Target: Xí Jìnpíng, President of People’s Republic of China
Goal: Improve conditions for Tibetans living in China
Tibetans that live in China have had to deal with social, economic, political and religious injustices for many years. Since 2009 an estimated 120 Tibetans have self-immolated in protest to improve their living conditions in every aspect. President Xí Jìnpíng needs to address every issue, ranging from human rights to “rehousing,” and develop and execute an aggressive plan toward positive change for them.
In their history, Tibetans have suffered from extended human rights violations. Over time intergovernmental agencies such as the UN have documented a strong need for change in areas such as the rights of children and women, all forms of discrimination, involuntary disappearances, as well as the treatment of human rights defenders. There are also severe human rights violations that pertain to freedom of religion and expression of opinion.
The oppression of Tibetans must stop. During a protest in 2008, excessive force was used by police to end the peaceful demonstration. It is not the first time and was not the last time police have used force or killed protesters. Self immolation has also grown to be a way of protesting amongst Tibetans due to the repression by the Chinese government, which has refused to acknowledge it as a serious problem. Most of these stemming from religious repression or a desire to keep their homes.
Since 2006 the Chinese government has “rehoused” more than 2 million Tibetans for government-ordered construction of new houses in the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR). Despite their say in the matter of the “Great Development of the West” campaign, it is supposed to show Tibetans that the only hope for their future lies within the People’s Republic. This construction has moved many farmers off of their land, but still forced them to work on it for the government. They plan to rehouse 900,000 more Tibetans by the end of 2014. The Chinese government also fails to properly compensate Tibetans for eviction, which is necessary for justification of eviction. An evictee should not be made worse off after being evicted.
By signing this petition you are urging President Xí Jìnpíng to develop and execute an aggressive plan to positively change the living conditions of Tibetans in China.
Dear President Jìnpíng,
I am urging you to take action towards improving the living condition of Tibetans, as well as more sternly enforce their human rights. Since 2009 at least 120 Tibetans have self-immolated in protest for religious rights or land rights. Human Rights Watch has reported being told that officials in the People’s Hall have said regardless of their land rights, people must obey government orders.
You have rehoused more than two million Tibetans since 2006 and many have since complained. Some houses lack in size for Tibetans that were better off and owned land and livestock or have larger households. Many people have also complained about the houses being built identically in rows restricting people from having guest space or gardens or further amenities. You have also failed to properly compensate Tibetans for their evictions, judging their compensation on neighborhood and class level rather than the value of the actual house.
The People’s Republic of China also abuses Tibetans’ freedom of religion and expression of opinion. There have been reports of police officers killing peaceful protesters, as well using excessive force to end protests. There is also an extreme lack of religious freedom for Tibetans. In 1995 when Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was named the eleventh Panchen Lama at the age of six, he was detained by authorities and hasn’t been seen since. The man who remained in touch with the Dalai Lama to carefully select Nyima was later arrested and charged with treason and the People’s Republic chose the 11th Panchen Lama. That is a repression of religious freedom. It has since continued with a ban on worshipping the fourteenth Dalai Lama or having his picture up in public facilities. This repression has led to the decision of self-immolation for many Tibetans, old and young. It is a problem that needs to be changed.
I am urging you to develop an aggressive plan with consultation of Tibetans to improve their living conditions in every aspect. Death should not be an acceptable result of repression.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Central Tibetan Administration via Wikimedia Commons