The situation inside Tibet -- what you can do to help

Posted in Other | 17-Mar-08 | Author: John Ackerly

Riots escalate in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa as lay Tibetans join in the protests which began on March 10th,…
Riots escalate in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa as lay Tibetans join in the protests which began on March 10th, the anniversary of the Tibetan uprising of 1959. “Unconfirmed reports that soldiers are firing on Tibetans in the streets..."
I know you have been following the unprecedented events inside Tibet this week. If you are pressed for time, please jump to the end of this text for ways you can help. There are now many reports of Tibetans being killed in the streets of Lhasa by security personnel, and many reports of Tibetans damaging Chinese stores. We now have photos of security vehicles overturned and in flames. And, a Tibetan in Lhasa told ICT staff that martial law has been imposed.

Reports of new developments are coming in every hour:

  • Reports by doctors in Lhasa of dozens of wounded streaming into hospitals.
  • Unconfirmed reports that soldiers are firing on Tibetans in the streets.
  • Confirmed reports that the major monasteries around Lhasa have been sealed off.
  • Three hundred monks from Drepung monastery and 100 nuns from Chutsang nunnery marched toward the center of Lhasa, stopped by armed police. One was beaten to the ground.
  • Unconfirmed reports of scores of Tibetans shot and killed including a 16 year-old girl killed and taken away by Tibetans on Beijing Middle Road.
  • Arrest of around 500 students from Tibet University, according to CNN.

A Danish tourist just sent this e-mail:

“Lhasa is in flames. There are tanks/armoured vehicles driving round in the streets - what's going on is crazy . . . . it looks like a war zone. Almost all Chinese shops on the main street up to the Dalai Lama's Winter Palace have been set on fire.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has issued a statement calling on the Chinese to show restraint and calling on Tibetans not to resort to violence. This appears to be by far the largest uprising in Tibet since 1989, and if unconfirmed reports are true, there may be more Tibetan casualties in the streets of Lhasa than at any time since 1959. We fear that as I write this, hundreds of Tibetans have been arrested and are being interrogated and tortured. We are still digesting the scope of this emergency and working the phones with governments, the media and others to bring pressure to bear on Beijing. I want to let you know that the International Campaign for Tibet is currently working on many fronts to improve the situation in Tibet as only we can . . .

  • "Contact your local member of parliament and ask that they call on China to release all detainees, and allow international…
    "Contact your local member of parliament and ask that they call on China to release all detainees, and allow international media access to Lhasa."
    Making preparations now to provide basic necessities for what is expected to be a large influx of new Tibetan refugees fleeing to Kathmandu.
  • Beefing up our on-the-ground field team inside Tibet to make sure that the facts of what is really happening are getting out, accurately and without bias, to world media as quickly as possible.
  • Putting pressure on China to open Lhasa and other parts of Tibet to the media so the world can know what is really going on behind the veil of Chinese propaganda.
  • Encouraging our friends in governments here in the U.S. and around the world to demand that the Chinese show restraint in their reaction to the protests.

As a friend of Tibet, I hope you can help us at this critical time with a generous donation so we will continue to have the resources we need to react quickly and effectively.

For additional ways to help out in Lhasa, consider the following:

  1. Contact your local member of parliament and ask that they call on China to release all detainees, and allow international media access to Lhasa.
  2. If you know any tourists in Lhasa, or others who may have direct knowledge of what is happening in Tibet, please contact us immediately at [email protected].
  3. Events of support are happening around the world. To join a rally at a Chinese consulate or embassy in your area, please click here to review the list of local Tibet Support Groups holding demonstrations.

And please share this e-mail with friends that you know would like to help. We need as many people with us now as possible.

I also encourage you to visit our web site often, www.savetibet.org, to keep up to date on what is happening inside Tibet.

We need to act now – I hope I can count on you. With thanks for your support,

John Ackerly
President
International Campaign for Tibet

www.savetibet.org
www.dalailamadc.org
www.racefortibet.org

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