World urged not to forget Tibet

Friday, 28 September 2007

The Free Tibet Campaign today welcomed comments from world leaders highlighting the need to support the people of Burma.

Today UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband said: “Let us send a message to the monks on the streets of Burma: We support your demand for a democratic Burma. And let us take a message from the monks on the streets of Burma: the human desire for freedom knows no bounds of race or religion or region.”

This follows the statement from US President George Bush that: “We feel admiration and compassion for the monks and peaceful protesters in calling for democracy. Every civilised nation has a responsibility to stand up for people suffering under a brutal military regime like the one that has ruled Burma for too long.”

Both the UK and the US governments have made unsuccessful requests to the Chinese government that it use its influence in Burma to promote restraint in response to the peaceful protests.

The Free Tibet Campaign today said:

“It is hardly surprising that the Chinese government does not wish to be seen condemning the Burmese junta. China has been occupying Tibet and oppressing Tibetans for nearly 60 years. The exact wording of statements by both Mr Miliband and Mr Bush could accurately be made substituting ‘Tibet’ for ‘Burma’. And yet these statements are not made. Why is it acceptable for the Tibetan people to be denied the basic freedoms demanded by their neighbours in Burma?”

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For more information contact Anne Holmes, Campaigns Manager, on 44 (0)20 7324 4611 or e-mail

Notes to editors:

Monks and nuns in Tibet are regularly imprisoned and tortured for peacefully protesting totalitarian curbs on their freedom to practise their religion. Calling for a free Tibet and the safe return of their leader the Dalai Lama makes them guilty in the eyes of the Chinese authorities of the crime of “splittism”.

Free Tibet campaigns for the right of Tibetans to decide their own future. It seeks an end to the Chinese occupation of Tibet and for the fundamental human rights of Tibetans to be respected. It is independent of all governments and is funded by its members and supporters.