G7 leaders urged to take urgent action on China's crackdown in Tibet

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Dharamshala — A coalition of over 146 Tibetan rights groups and more than 17,400 Tibet supporters have written to the G7 leaders to urge them to take immediate action against China for its ongoing crackdown on the human rights of Tibetans inside Tibet and its attempts to erase the distinct identity of Tibet.

Ahead of the G7 Summit in Borgo Egnazia, Italy from 13-15 June 2024, Tibetan activists from several countries have written to world leaders to 'Unite for Tibet', and called on them to unite against China's repressive occupation of Tibet and Xi Jinping's relentless crackdown on Tibetans in an attempt to erase the distinct identity of the Tibetan people.

They wrote, "China has occupied Tibet for over seven decades, and its rule there is one of the last remnants of 20th-century colonialism. This is epitomised by China’s colonial system of residential boarding schools, in which close to one million Tibetan children have been forced into a highly regimented and restrictive environment, often far from their families and communities, and which is designed to sever them from their Tibetan identity. This system in Tibet has direct parallels to the devastating colonial boarding school systems in countries like Canada and the United States."

"China’s occupation of Tibet remains a significant yet often overlooked and unresolved conflict and since Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, there has been a dramatic deterioration of human rights across the entire Tibetan plateau. In February 2024, Freedom House ranked Tibet as the least free place in the world an explicit and alarming charge and another clear sign that global leaders must take stronger action," the activists explained.

"Over the past 18 months, multiple UN human rights bodies have raised the alarm at the escalation of human rights violations in Tibet including the colonial boarding school system and six out of seven of the G7 governments also raised the grave situation in Tibet during China’sUN human rights review in January," they added.

They urged the leaders of G7 and said, "The G7 must build on the concerns they raised at the UN. As representatives of the world’s most powerful nations, G7 leaders must take responsibility to address the Sino-Tibetan conflict and push for a lasting solution."

Dott. Claudio Cardelli of Associazione Italia-Tibet said: “Beijing’s policy of destroying culture, the environment, and Tibetan society continues relentlessly. The systematic and cruel work on children, who are seized from their families and indoctrinated in colonial schools; along with the environmental devastation and the forced displacement of entire villages that will be submerged by the gigantic Kamtok Dam in Dege, are the latest examples of a long-term, well-thought-out program aimed at eradicating Tibetan identity, culture and environment. The time has come for the world to mobilise against all this.”

Tencho Gyatso of International Campaign for Tibet said: “The previous rounds of Sino-Tibetan dialogue showed us that China responds to steady, persistent pressure. G7 leaders must understand that they have the power – and the responsibility – to apply this pressure. With one voice, world leaders must tell Beijing that a just resolution to the Tibet issue can only be reached through dialogue with the Tibetans.”

Tenzin Yangzom of International Tibet Network said: “Xi Jinping is showing few signs of reviewing its harsh policies in Tibet and Beijing has tightened its grip on public security with intensive restrictions on communications to cut Tibet off from the rest of the world, and this is exactly why it is so important for world leaders to take action – they cannot allow the situation in Tibet to simply be ignored.”

Yoko Ishii of Free Tibet Fukuoka said: “For far too long, the occupation of Tibet has been overlooked by governments in the bid to tighten relations with China. But year after year Tibet is ranked as one of the worst places for freedom and human rights in the world! We urge G7 leaders to use their standing in the world, to come together to take a united stand on the crisis situation and work towards finding a solution to the Tibet/China crisis.”

Gloria Montgomery of Tibet Justice Center said: “The majority of G7 Governments have repeatedly expressed concerns over China’s extreme repression in Tibet – it’s high time for like-minded leaders to develop common approaches and policies that Beijing cannot ignore. The combined voices of the world’s most prominent leaders can help pave the road for a peaceful resolution to one of the world’s most long-standing injustices.”

Tenzin Kunga of Tibetan Community in Britain said: “Despite the high risk to Tibetans inside Tibet and in spite of the repressive situation, Tibetans continue to resist and to challenge China’s rule. Their struggle for their fundamental rights and their freedom demands international support and a sustainable solution to the conflict. The G7 has a powerful voice and must use it to speak up for Tibet.” 

John Jones of Free Tibet said: “From its language and religion, to its environment, to the future of its children, Tibet faces a struggle for its existence. The level of repression from Beijing is matched only by the bravery of Tibetans as they push back. Several of the G7 governments spoke up for Tibet at China’s human rights review in January, but these fine words must not be the end; they should be the first step towards a lasting resolution to the conflict.”