Make your elected representatives aware of the deteriorating situation in Tibet and ask for their help.
Reports coming out of Tibet indicate that the Chinese government is tightening its already extreme control of Tibet even further as Tibetan New Year and Tibetan Uprising Day approach, flooding the Tibetan plateau with military troops, banning foreigners from Tibet, and vowing to “crush” supporters of the Dalai Lama. Risking everything, at least 300 Tibetans protested in Lithang, eastern Tibet on February 15th and 16th in the largest demonstration since spring 2008, calling for the return of the Dalai Lama and for Tibetans not to celebrate the traditional New Year out of mourning for the more than 200 Tibetans killed by Chinese forced in the past year. Soldiers beat the protesters with batons and rifle butts, and at least 24 Tibetans were detained. One journalist speculated that as many as 20,000 troops may have been moved into Tibet the week of February 15th as the authorities prepare to bloodily suppress protests.
Please take action now to inform your representatives of the situation and ask for their support. You can either set up a meeting with your representatives (most effective) or send a letter asking for their support.
1) Set up a meeting with your political representatives before Tibetan Uprising Day. This is an important opportunity to request a meeting with your political representatives to discuss concrete political action by your government for Tibet. Please adapt and send the sample letter here (download in Word) to your representatives, or call and request a meeting. You can look up your representatives at the bottom of this page.
Suggested asks to raise during your meeting on how your government can further support the Tibetan people:
- Pressure China’s leadership to call off its provocative “Strike Hard” campaign
- Make a public statement of concern on March 10
- Press the Chinese government to accede to the United Nations Committee Against Torture’s request for a “thorough and independent inquiry” into the excessive use of force in its crackdown on protests in Tibet last year
- Engage in direct and multilateral efforts to bring the Chinese leadership together with the Dalai Lama in serious negotiations to bring about an end the occupation of Tibet
- Institute a Tibet desk in your country’s embassy in Beijing
Read helpful tips for setting up a meeting with your representative.
2) Update your representatives and ask for their support in a letter. If you do not have time to set up a meeting with your representatives, please personalize and send the sample letter below. If you live in the United States, click here to participate in an online action alert. You can look up your representatives at the bottom of this page.
I am very concerned about the sharp deterioration of human rights conditions in Tibet in recent weeks, and am writing to request that you take several actions in support of the Tibetan people before March 10th, 2009, Tibetan Uprising Day.
Following ten months of the tightest security and most repressive political conditions in Tibet in three decades, the Chinese government is now tightening its control even further, flooding the Tibetan plateau with military troops, banning foreigners from Tibet, and vowing to “crush” supporters of the Dalai Lama in advance of Tibetan New Year (February 25th) and the the 50th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan Uprising (March 10th).
Tibetans continue to bravely express their beliefs, facing imprisonment, torture, and even death. At least 300 Tibetans protested in Lithang, eastern Tibet on February 15th and 16th, calling for the return of the Dalai Lama and for Tibetans not to celebrate the traditional New Year out of mourning for the more than 200 Tibetans killed by Chinese forced in the past year. Soldiers beat the protesters with batons and rifle butts, and at least 24 Tibetans were detained. In Lhasa, Tibet’s capital, the authorities launched a “Strike Hard” campaign in early February, raiding homes and businesses, questioning 5,766 people and making at least 81 arrests on charges including possession of “reactionary songs.” A man who protested in Chamdo, eastern Tibet on January 21st died after extreme torture.
Without strong international pressure, the Chinese government’s brutal campaign against the Tibetan people will only intensify. Please show your support for Tibet at this critical time by publicly calling for the Chinese leadership to end its provocative “Strike Hard” campaign in Tibet.
I further ask that you make a public statement of concern for Tibet on March 10th, Tibetan Uprising Day, and call for the establishment of a Tibet desk in the Beijing embassy, in order to ensure that our government can more closely monitor the situation in Tibet.
I will continue to update your office on this urgent matter.
Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you soon.