With over 15,000 members spread across eleven countries in four continents, the TWA is well positioned to spread this urgent message and bring the conspicuously quiet international community into the folds of the area’s escalating violence.
On Tuesday TWA’s president and vice-president met with the Governor of China’s Sichuan Province in New Delhi and presented him with a petition called “Appealing for Immediate Legal Protection for Tibetans inside Tibet facing Persecution”. This unprecedented meeting of a Chinese official and Tibetan NGO resulted in an assurance that the governor “Will look into the matter.”
This appeal followed Monday’s launch of the Global Petitioning and Lobbying Week, an initiative aimed at using the organization’s 57 international chapters to elicit the intervention of international arbitrators. It implores organizations, governmental and public, to help with the following: immediate legal intervention and prevention of the brutal treatment of Tibetans in Ngaba Region; pressure the Chinese Government to loosen press restrictions inside Tibet and allow foreign media to enter the region; allow religious freedom; halt oppression and other travesties currently occurring in Tibet.
The organization’s actions come in the wake of two more violent deaths. Sixty-year-old Dongko and 65-year-old Sherkyi were reportedly beaten to death last week during their attempts to dissuade the Chinese Police from detaining another three hundred monks. Claims from eyewitnesses at the scene provided the following account: "People had their arms and legs broken, one old woman had her leg broken in three places, and cloth was stuffed in their mouths to stifle their screams."
According to the TWA the recent inundation of armed Chinese forces in Tibet’s ethnic areas has created an environment ripe for social turmoil. They warn that “The threat of force and violence [looms] large and the absence of international intervention and lack of adequate legal protection and free media coverage will only exacerbate the situation.”
The organization reminds the public of what happened in 2008 on the eve of the Beijing Olympics and the public outcry that followed. The current situation, urges the organization, can be stopped before it reaches such a tragic outcome. But help is needed.
The TWA will continue their campaign by meeting with members of the Indian Parliament and the High Commissioners of 125 countries in Delhi to lobby for their support.