This past weekend, leaders from the world’s wealthiest and most powerful countries met in Northern Ireland for a G8 summit. Unsurprisingly, the conference centered around the topic of Syria where civil war has led autocrat, Bashar al-Assad, to utilize chemical weapons against resistance groups. While the political situation in Syria is no doubt dire, Tibetan rights advocates found the parallels hard to ignore. Expressing his frustration Tibet activist, Tenzin Jime, wrote, “If a conference for Syria can be ‘strongly’ supported, surely the G8 can also give support to the Tibetan people who have suffered occupation for over 60 years, increasing economic marginalization and brutal repression, and yet continue to steadfastly conduct a non-violent campaign for justice.”
Indeed, despite Tibet’s dedication to peaceful protest, their work has lead to little avail. In fact, conditions appear to be worsening. In March, Human Rights Watch released a report noting a drastic increase in surveillance and prosecutions as well as limitations on movement and communication beyond Tibet’s borders. The establishment of 600 new police stations and patrol groups known as “Red Armband patrols,” has further alarmed activist groups; and for good reason. Working alongside grassroots administrations tasked explicitly with the job of collecting personal information on the neighborhood people, these patrols use computers and video equipment to track individuals and raid homes. Despite these conditions, Tibet’s peaceful resistance continues with minimal international action while the numbers of those who have resorted to self-immolation as a form of protest, have increased.
As governmental control over free speech increases, Tibet loses one of its most critical tools for peaceful protest. Exiled to India in 1959, spiritual leader of the Kirti monastery, Kyabje Kirti Rinpoche, has taken an active role in speaking out and raising awareness of China’s oppression. We at 3 Generations are dedicated to providing survivors of genocide, trafficking, war, and human rights abuses with a platform to share their stories. As China continues to crack down on free speech, Mr. Rinpoche’s accounts become increasingly valuable. Donate now and help make it possible for us to share Mr. Rinpoche’s story with the world.
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