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11march20103(Ottawa, Wednesday, 10 March 2010) - The Canada Tibet Committee (CTC) calls on Prime Minister Stephen Harper, as host of the G8 summit, to bring his counterparts together to deliver an unambiguous two word message to President Hu Jintao that "it's time" to take advantage of the historic opportunity presented by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to reach a peaceful solution to the Tibet issue.

Gathered in Ottawa to mark the 51st anniversary of the Tibetan National uprising, the CTC called on the Prime Minister and other G8 leaders to tell President Hu that "it's time" to meet with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and sign a comprehensive settlement to the Tibet question that protects the rights of the Tibetan people and China's territorial integrity.

The CTC noted that in announcing the G8 Summit, Prime Minister Harper emphasized it "will be a tremendous opportunity to promote Canada's values and interests on the world stage...and to champion freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law."

"The Tibetan people's continued resistance for over half a century in the face of incredible odds symbolizes their courage and determination in spite of the climate of fear that permeates Tibet to this day," said CTC executive director Dermod Travis. "And there can be no better time than now for Canada with its G8 partners to help bring these annual March 10th commemorations to an end by calling upon the Chinese government to restore the rights and freedoms of the Tibetan people."

In 2009, the CTC released declassified documents dating to 1944 from the then Department of External Affairs analyzing the situation in, invasion of, and the political status of Tibet. A 1950 legal opinion, solicited by the department, concluded that "Tibet is, from the point of view of international law, qualified for recognition as an independent state."

"The Chinese government can't rewrite such explicit historical references forever, it can't rewrite protests such as Tiananmen Square forever and it can't rewrite pages of the Internet forever," said CTC executive director Dermod Travis. "Prime Minster Harper and his G8 counterparts are well-placed to eloquently deliver the simple message that "it's time."

On March 10, 1959, Tibetans rose up against the Chinese administration as a result of the oppression and systematic brutality they were experiencing under military occupation. Thousands died and many thousands more were forced into labour camps following the uprising.

The Canada Tibet Committee is an independent non-governmental organization of Tibetans and non-Tibetans living in Canada, who are concerned about the continuing human rights violations and lack of democratic freedom in Tibet.