Free Tibet Campaign asks Gordon Brown to act

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Free Tibet Campaign acting director Anne Holmes has sent an urgent fax the to Prime Minister Gordon Brown calling on the Prime Minister to act to ensure any measures taken by the Chinese authorities to suppress the Tibetan protests are witnessed by independent monitors and the world’s press.

Anne Holmes said: “The choice is simple and stark. Failing to act tacitly condones whatever fate befalls the Tibetan people. Doing nothing is no longer an option.”

- ENDS -

This is the text of the letter sent to Downing Street:

Dear Prime Minister

I am faxing this letter to you today with an urgent request that the UK government endorses the Dalai Lama’s call for UN observers to be dispatched immediately to Lhasa. Whilst we appreciate the calls you have already made for restraint, much more action is now needed.

As you must be aware from updates on the situation, the Chinese government is in the process of emptying Tibet’s capital city of all foreigners, with a clear wish that there be no witnesses to its actions after the deadline of midnight tomorrow Beijing time (4pm GMT) for protesters to surrender themselves.

The western press who have travelled as far as the former Tibetan province of Amdo (Ch: Qinghai) are being dispatched back to Beijing and we have heard from a Daily Telegraph reporter that two Canadian members of the press have actually been detained in Xiahe.

What happens in Lhasa - and throughout historic Tibet tomorrow must not be hidden from the world’s view.

For too long the UK government has hidden behind China’s bad faith negotiations with the Tibetan government-in exile. This has always represented a betrayal of the Tibetan people.

Prime Minister, we are appealing to you to take a strong stand, as you did last year on Burma.

The UK must demand that the Chinese government allow UN observers and the western media into Lhasa before midnight tomorrow. We must also demand that a UK embassy representative be allowed into Tibet to monitor the situation on behalf of the British people.

If this call is not made publicly today, Britain (and every other country which fails to make this demand on China) must be considered complicit in any blood that is shed in Tibet tomorrow.

Sincerely

Anne Holmes

Director

Matt Whitticase
Press Officer, Free Tibet Campaign

Notes:

For further information please contact Matt Whitticase at matt@freetibet.org
Or call on +44 (0) 207 324 4605/+44 (0)7515 788456