Berlin: - On Friday the 23rd of November Tibet Initiative Deutschland (TID) highlighted the destruction of the nomadic culture in Tibet by organizing a protest march from the Chinese Embassy to the Foreign Office in Berlin, the capital of Germany.
The demonstration was spearheaded by two Tibetans on horseback who handed over about 8.000 signatures to the German Government's Commissioner for Human Rights, Markus Löning.
The signatures were collected as part of TID's environmental campaign "GreenTibet.FreeTibet" to protest the forced resettlement of Tibetan nomads, who have lived for millennia on the grasslands of the Tibetan plateau. Löning said he was very grateful so many Germans were showing concern for this important issue.
He reiterated that the German government was actively supporting the Tibetan and Chinese peoples' right to self-determination. With regard to the accelerating number of self-immolations in recent weeks, Löning stated he had been horrified by news in recent months.
He called on the Chinese government to live up to its responsibility to create a livelihood that does not lead to such desperate acts as self-immolations.
At the same time he strongly condemned the self-immolations, saying that alive people could do more to help their communities and to further the cause of human rights and self-determination in Tibet.
"The Chinese government is planning to force all remaining nomads off their land until 2015", said TID's Executive Director Nadine Baumann. "The forced resettlement takes away the nomads' traditional way of life, driving them into ghettos characterized by unemployment and hopelessness."
Baumann related the growing number of self-immolations to the resettlement of Tibetan nomads, stating that many of them had been living as nomads themselves and therefore been directly affected by the policies of the Chinese government.
Founded in 1989, TID is a strong voice for Tibet in Germany, advocating for the Tibetan people's right to self-determination and the protection of human rights in Tibet.