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Comments

Rene Wadlow

Dear Colleague,

As the representative to the United Nations, Geneva, of the Association of World Citizens, I have written on 15 March to the Chinese Ambassador concerning the recent protests in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and other Tibetan-majority areas. I stress the need for the rule of law, fair trials, the need for representative political institutions where ideas can be freely discussed, and for the development of a pluralistic civil society. Although I have made these points before, I believe that they need to be made again in the light of growing frustration on the part of many Tibetans and the danger of increased political and police repression. The text of my letter is given below.

Letters stressing similar points could be usefully sent to the recently re-elected President Hu Jintao, The State Council General Office, 2 Fuyoujie, Xichengqu, Beijingshi, 100017, China, The Minister of Justice, Wu Aiying, Ministry of Justice, 10 Nandajie Chaoyangmen, Chaoyangqu, Beijingshi 100020, China and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Li Zhaoxing Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2 Chaoyangmen Nandajie, Chaoyang District, Beijingshi, 100701, China

With all best wishes, Rene Wadlow

Excellency :

The Association of World Citizens would like to join in with many others, both governments and non-governmental organizations, in calling for respect for human rights and the rule of law in dealing with the current demonstrations in Lhasa and other Tibetan-majority areas.

World Citizens have always stressed the need for broadly based democratic institutions through which people may express their ideas and proposals for change. As necessary as fair elections are for good governance, such broadly-based institutions need to be more than periodic elections to government institutions. That is why World Citizens have stressed the role of civil society and the need for a multitude of social groups so that many views can be expressed.

When such institutions of civil society are limited, when the press and the media are not pluralistic, then people will express their views in demonstrations and protests which can become violent both through the actions of protesters and of the police and security forces. That is what we see today in different parts of Tibet. Because of visitors, there is more reporting from Lhasa, but we understand that there have been demonstrations and repression in other Tibetan-majority areas.

H.E.. Mr. Li Baodong,
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva

Chemin de Surville 11 C. P. 85

1213 Petit-Lancy 2 Switzerland

Many Tibetans feel that their aspirations are not taken into consideration, their culture is not respected, and that they are marginalized in the process of economic development. Many Tibetans believe that the current political structures in the Tibet Autonomous Region do not adequately reflect their views. Thus, aspirations are articulated from the more traditional sources of authority, that is, the monks from the leading monasteries.

The current unrest is a sign that the social order is not healthy. There is Tibetan resentment against Han workers and Hui merchants living in Lhasa.

Thus, we encourage care and respect for all individuals in the restoration of order. However, more important beyond the short-term issues concerning arrests and fair trials, there is the longer-range need to create representative governmental institutions in which Tibetans have the possibility to express their views. There is also the need to develop civil society institutions to carry out social, cultural and economic activities for the benefit of all.

World Citizens responded actively to the Buddhist monk-led demonstrations for the rule of law in Myanmar last September and October. The world is now watching as monks again lead a broad effort for freedom of thought and social justice.

We are sure that the Government of the People’s Republic of China will follow internationally-recognized standards of human rights in the current situation and will also undertake a serious study of the reforms needed in Tibet.

Respectfully Yours,

Prof. René Wadlow

Chief Representative to the United Nations@Geneva
Association of World Citizens

Robert

Hi Professor Wadlow - I am somewhat intrigued why you chose this particular post in which to announce your efforts at bringing the world's attention to the Tibetan plight, even if I'm not surprised given the Roerich provenance. It lets me know I must accelerate my effort at creating a parallel activist cyberspace. As a BIG fan of His Holiness, Tibetan Buddhism, and universal human rights, I applaud your efforts. We need reforms of our entire world, the rules of engagement, the consequences of non-compliance with the laws and ideals of human rights, and a greater global commitment to universal justice, peace, and the rule of law over the whims of men who hide behind the cloaks of respectability and "non-interference" in national policies that are destructive to the human spirit and world culture. Nicholas Roerich set the standard with the Pax Cultura. When will the world accept there is a global culture that should be preserved regardless of political whims? Of course, to paraphrase Gandhi, the authoritarians ALWAYS fail in the end. It's up to us to preserve the best of humanity while the barbarians fall trying to prop up what is impermanent. Blessings on your every effort.

dcu

Hi Professor Wadlow. Thank you for posting here on the plight of the people of Tibet. Thank you for your work. As the Olympic flame begins its journey to Beijing may the flame of freedom be lit for the people of Tibet. Aum Mane Padme Hum

Robert

Hello again Professor Wadlow - Having visited your site, I applaud your efforts. You're on my blogroll. And naturally we share a mutual respect and affection for the esteemed Nicholas and Elena Roerich. Bravissimo!

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