How You Can Help Tibet14 Mar 2008, by Culture in
The Government of Tibet in Exile has posted this page on what we can do to help Tibet. There are articles on the importance of writing letters and why you should write to your congressional representative/senator/MP/etc. We have sent out the following messages to our representatives today and encourage everybody we know to do the same:
Dear Congressman - Violence has broken out in Lhasa, Tibet, as police forces came down hard on a peaceful protest to mark the anniversary of the failed uprising 49 years ago that led eventually to the exile of the Dalai Lama. We can only hope that this situation does not worsen for the Tibetan people and that the Chinese government can be pressured to stop the violence against a peaceful people. Shockingly, the neighboring Indian government is also cracking down on protests by refugees living in northern India where the Dalai Lama now calls home. Congressman, I urge you to speak up about this unjust violence. With the approaching Olympic Games the Chinese government knows all eyes are watching. Please pressure them to uphold their current advertised ideals of modernity and civility. That we will not accept some principals, such as progress on the environment, while turning a blind eye to unprovoked violence. Additionally, discussions with the leaders of India should be initiated to allow Tibetan refugees to live and protest peacefully since they are not allowed to do so in their home country. If our government cannot persuade the Chinese government to treat their citizens with dignity and respect for human rights, surely we can do so with our allies in India. Thank you.
Furthermore we have sent the following message to the Presidential campaigns today, even though they do not represent us in congress, they are currently legislators with the power to do something, and they have the ear of the national media:
Dear Senator, I wanted to contact you today about an urgent policy issue that is not related to the presidential campaign. I am a resident of Washington State, and not one of your constituents, but this matter is of national... global importance. While we are waging a disastrous occupation in Iraq, another occupation by the Chinese government has been going on in Tibet for over 50 years. I just visited Tibet in October, and maybe I had the wool pulled over my eyes, but I saw a Tibet where Tibetans were fairly free to practice their religion and culture. I did not witness oppression or violence. I saw a proud Tibetan people, unencumbered by the one child policy, with a flourishing culture... the main obstacle of which wasn't outright domination, but rather an encroaching Chinese immigration with which they were trying to maintain a tense equilibrium. Well, the surface tension of that equilibrium has broken and today there is violence across the region. The Chinese government is arresting, injuring, and even killing peaceful protesters, inciting a spreading violence that is turning what I experienced as a peaceful country into an oppressive occupation. What's worse is that the government of India is ALSO cracking down on refugees in northern India, leaving the Tibetan people with no safe place to express their political will. We have a responsibility to not let that happen. I know that you are focused on winning this primary race and beating John McCain in November, but we can't wait until November to lead the nation at this time. I am urging you (and my Senators in Washington) to draft a resolution to demand that the Chinese and Indian governments respect the human rights of the Tibetan people. We may not be able to Free Tibet, but can we at least put a stop to the violence against these peaceful people? Let's stand up for our Democratic values not just here at home, but in places where they can not stand up for themselves. Thank you for your time
You can also contact your representatives and urge them to take action now. Don’t necessarily copy and past what we’ve written above, take the advice on the Government of Tibet in Exile page and craft your own message to your reps so they will take each message seriously (but feel free to take inspiration from us if you like!).