As I write this letter, three brave Tibetans are on their 31th day of “Indefinite Fast for Tibet” in front of the United Nations in New York City. Their commitment to stay on this fast started on February 22, 2012 aiming to draw attention to a critical situation prevailing inside Tibet today.
Since February 2009, 30 Tibetans are confirmed to have self-immolated of which 22 have reportedly resulted in deaths. These events are unprecedented in number and unimaginable in nature. Little is known of the fate of the others who survived but whose survival might be hanging by a thin thread.
China has sealed off Tibet and blocked access for all outsiders and no foreign media or individual is allowed inside Tibet. Reporters without Borders, in their press release of expressed alarm at the media blackout imposed by the Chinese authorities. “Out of sight of the world, a major crisis is unfolding. Even Pyongyang has an international media presence, which is not the case in Lhasa,” it reported. Major international news agencies such as the BBC and CNN faced arrest at a toll barrier and were prevented from entering Tibet. Therefore, journalists have resorted to covert means of entering Tibet. Jonathan Watts, of the Guardian, who was able to sneak in most recently, said, “...being in Ngaba reminded him of being in the ‘conflict zones’ in Iraq and Northern Ireland at the height of their trouble”. “On the roof of the world, Chinese paramilitaries are trying to snuff out Tibetan resistance to Beijing's rule with spiked batons, semi-automatic weapons and fire extinguishers,” Watts added.
The United Nations, world leaders, governments and the international community have a responsibility to prevent the humanitarian crisis from metastasizing and spiraling out of control causing further casualties. The rare footage of self-immolations and violence against Tibetans is compelling evidence of untold crimes against humanity being committed behind the high Himalayas by the government of China. Tibetans inside Tibet who went to grave lengths - risking their lives to clandestinely send out this evidence - knowing that they will pay a heavy price if they are caught. Indifference and staying silent in the face of tragedy is criminal. Tibet is a perfect example of a major tragedy occurring in front of our eyes with no one taking action. History will judge what actions you take or fail to take this issue at this time. It might take immense global pressure to move China but it has to be done. You will have failed as a leader and defender of peace and security if you don't “...take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law…”Article One UN Charter. The Tibetan Youth Congress, organizer of this Indefinite Fast for Tibet campaign, strongly calls on United Nations and its members to heed to the demands of the Tibetans suffering in Tibet and in order to amplify their call for freedom and justice have decided to launch this hunger strike.
We appeal the United Nations to immediately
1. Send a fact-finding delegation to assess the critical situation in Tibet
2. Pressure China to stop the undeclared martial law in Tibet
3. Pressure China to allow international media to investigate and report on the ongoing atrocities in Tibet
4. Pressure China to release all political prisoners including Gedun Choekyi Nyima and Tulku Tenzin Delek
5. Pressure China to stop the so-called patriotic re-education campaign in Tibet.
We also appeal to world leaders and governments to intervene and engage directly with the Chinese leadership to stop the ongoing genocide in Tibet. We, the Tibetan people and supporters of the Tibetan cause urge you to take action today!