My Meeting With UK Foreign Minister Jeremy Browne By Pema Yoko

Today on this historic Lhakar, I want to share with you my recent activities for Tibet.

On Monday, January 30, 2012,  I met with UK Foreign Minister Jeremy Browne alongside representatives of the International Tibet Network and Avaaz. We delivered an urgent petition signed by over half a million people who are gravely concerned about the crisis in Tibet; 63,297 signatures were from the UK.

I urged Minister Browne to join other world governments to push for multi-lateral action to help end China’s violent crackdown in Tibet. He assured us that he would continue to raise the Tibet crisis with his counterparts in Beijing.

Our meeting could not have come at a more critical time. Last week, Chinese police opened fire on Tibetans in eastern Tibet as protests for freedom continue across the region. At least 5 people have been killed in these vicious attacks. More troops are flooding into the area.

In response to the shootings, Foreign Minister Browne issued a statement urging the Chinese government to address Tibetan grievances.

This a critical first step and one that would not have been possible without grassroots pressure; the public statement and our meeting with Foreign Minister Browne on Monday demonstrate that together, we can make the UK government stand up for Tibet.

As Tibetans inside Tibet continue to put their lives on the line for freedom, we must double our efforts to press for a multilateral response from world governments.

A really important upcoming event is the Mass Lobby for Tibet that takes place all over the world. In the UK the 3rd Annual Tibet Lobby Day is on Wednesday 7th March. Here in London we have been holding special trainings to prepare Tibetans and supporters to lobby their MPs, check this video out:

If you are in UK, register and receive a Lobby Day information pack, please email liam@sftuk.org. Lobby Day is open to everyone, even if you have never lobbied before!

Tibetans are courageously standing up and they need our support. A global outcry against China’s violent actions now will help save Tibetan lives! Bod Rangzen!

References:

1. Foreign Minister Jeremy Browne’s statement: UK concern at shootings in Tibetan areas of Sichuan

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/news/latest-news/?view=News&id=721015082

2. SFT’s press release: Tibetans, Supporters Worldwide Denounce China’s Escalating Violence in Tibet;

http://studentsforafreetibet.org/article.php?id=2388

3 Reported Dead After Chinese Troops Open Fire On Protesters3. RFA report: Chinese Security Forces Fire on Tibetan Protesters in Second Day of Killing

http://www.rfa.org/english/news/tibet/protest-01242012093312.html

4. CNN: CNN crew detained amid Chinese Tibetan crackdown

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/01/30/world/asia/china-arrest-grant/index.html

5. Human Rights Watch: China: Refrain from using excessive force against protesters

http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/01/26/china-refrain-using-excessive-force-against-protesters

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