Minister Harper’s statement about the Tibet Earthquake on Wednesday which doesn’t mention ‘Tibet’ even once: http://pm.gc.ca/eng/media.asp?category=3&id=3292
It’s unacceptable for him not to mention that this tragedy happened primarily to the Tibetan people, and not China; especially with so many Tibetans in our community who have lost family members in the earthquake, he’s just adding insult to injury for those who have already suffered enough. Below is a letter I sent to the Prime Minister, and I hope you’ll all do the same.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Dear Prime Minister Stephen Harper,
On behalf of Students for a Free Tibet Canada and our thousands of members nation-wide, I am writing to express our deep disappointment that your statement regarding the April 14th earthquake in Kyegundo (Chinese: Jieguduo or Yushu, Qinghai Province) does not acknowledge that the earthquake struck in a Tibetan area and that the victims of this devastating disaster are predominantly Tibetans.
The Canadian people overwhelmingly support the Tibetan people, as demonstrated by the unanimous support in the Canadian Parliament to grant Honorary Canadian Citizenship to His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2006.
After your past expressions of support for the Tibetan people, including your meeting with the Dalai Lama in your Parliamentary office in 2007, and stating in 2006 that Canada would not sell out to China’s human rights travesties over the “all-mighty dollar”, it was extremely disheartening that your statement failed to acknowledge the real victims of this week’s tragic events.
While the Canadian government emphasizes the “one-China policy” your failure to even mention the victims’ distinct ethnic and cultural identity does a grave disservice to those killed and the many more who are currently suffering.
Tibetan-Canadians who are mourning the deaths and disappearances of their loved ones in Kyegundo should not have to endure the anguish of their identity once again being suppressed by their adopted country, which purports to embrace its diverse ethnic and cultural heritage.
All of us who stand in solidarity with the Tibetan people in their struggle for basic rights and freedom, and the thousands of Tibetan-Canadians living in this country, urge you to directly address the victims of this tragedy and acknowledge that the earthquake took place in Tibet and that its victims are overwhelmingly Tibetan.
Tenzin Lobsang Wangkhang
You can send your letter to:
Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
or email: email@example.com
Here are some other ways you can help with the Tibet earthquake efforts: http://blog.studentsforafreetibet.org/2010/04/devistating-earthquake-in-eastern-tibet-kills-hundreds/