Press and Statements
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7November2012-002Dharamshala: - As thousands of Tibetans in Rebkong, Amdo in eastern Tibet (Ch: Qinghai Province) staged protests [1] against Chinese rule after the 63rd self-immolation protest [2], exiled Tibetans and Tibet campaigners around the world have issued China’s leader-in-waiting, Xi Jinping, a Tibet Challenge; to address the endemic policy failures and seek a just solution to the occupation of Tibet [3], or face growing resistance.

“At this critical moment in history, as China’s Communist Party is on the cusp of handing power to a new generation of leaders, Tibetans in large numbers are taking every opportunity to denounce six decades of policy failures in Tibet; policies that have created this immolation crisis” said Tashi Dolma, President, Tibetan Women's Association which is a member organization of the International Tibet Network [4]. “It is increasingly clear that Tibetans in Tibet are determined to shape their own future. China’s Communist Party leaders will ignore this at their peril; or the 5th generation could be the last generation.”

China’s failed Tibet policies have contributed to a society in which Tibetans' human rights are routinely abused, and where they are marginalised politically, socially and economically. Decades of intense suffering in Tibet have led many Tibetans to feel compelled to engage in extreme acts of protests, reflected in the ever increasing wave of self-immolation protests taking place. To date at least 63 individuals have set themselves on fire in protest against China’s rule and at least 54 have died.

On 2 November, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay urged the Chinese government to immediately address the long-standing Tibetan grievances that have led to this dramatic escalation in protests stating, “Social stability in Tibet will never be achieved through heavy security measures and suppression of human rights.

Deep underlying issues need to be addressed, and I call on the Government to seriously consider the recommendations made to it by various international human rights bodies, as well as to avail itself of the expert advice being offered by the UN’s independent experts on human rights.” [6]

Today Tibetans and Tibet supporters around the globe are gathered in solidarity with Tibetans in Tibet, to expose the Chinese government's brutal policies and ensure the incoming leaders know the challenges that lie ahead. Four Tibetan NGOs based in Dharamshala are taking part in a global Xi Jinping Tibet Challenge, and are today organising a Photo Booth action to collect individuals direct messages about what Xi's Tibet Challenge will be.

Tibet groups in various countries are challenging Xi outside Chinese embassies, in front of government buildings and on-line, supporters are spreading the message that Xi Jinping and the rest of the 5th generation leaders must take this opportunity to address the urgent need for change in Tibet, or go down in history as yet another failed generation of leaders who refused to end the violent and illegal occupation of Tibet [6].

“Ultimately China has failed to crush the Tibetan desire for freedom, and the resistance we see in Tibet today is stronger, more unified and more widespread than ever before” said Dorjee Tseten, SFT India National Director and a Steering Committee Member of International Tibet Network “Xi Jinping must now decide whether he can afford to continue down the same path of repression and brutality, or find the courage to face the Tibet challenge and seek a constructive resolution to the occupation of Tibet.”