About Us

Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) works in solidarity with the Tibetan people in their struggle for freedom and independence. We are a chapter-based network of young people and activists around the world. Through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action, we campaign for Tibetans’ fundamental right to political freedom. Our role is to empower and train youth as leaders in the worldwide movement for social justice.

VISION:
In our work for Tibetan independence we also aim to inspire and enable people, especially youth, to create a just and equitable world, free of oppression, in which there is respect for the earth and all living things.

VALUES:
We believe every individual has the right to be free. Those who enjoy freedom have the power and also the responsibility to make positive change in the world. We seek to create opportunities to inspire, enable and motivate all people to see that change is possible. We value creativity in every pursuit and we believe it is essential to have fun while working towards our vision of a just and equitable world.

To learn more about SFT Canada, click here.

Questions? Email us at: canada@studentsforafreetibet.org

22 responses to “About Us

  1. Hi, I have been very concerned about the situation in Tibet for many years now and it seems that it is no longer the “topic of the week”. However I have just read an article about the singer Bjork and her statement at the end of her show, where she cried “Tibet, Tibet”. The article stated that the chinese people where upset and hurt. I just wanted to know what happened to feelings of the millions of Tibet people who have been HURT by the chinese governtment and its policies?

  2. Hi.

    I am a supporter of Tibetan rights, and applaud your find work. But we have a problem here way out in New Brunswick. All of our newspapers are owned by the Irving (a CanEast) corporation) — and as a general rule the Can East newspapers oppose human rights.

    So they ran two identical columns by Gwnne Dyer, today (March 24 and two weeks ago), March 10, criticizing the Tibetan demonstration for automony. (see the column belo after my letter).

    So, is there any way for someone in your group to write a letter of protest to the Fredericton Daily Gleaner? People in New Brunswick need a counter-voice against Dyer’s pro-China opinions.

    The e-mail address for letters-to-the-editor is:

    letters@dailygleaner.com

    ny help you may want to give would be greatly appreciated.

    David Murrell (PhD)
    Department of Economics
    UNB at Fredericton,
    New Brunswick

    Here is Dyer’s column:

    Open window for Tibetan independence
    Gwynne Dyer
    Published Wednesday March 19th, 2008

    The monks who marched through Lhasa on March 10 to mark the anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule in 1959 did not want to wreck China’s Olympic year, but they knew that Chinese troops would be less likely to shoot them this year than most. And so it proved: the monks were arrested, but the crowds of Tibetans who gathered on the following days to demand their release were not harmed.

    The dilemma facing the Chinese troops was that if they didn’t shoot, the crowds would inevitably grow bigger, for most Tibetans dream of independence and fear that the mass immigration of Han Chinese to Tibet is a form of cultural genocide. By Friday, March 14, the crowds had become so bold it was they who turned to violence, attacking Chinese civilians in Lhasa and looting and burning Chinese-owned shops, banks and hotels.

    The Chinese news agency Xinhua says 10 people were killed in Lhasa on Friday.

    The Tibetan governmentin- exile says 80 were killed, and accounts by foreign tourists in Lhasa support the higher figure. But so far, by most accounts, the victims have mostly been Han Chinese settlers killed by angry Tibetans.

    This doesn’t fit the simple foreign narrative of peaceful protesters and wicked Chinese, but nationalism, whether Tibetan or Fijian, is not an inherently tolerant and peaceful phenomenon.

    Foreign troops who hold their fire are still foreign occupiers, and innocent Chinese civilians who were encouraged by their own government to come and set up businesses in Lhasa are still unwelcome foreign agents of cultural genocide.

    All the players are sticking to their scripts. China insists “the recent sabotage in Lhasa was organized, premeditated and masterminded by the Dalai clique” (the Dalai Lama is Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader). Qiangba Puncog, the puppet chairman of the Tibetan Autonomous Region, vows “The plot of the separatists will fail.” They have to say that, as otherwise they would have to admit Tibetans don’t want to be ruled by China.

    The Dalai Lama insists he is not seeking Tibetan independence from China, but only more autonomy for Tibet’s culture and its Buddhist faith.

    As the violence in Tibet intensified, however, he had to harden his line.

    “Ultimately, the Chinese government is clinging of policy, not looking at the reality,” he told the BBC on March 15.

    “They simply feel they have gun — so they can control. Obviously they can control. But they cannot control human mind.”

    Foreign governments urge China to “exercise restraint,” but they carefully avoid questioning Beijing’s right to rule Tibet. And with the unrest spreading to ethnically Tibetan regions of neighbouring Chinese provinces — hundreds of monks from Labrang monastery marched through the town of Xiahe in Gansu province on March 14 — the time may soon come when Beijing decides it has to crush all dissent by force, regardless of the impact on the Olympics.

    Force will succeed, as it has before.

    The 1959 uprising was crushed, the 1989 demonstrations in Tibet were crushed and the current unrest there will be crushed as well.

    Tibet’s only chance to recover its independence will come if and when there is a change of regime in China.

    China did not traditionally seek to expand beyond the boundaries of the Middle Kingdom, an agrarian society that lived in the north Chinese plain and the river valleys of southern China. The non-Chinese territories that now make up the western third of the country — the deserts and oases of Muslim Xinjiang and the high plateau of Tibet — were not conquered by Chinese, but rather swept into the same Mongol empire that conquered China itself in the 13th century.

    Since the Mongol (Yuan) dynasty ruled from Beijing, Tibet came to be seen as a Chinese possession, but the subsequent (ethnically Chinese) Ming dynasty took little interest in it.

    When another foreign nation of mounted nomads, the Manchus, conquered China in 1644, they too brought Tibet under Beijing’s rule — and when the Manchu dynasty was finally overthrown in 1911, Tibet again slipped from China’s control.

    For the next 40 years, Tibet was effectively independent.

    The Chinese Communists seized power in 1949 and invaded Tibet the following year on the argument that “what was once ours is ours forever.”

    So long as they hold power in Beijing, they will also hold Tibet — but an interesting analogy comes to mind. For the history of the Baltic states — Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia — is not very different.

    They fell under the rule of the expanding Russian empire in the 18th century, but regained their independence after revolution overthrew the Tsarist regime in 1917.

    They lost it again when the Soviet Union invaded them in 1940 — but got it back when the Communist regime in Moscow collapsed in 1991. And the main motive for their drive for independence was fear their languages and cultures were being submerged by a wave of Russian immigrants.

    As with the Baltic states, so too with Tibet.

    If there is ever a change of regime in Beijing, then a window of opportunity will open — and Tibet will have a couple of years to establish its independence before a new government emerges in Beijing that feels compelled to hold onto it in deference to Chinese nationalist sentiment. But that window is not open now.

  3. To whom it may concern,

    Like millions across the world, we are very concerned about the people living in Tibet. China has taken actions that are unforgivable, both now and in the past. With the Olympics coming soon, it is an opportunity for the world to unite and make a stand.

    After working with our youth team, we would like to propose a project with you, that we feel could really make a difference. We propose soliciting Olympic Athletes and encouraging them to boycott the Olympic. Even the boycott of a few athletes would garnish International media attention. Additionally the boycott of the Olympics itself & of the sponsors would be important too.

    We would be happy to work with you on such a campaign…

    Thank you in advance,

    Jeremy Dias
    Director
    Canada’s Youth Diversity Initiative
    613.562.5800 ext 6486
    info@jersvision.og
    http://www.jersvision.org

  4. Thanks for the History lesson, Gwynne, but I don’t think your revealing the whole picture here. The difference between the events then and the events now is that your dealing with the world media now that is especially focused for the summer. You also have a greater sensitivity to human rights more then ever, the environment, and declining economical conditions and resources. China will not only have to deal with the pressures of the media now and in the summer, they have to deal with this human rights problem with Tibet, their increase in pollutant emissions, the lack of conformity to international industrial standards, their incredible consumption of international resources, and their need for economical growth despite the environmental strain on them and the rest of us. I’m not sure how much the events today will have in the future but it will certainly compound an already negative outlook. We’ll see what happens in the future.

    Yours Truly, Darlene

  5. Dozens Killed In Tibet, watch the video.

  6. And watch this

  7. Dear Tibetans:

    I am a Vietnamese, I support Tibetans. Click on the link below to see the video about : Olympic Torch Bearer Removed For Carrying Tibetan Flag in San Francisco

    She is the hero, I admire her. Please tell/email to Tibetans and friends, to have their comments on that video website to say something to support her. A lot of Chinese Students have made many bad comments to her. She support Tibetan, therefore, raise your voice to support her, in order to say thank you for her support to Tibetans, and to encourage other Torch beares to show their support Tibetans in the future.

    If you can, put a link of this video on your website for many people in the world can view her hero action to support Tibetan.

    Free Tibet!!!

    A Vietnamese support Tibetans

  8. Truly speaking, I am so angry about the attitudes of
    western media recently. Tibetans have their right to
    express their unsatisfication. But there is no reason
    to kill innocent people in Tibet. There is no reason
    to attack embassies. There is no reason to disturb Olympic torch relay. Did western media report for both side? Non-Tibetans’ blood is not bloody?

    Do you know something that Dalai Lama group (note that my words, may not be himself) was and is being sponsored by CIA to do some dirty stuffs? They have proposed that all non-Tibetan Chinese should leave a quater of China from their own land? I don’t think any one will accept it. Do you know some history in Tibet before CCP “conquered” it? If you don’t study them, I don’t think I have reason to talk with you. I agree with a US professor (not a Chinese) on Tibetan history, Dalai Lama is not such an angel. However, his words are full of wisdom and he is a successful diplomatist. Unfortunately, only because of ideology, some truths are manipulated from both sides.

    About the right to self determination, we cannot decide a seperation simply. I am a Canadian living in Quebec. I object Quebec independency because I don’t think Quebecios can benefit from it.

    Supposing Chinese government blocked western media in Tibet, given the behaviors of those Tibetan independents in Nepal and India, we SHOULD imagine what happened in Tibet if we don’t have any prejudice!

    The key point why so many Chinese are furious is because the western media manipulate information and some people supporting Tibetan independents do not really know what they are doing.

    The Chinese head tax was a fixed fee charged for each Chinese person entering Canada. The head tax was first levied after the Canadian Government passed the Chinese Immigration Act of 1885. It was meant to discourage Chinese from entering Canada after the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The head tax was ended by the Chinese Immigration Act of 1923, which stopped Chinese immigration altogether. Even so, should they have the right to rob a bank?!

  9. I am currently finishing a true-life novel and human rights breaches in the PRC. For this, I am looking for somebody to help me polish it up in the English language – proofreading and a little editing in the English language.
    Thank you for your assistance or reference,

    Jean
    Vancouver
    jean.oubien@hotmail.com

  10. Congrats, keep up your good work and a big THANKS for the tips!

  11. Hello, first I want to say that I love your blog. Great post, I fully agree with you. Have a good day mate.

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  13. I was wondering if you have the link for the source? Review Videos

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  18. That was a very interesting post. I feel like I learned some new things from you. I’m bookmarking your page for future reference.

  19. You made some good points on this topic.

  20. send me your email or phone me so i can possible cover the event as a video journalist; I also helped with the first tibetan film festival at bloor cinema.
    i can also send you a lis to post your events.
    marcushandshake1@gmai.com
    marcus@canadianfoodies.ca
    marcus@canadaeventscalendar.ca
    647 899 7886

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