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Buddhist Peace Fellowship Statement on the Uprisings in Tibet

The Buddhist Channel, March 18, 2008

San Francisco, USA -- As hundreds of Buddhist monks and ordinary citizens take to the streets of Lhasa protesting Chinese occupation of Tibet, like their brothers & sisters in Burma last September, they have been met with beatings and bullets.  Lhasa's Drepung, Sera, and Ganden monasteries have been closed and surrounded by troops for the last three days. Yet the monks are undeterred, and continue to protest in Tibet's cities wherever possible.

In solidarity with the people of Tibet, our brothers and sisters in dharma, we condemn the Chinese government's suppression of peaceful demonstrations, the closing of monasteries, and the broad imposition of martial law. The violent response Chinese security forces only adds fuel to fires that they set many years ago.

The Chinese occupation, in place since 1951, continues throughout Tibet, amounting to de facto ethnic cleansing, destroying indigenous Tibetan culture by a massive Chinese population transfer and economic infiltration, backed up by the barrel of a gun. According to the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), "In Tibet's cities and fertile valleys, particularly in eastern Tibet, Chinese outnumber Tibetans by two and sometimes three to one."

We agree with John Ackerly, President of ICT, who says:

"The recent events in Tibet and reported deaths of Tibetans are a tragic consequence of decades of Chinese misrule in Tibet. The only lasting solution for the Tibetan problem is for the Chinese government to react positively to the Dalai Lama's call for a negotiated solution for Tibet."

A statement from His Holiness the Dalai Lama appeals "to the Chinese leadership to stop using force and address the long-simmering resentment of the Tibetan people through dialogue with the Tibetan people...I also urge my fellow Tibetans not to resort to violence."

We second the Dalai Lama's appeal, and condemn the violent repression of natural and proper protest of China's longstanding repression of Tibet. We ask all friends of Tibet - people and governments - to do the same. We call on the government of the People's Republic of China to release all Tibetans held on political charges. Finally we encourage the brave and patient people of Tibet to stay strong, and to uphold the Buddha's teachings of nonviolence.

Rev. Hozan Alan Senauke
on behalf of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship community

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