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harperMontreal, Canada: The Canada Tibet Committee (CTC), a Montreal based NGO has appealed to the Canadian government to make make the strongest possible representations to the Chinese President, Hu Jintao over China's lack of fair judicial process, religious repression and continued human rights abuses against the Tibetan people.

The Canadian Prime Minister Mr. Stephen Harper who happens to be the first western leader to visit China since the crackdown began, the Tibet support group has requested him to convey Canada's abhorrence at the escalating violence and share the revulsion of the western governments.

They also appealed to Mr. Harper to make discussing the plight of Tibetans a priority issue during his meeting with Chinese President Mr. Hu Jintao which is scheduled to take place in a little over two weeks.

Quoting Mr. Harper's announcement regarding trade ties with China from the previous week, the CTC lamented that it was unfortunate that Canada's long-standing concerns with the human rights practices in China were not mentioned anywhere in the speech.

Stating that human rights and trade are not mutually exclusive, the CTC urged the Prime Minister to raise human right concerns in a public forum like American President Barack Obama and former Australian Prime Minister John Howard did.

"We favour a transparent, principled, and constructive relationship with China that encompasses all facets of our relationship and that has human rights at the core. We believe that a free, prosperous China is in Canada's interests. But more importantly, it's in the interests of Tibetans and Chinese citizens alike," stated the CTC in their letter to the Canadian government.

OVERVIEW

Since February 2009, a total of seventeen Tibetans inside Tibet have self-immolated in protest of the Chinese repressive policies and demanding for the return of the Dalai Lama.

Twelve out of the Seventeen succumbed to their injuries and the rest are either in a poor shape or are battling for life.

Sources have revealed that three Tibetans were killed and several others injured when the Chinese police opened fire on the Tibetans who had gathered to protest in Drango region of the Kham province on the day of the Chinese New Year.

Reports suggest that this crackdown has intensified after leaflets calling for Tibetans to skip New Year celebrations this year to pay homage to the martyrs were circulated in Drango.

The declaration of the unnamed author of the leaflets of his intentions to self-immolate on Losar (Tibetan New Year) has created a lot of stir in the region.

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