In recent months, young Tibetan monks and nuns have taken the desperate step of setting themselves on fire in order to protest the horrific conditions in which they are forced to live under a Chinese governance which denies them their every freedom – their culture, their religious beliefs, even their most basic human rights. Who can live like this? Initiatives for China has authored the letter below in support of their Tibetan brethren and in sympathy with their suffering. A call to shared action now, this letter has been signed by almost 300 Chinese and represents the voice of the Chinese community advocating for democracy, peace, and the fundamental freedoms guaranteed to all.
What causes a person to self-immolate? In recent months, young Tibetan monks and nuns who live in regions controlled by the Chinese government and military have taken the agonizing step of setting themselves on fire to protest the conditions under which they are forced to live. They have become human flares for help in the hopes that those who monitor the seas of persecution may see their desperate cries for rescue.
At least eleven of those who have self-immolated were reported to have died or are being treated in Chinese hospitals.
We believe that such frequent incidents and tragedies are indicative of and attributed to the ever-increasing repression exercised by the Chinese government against Tibetans. And as we are all aware, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The “free flow of information” is tightly controlled in areas under Chinese control, and does not accurately reflect the extent to which Tibetan people are deprived of their freedom, dignity, and basic human rights on a daily basis.
What is totally unacceptable is even after these tragedies were disclosed to the public, the Chinese government chose to embark on a campaign to put blame onto others, particularly the Tibetans in exile. It launched into a cycle of arrests, punishment and recrimination against the Tibetan victims rather than those responsible for their suffering. Therefore, we the undersigned would like to express our grave concerns and voice our condemnation.
Ever since these tragedies began, His Holiness Dalai Lama has inaugurated hunger strike prayer services for the victims. People from all parts of the world showed their sympathy toward those lost and suffering lives and their justifiable anger against the Chinese government. As Chinese, we particularly share this moment of sadness and anger. We share the same conditions of life under the Chinese Communist Party that deprives the Chinese people of their freedom of religion and basic human rights. Based on this shared suffering, we must make our feelings known and our views heard.
We demand that Chinese government immediately stop its abuses of human rights in Tibet. We further demand that Chinese authorities conduct their business in Tibet in a manner that is peaceful, just and respectful of Tibetan culture and tradtions.
We believe that Justice is premised on truth and facts. We condemn the way Chinese government controls and distorts the media, and we appeal to the public to conduct its own independent investigations over the human rights violation in Tibet. We ask the international community to offer its moral, diplomatic and public opinion support to the Tibetan people.
We hope that all ethnicities and minorities in China come to realize that the oppression of the Tibetan people is not a rare case of differing culture, tradition and beliefs. It is a common fate confronted by all of us due to universal lack of freedom, human rights and democracy in China. And we must share the responsibility and painful burden together with the Tibetan people. In this moment of grave sadness, we must steadfastly stand with the Tibetan people as brothers and friends in their struggle against discrimination and human rights abuses.
It is high time that we all stand up and say “NO” to the Chinese policy of control and suppression. All individuals, institutions and governments of this world who care about Tibetan and Chinese people must make their feelings known. It is high time to put pressure on the Chinese government to modify its ‘Tibetan policy’ so that the people of Tibet may come to enjoy the equal treatment, freedoms and democracy that are the inherent rights of all.
YAN Jiaqi, DING Yifu, ZENG Dajun, LI Jianglin, SU Yutong, FENG Chongyi, HU Ping, SU Xiaokang, ZHAO Yan, ZHANG Chengjue, ZENG Jianyuan, SHENG Xue, GUO Yongfeng, WUER Kaixi, GE Xun, CHEN Kuide, LIU Tai, RUAN Jie, ZHANG Xiaogang, HAN Lianchao, Daniel GONG, LI Hengqing, LUO Yungeng, ZHAO Dongming, YANG Kuanxing, LV Jinghua, LIU Xuan, LI Qing, LI Guolin, REN Xuebing, SHANGGUAN Wenqing, ZHANG Debang, HUANG Daonan, CHEN Shizhong, CHEN Diao, YUAN Tieming, ZHENG Gangqing, CHEN Hongxin, CHEN Lihong, JIN Xiulan, HUO Mingxue, ZHAO Guoyu, FENG Congde, HAN Wu, DONG Xin, LIANG Yongchun, BIAN Dawei, LI Yan, ZHONG Yan, SU Ming, YI Jun, LIU Yunxia, WANG Dan (Canada), LI Guiqin, CHENG Tiejun, HAN Wu, LIANG Lianfa, XIONG Ruopan, WANG Longmeng, ZHANG Jian (France), ZHANG Xiaofeng, ZHANG Lun, YANG Jianli, ZHANG Yimeng, HAN Rongli, REN Wanding, SUN Weibang, HUANG Qiang, LIU Zhao, SHAN Guoqing, JIANG Youlu, LIU Weiming, ZHU Hongyi, WEI Xiaotao, WU Jiang, WANG Ge, SHA Ruiguo, KONG Tianle, CHEN Xiao, FAN Huchang, YANG Mengbi, KONG Shiren, YANG Zheng, LAO Daiwei, YANG Wei, HAN Guangsheng, AI Dehua, CHEN Hanzhong, CAI Shufang, LING Li, GAO Sheng, XUAN Feng, TANG Yixin, YAN Ming, GAO Yuan, LENG Mei, ZHONG Jinjiang, ZHONG Wei, GAO Jian, YU Shixin, ZHANG Weiqiang, CHI Fengjun, ZHENG Yu, LIANG Youshan, YU Kecheng, WANG Wei, SHEN Liangqing, ZHANG Xinyu, WANG Ping, CAO Han, BEI Li, Aaron Yang, LI Wenpeng, CHEN Liankun, CHEN Jinsong, CHEN Yuanhua, ZHANG Chi, ZHANG Jian (United States), LI Jingxiu, WANG Henggeng, LI Buran, SI Xiaoqin, HE Cheng, LU Linzhou, GAO Chunfeng, LIU Jian, ZHAO Jujun, YI Jie, WANG Min, Bell Wong, ZHANG Caixuan, SUN Baoqiang, DONG Yuxin, WANG Ju, MA Shaofang, ZHANG Pu, WU Yisan, CAI Yongmei, NAN Kezhou, WANG Ce, XU Yinglang, ZHENG Yuan, XIONG Yan, LIU Xiaodong, TANG Banruo, LI Guohong, MU Jiagu, ZHAO Dagong, LI Qing, ZHANG Yuhong, CHEN Xingxu, WU Kehong, SHAN Zhaozi, CHEN Yonglin, SU Hui, CHEN Weiming, WANG Jinzhong, GAO Ping, WEI Quanbao, LV Yi, LIAO Tienchi, XIA Yeliang, MIAO JUE FA SHI, TANG Jingling, LI Yuanfeng, WU Kuntai, SHA Yuguang, HOU Zhongzhe, LU Gengsong, FANG Zhongning, TANG Shizong, YANG Moni, YANG Xiaoyan, HUANG Yuanzhang, DU Ning, ZHANG Mingshan, DA er, HUANG Xiaomin, ZHENG Yushuo, HE Lihua, LIN Lanyun, CHEN Xinhao, SUN Baoqiang, LI Lu, LI Guotao, YANG Guang, DONG Qinghua, DING Qiang, LIU Jianping, LIU Jun, CUI Weiming, LI Xiaoming, JIN Dajun, XU Wanchang, ZHU Xiaoming, LIN Enhui, ZHANG Guoting, REN Songlin, Helena HUANG, Josephine CHU (The Netherlands), YUAN Li-Ping, Bill CHEN, YANG Fengshi, WANG Chengyong, LU Hong, WEI Zidan, YANG Jiucheng, YOU Pinting, LI Changjun, ZHAO Jing, XUE Wei, QIN Yongmin, CHEN Xinhao, A Mu, QI Jiazhen, LI Huanming, DONG Xiaochun, Jeff LIU, LU Honglai, XIA Yifan, GENG He, GENG Ge, Bob FU, CHAI Ling (total 259)