Announcement from the Core Committee of The North American Rally for Tibet
In light of the U.S. Government shutdown in Washington, D.C. which has cast a great deal of uncertainty on our ability to organize the proposed Rally for Tibet on October 7 in a meaningful way, the Core Committee (comprised of North American Tibetan Parliamentarians, Office of Tibet, Capital Area Tibetan Association, International Tibet Network, and The International Campaign for Tibet) carefully discussed the matter and has made the decision to postpone the event.
The shutdown has posed several challenges. The National Park Service has withdrawn the permission for us to gather at the historical Lincoln Memorial and there is no clear indication whether we would be able to proceed on the proposed route of the march.
Even though we were informed that there could be an event at the Lafayette Park (in front of the White House), we learned that there cannot be more than 25 people assembled at one time in the park. Our group would obviously exceed this size. Also, the shutdown frustrates our ability to follow up with Members of Congress who we’ve asked to speak or send messages, as their offices are short staffed. We are also not sure how the shutdown might impact the schedules of some of our other proposed speakers.
At another level, as we all know, the shutdown has become a matter of much public concern, particularly in Washington, D.C. as many residents are government employees. Therefore, our rally might be perceived as being insensitive to the situation and might not evoke the sort of response from the community that we desire.
We appreciate the positive response from the members of the Tibetan community as well as other supporters who have committed their participation in the rally or support in other ways.
We deeply regret the inconvenience caused especially those who have already made travel plans. Since this development was beyond our control we seek your understanding and hope to be in touch in the near future on actions that we could take to help the people of Tibet.
Thank you again for your support.
Situation in Tibet
China’s severe and worsening crackdown in Tibet has provoked an unprecedented wave of self-immolations by Tibetan monks, nuns and laypeople, with at least 121 confirmed self-immolation protests since 2009. In the last five years there has been a surge in non-violent protests by Tibetans in Tibet, notably in 2008 but increasing again since early 2012, with demonstrators calling for freedom in Tibet and for the return of the Dalai Lama. The Chinese government has been using military forces to suppress peaceful Tibetans, even opening fire on them.
In August hundreds of Tibetans peacefully protested against Chinese mining in local area that are considered sacred. In respond to their demand, Chinese authorities sent hundreds of armed security to crackdown on the protesters. Many protesters were injured from beating and many were taken into custody. Click here to see images of the protest and police crackdown.