Tibetan Association of Washington Press Release

We are organizing this protest during Xi Jinping’s visit to United States so that he can hear us directly and also urge our local leaders as well as world leaders to lead a global effort to stop future deaths and encourage negotiations between the Chinese government and His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s representatives. It’s a known fact that there is an increase in repression under the new leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Since March 2009, 143 Tibetans have set themselves on fire and are the direct result of China’s harsh suppression of Tibetan culture, language and religion. Most of the self-immolations occurred in the Himalayan region in response to China’s escalating attempts to stifle Tibetans’ peaceful political expression and public religious veneration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Many Tibetans also oppose China’s compulsory “patriotic education” programs for Tibetan monks and nuns, as well as new laws expanding Chinese control over the selection of Buddhist religious leaders. Religious freedom conditions for Tibetan Buddhists remain particularly acute as the government broadened its efforts to discredit and imprison spiritual leaders, control the selection of Buddhist reincarnations, ban peaceful religious and cultural songs, poems and writings. The Chinese government’s policies have led to significant religious freedom abuses and nurtured deep resentments among Tibetan people.

Despite this repression, a growing international condemnation, Tibetans have tried to gain more rights and freedoms by demonstrating peacefully in the past six decades, but these demonstrations have only resulted in death – estimates are 1.2 million Tibetans have died by the hand of the Chinese govt. China is a communist country that has been forcing its unjust laws on the people of Tibet. Both Tibetan and Chinese advocates for human rights and political and social freedoms are often detained, face police harassment, house arrest, detention, forced to undergo reeducation through labor, imprisonment on criminal charges and beatings and torture while in detention

Advanced countries in the world especially USA have always condemned human rights violations across the world. But where China is concerned it is treated a different matter. Why does some leaders only raise human rights concerns in the context of engaging China in an economic or trade relation and when that’s achieved their volume on condemnation turned well down. China’s repression does not just apply to Tibetans in Tibet. Many governments and rights groups, including UNHRC and Amnesty International, highlighted that suppression and abuse extend to all minority groups – including the Uighurs and Mongolians. Despite clear breaches of international human rights conventions, some governments have remained hesitant in expressing support for the Tibetan people and in condemning China’s human rights abuses in recent years. Rather, these leaders are determined to strengthen political and strategic engagement, and boost bilateral and economic prosperity.

It seems that the new and influential position of those nations on the UN Security Council and their increased ties with China will force them to consider their own patchy record on human rights. If they are to capitalize on their growing influence, they need to be more willing to raise human rights issues and more discerning about the nations with which they chose to establish economic ties and that applies at state level as well. Washington State has largest trade relation with China, in terms on dollars, then any other state and has very strong leverage to speak against China’s policy in Tibet.

We look forward to your unbiased press coverage on the issue of Human Rights during Chinese President’s visit to USA.