The International Campaign for Tibet strongly condemns the suppression by Chinese security forces of peaceful demonstrations by Tibetan monks, and the shutdown of monasteries around Lhasa. These actions have provoked disturbances among Tibetan lay people that are escalating to a dangerous level in the streets of Lhasa and spreading to different parts of Tibet.

The unrest in Tibet is a result of established policies that have suppressed religious freedom, denigrated the Dalai Lama and his authority, withheld key provisions of autonomy promised in Chinese law, fostered the large-scale in-migration of Chinese settlers and led to the marginalization of Tibetans.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has appealed to the Chinese leadership to address the “long-simmering resentment” of the Tibetan people and has called on the Tibetans not to resort to violence.

ICT commends those governments which have officially condemned the use of force against peaceful protesters in Tibet and encourages other governments to do the same.

ICT calls on the government of the People’s Republic of China to release all Tibetans detained in connection with these incidents and to provide foreign journalists and consular officials unfettered access to Tibet.

“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,” said John Ackerly, President of ICT.