By raising the alarm, the Canadian government has taken note of the seriousness of the unprecedented wave of self-immolations taking place in eastern Tibet. On Monday, I met with Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird in his office, as a part of a Canadian Human Rights Coalition.
I couldn’t have met with Minister Baird at a more critical time. During this meeting, I strongly raised the urgency of the crisis in Tibet and urged the Minister to make a public statement condemning China’s intensifying and brutal crackdown. I also requested him to join other world leaders in multilateral action to pressure the Chinese government to resolve the Tibet issue once and for all.
While the Foreign Minister took a first step by meeting with me and assuring that he had raised Tibet with his Chinese counterparts, he must go further in his actions for Tibet.
Just yesterday, Radio Free Asia reported that Tenzin Phuntsok, a 46 year-old former monk had self-immolated in Chamdo, Tibet (Ch: Changdu Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region). He is the twelfth Tibetan in the last 10 months to have self-immolated in protest of Chinese rule over Tibet. Tibetans inside Tibet have reached a breaking point and our government must respond.
Just days ago, British Foreign Secretary William Hague was asked by a UK Member of Parliament what he has done about the crisis in Tibet. Secretary Hague responded:
“We are seriously concerned about the recent reports that young monks and nuns in Tibetan areas of Szechuan province have immolated themselves. As I said, we have taken that up with the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister, and with the Chinese embassy in London. We encourage, of course, the resolution of grievances that have led to that situation. We will continue to encourage the Chinese Government to take that constructive approach”.
We have a critical opportunity to further press Minister Baird to make a similar statement in the Canadian House of Commons. His public support of Tibet would give an incredible boost to Tibetans everywhere.
Please act now by doing the following:
1. Write to Foreign Minister Baird, urging him to Stand up for Tibet.
2. Call your MP and urge him/her to join numerous international political figures in standing up for Tibet. Find your MP. (Click here for a sample letter to your MP) Also request him/her to ask Minister Baird in the House of Commons to publicly respond to the self-immolations.Download a helpful resource package to deliver to your MP.
With this strong, heartfelt message in mind, together, we can take the Enough! campaign to the next level of global influence.
Tenzin Lobsang Wangkhang
P.S. Please support the Enough! Campaign for Global Intervention to Save Tibetan Lives by making a donation today: https://secure3.convio.net/sft/site/Donation2?df_id=1345&1345.donation=form1&JServSessionIdr004=6nqhop7nc1.app331b