For the past 12 weeks, a Tibetan Monastery in the Ngaba area of eastern Tibet has been under siege by the Chinese government. An “uneasy peace” has been forced on the Tibetans; however the situation remains tense. Please see below for a list of things you can do to support the Tibetan people.
On March 16, 2011, Phuntsok Jarutsan, a young Buddhist monk from the Kirti Monastery in Ngaba, set himself on fire to mark the third anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising campaign. It was one of the largestmobilizations that occupied Tibet has ever seen; and China did everything it could to crush it.mobilizations.
Chinese authorities who were present at the March 16 demonstration Phuntsok had been attending, were said to “beat [him] as they put out the flames.”
With no chance of getting him to a hospital, there was little his fellow monks could do for him. Phuntsok passed away at approximately 3:00am on March 17, 2011.
Phuntsok’s sacrifice quickly led to a massive public outcry in Ngaba. And the Chinese government wasted no time with a response of their own. They sent in roughly 55,000 troops, surrounded the Kirti Monastery with a blockade, suspended the right to gather and free expression, and began to arrest, abuse and torture the peaceful Tibetans.
With severely limited access to the outside world, the 2,500 Monks within the Kirti Monastery were also forced to take part in a “gruelling ‘patriotic reeducation'” program. Monks who didn’t comply with the official instructors were also tortured.
According to Students for a Free Tibet, on April 19th, “During the ‘patriotic reeducation’ sessions, a high-ranked Chinese officials threatened the monks, saying that if the they did not respond to orders, he had the power and ability to destroy their very way of life.”
Two days later, the Chinese government kicked their campaign into overdrive, disabling local communications and arbitrarily arresting 300 Monks in the Monastery. Elderly Tibetans outside the Monastery formed a human chain in a last-ditch effort to stop the police from taking the monks away; but they were severely beaten. Two of the Tibetans later died from their injuries.
During the last week of April, China forced an “uneasy peace” on the Tibetans, so the situation doesn’t have the sense of urgency it once did; however, reports continue to pour in that Tibetans are being arrested tortured and abused on a daily basis. As we now head into June, the situation in Ngaba remains tense.
An International campaign was just carried out to highlight the situation in Nagba and pressure China into backing off . Through the Global Week of Action for Ngaba, organizers directed people to take part in a series of daily events: attend protests, sign petitions, endorse letters, send faxes, text messages, and emails. A number of these actions were already being carried out; they just became far more concentrated.
It’s too early to tell if The Global Week of Action was a success, but either way, we can be sure that Tibet still needs our support. The Chinese government is, after all, on a mission to erase Tibet from existence.
The Tibetans themselves are doing what they can: from the young monk who set himself on fire to protest the hardships of his people; to the 67 Elders who are sharing their oral histories with the world; to the journalists, students and artists who are desperately hanging on to their lives in a final act of defiance; to the Dalai Lama, who just brought an end to 469 years of theocracy in Tibet; not to mention every man, woman and child that wants nothing more than the freedom to exist.
1) Urge world leaders world leaders to stand up for Tibet and demand China cease its brutal crackdown in the Ngaba area of eastern Tibet (Ch: Aba, Sichuan Province) http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5380/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6257
2) Organize a solidarity protest: Tibetans and their supporters worldwide have engaged in protests, vigils, fasts, hunger strikes, peace marches, and government lobbying activities to pressure the Chinese government to end its attack on Tibetans in Ngaba. Send details of your protest to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help spread the word!
3) Send an urgent petition to Sichuan Party Secretary, Liu Qibao who has the power to stop the crackdown. Ask your friends & family to sign and help spread the word.
4) Send an urgent letter calling on your government leaders to take the strongest diplomatic action possible calling on China to: Immediately withdraw security forces from Ngaba; Unconditionally release all detainees; Allow international observers and media unrestricted access to Ngaba.Find your representatives
5) Fax a letter in Chinese to the Sichuan Public Security Department: +86 28 8666 3961 . Sample text is available at http://www.tibetnetwork.org/globalweekofactionforngaba#fax
6) Sign the following Online Petitions:– Amnesty International’s urgent action appeal for Ngaba – International Campaign for Tibet’s appeal to the U.S. Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman
7) Watch video footage smuggled from Ngaba (in Tibetan, courtesy of Voice of America) View dramatic photos (courtesy of Free Tibet)
8) Call your Embassy in China: Explain the ongoing human rights situation in Ngaba and urge them to press the Chinese government to immediately end the siege in Ngaba: http://www.chinahighlights.com/embassy/embassy-in-china/beijing/
9) Call Chinese authorities in Sichuan and demand the immediate release of those detained and for an end to the military crackdown in Ngaba.
10) Call the Chinese Embassy in your country: Tell them that people worldwide are watching the situation in Ngaba, Tibet closely and demand the release of all those detained in the protest: http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/wjb/zwjg/2490/
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