In a resounding display of unity and compassion, a collective of exiled Tibetan families from Switzerland has embarked on a tireless campaign to support the Tibetan people inside Tibet. Under the banner of "Stand for Tibet - Tibet Needs You - You Can Save Tibet," this dedicated group of activists has been advocating for the rights and well-being of Tibetans, whose lives are marked by political repression, cultural assimilation, social discrimination, economic marginalization, and environmental degradation imposed by the Chinese Government.
The campaign was initiated on December 10, 2012, coinciding with Human Rights Day, and has continued monthly in front of the United Nations Office in Geneva.
The primary goal of this campaign is to bring attention to the dire situation faced by Tibetans living under Chinese rule, who have been deprived of their fundamental rights for far too long.
The campaign has drawn inspiration from the brave individuals who have committed self-immolation as an ultimate form of non-violent civil disobedience, as well as in memory of the 1.2 million Tibetans who have perished under Chinese rule.
This collective action seeks to shed light on the plight of Tibetan children, with close to one million youngsters between four and eighteen years old being forced to live in colonial boarding schools, far from their homes, families, and their cultural heritage. Simultaneously, Tibetan language schools are being closed, contributing to a loss of national identity for the Tibetan people. These actions form part of the Chinese government's plan to eradicate Tibetan identity and culture.
Additionally, rampant state-sponsored mining activities have led to catastrophic ecological degradation in Tibet, further jeopardizing the fragile alpine ecosystem of the region. This environmental destruction serves as a poignant symbol of the destruction of both the land and the Tibetan people.
The campaign makes a passionate appeal for several crucial actions:
1. Review and implement the UN resolutions on Tibet passed in 1959, 1961 and 1965.
2. Facilitate His Holiness the Dalai Lama's return to Tibet. Restore freedom and peace in Tibet.
3. Stop the wide-spread environmental destruction in Tibet, resulting in deforestation, overgrazing, uncontrolled mining, nuclear waste dumping, forced relocation of nomads from the grasslands. Protect the fragile ecosystem of "the third pole and the water tower of Asia".
4. Press the Chinese government for the unconditional release of all Tibetan political prisoners, including: The 11 Panchen Lama, Gendun Choekyi Nyima - abducted at the age of 6.
5. Urge the Chinese authorities to investigate the situations surrounding the suppression of Tibetan religion and cultural freedoms, including mass demolition of Larung Gar and Yachen Gar and forced eviction of nuns and monks.
6. Urge the Chinese Government to shut these boarding schools down and their attempt to eradicate Tibetan's distinct identity.
7. Establish and lead an independent UN fact-finding mission to investigate the on-the-ground realities in Tibet following the series of self-immolation protests.
8. Urge the Chinese government to resolve the Tibet issue by engaging in substantive negotiations with the representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
9. Call China to uphold its international obligations and respect the rights of all its people, including the Southern Mongolian and Ughur populations.
In their unwavering commitment to the cause, the exiled Tibetan families from Switzerland serve as a beacon of hope for Tibetans living inside Tibet, calling for global solidarity and action to safeguard Tibet's rich heritage and the well-being of its people.
Edited and collated by Team TRC