***Photos and video footage of the action will be available shortly at http://www.flickr.com/groups/stand-up-for-tibet/
PRO-TIBET ACTIVISTS HANG BANNERS IN CANNES AS G20 LEADERS ARRIVE; NINE DETAINED
Global Actions Call for Diplomatic Intervention to Stop Chinese Repression after 10 Tibetans have Self-Immolated in Protest this Year
Cannes, France – Two pro-Tibet activists, including one Tibetan, abseiled down the front of Cannes Ville Station and unfurled banners reading “Enough! Global Intervention Now to Save Tibetan Lives” in French. The dramatic action took place as world leaders, including Chinese President Hu Jintao, arrived in Cannes for the G20 Summit, and was part of a global day of action in over 65 cities worldwide to demand global intervention to stop China’s repression in Tibet. The nine activists are Norbu Gyanatshang (Germany), Martha Graugnard (France), Lobsang Dhondup Reichlin (Switzerland), Guillaume Guilpart (France) Phil Kirk (UK), Pema Yoko (UK), Gyamtso (France), Kate Woznow (Canada) and Jyotsna George (India).
“Today the world is standing up for Tibet. We are calling on global leaders to take coordinated action now to pressure Chinese President Hu Jintao to withdraw Chinese troops and armed police from towns and monasteries in eastern Tibet,” said Pema Yoko, Director of Students for a Free Tibet in the UK, who was detained following the action.
Since March 2011, ten young Tibetans have lit themselves on fire in protest of China’s policies; 8 since September 26th. At least five have died, including one nun. Chinese authorities have responded by pouring security personnel into Tibet. Before being forced out of Ngaba, the town at the centre of the crisis, Agence France Presse journalists documented machine-gun toting riot police in the streets, armed personnel carriers used as checkpoints and police stations in one of Tibet’s major monasteries.
“China’s military stranglehold over Tibet has pushed Tibetans to the breaking point and this unprecedented wave of self-immolations is a desperate cry for help. Tibetans are dying for freedom and today we are saying enough to China's occupation of Tibet and enough to the failure of world leaders to hold China accountable for its atrocities,” said Kate Woznow, Deputy Director of Students for a Free Tibet International, one of the detained activists.
Tibet campaigners around the world have launched the ‘Enough! Campaign for Global Intervention to Save Tibetan Lives’, which has garnered support from celebrities, politicians and other prominent individuals including Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, actor Richard Gere and the musicians of Radiohead. They have joined over 21,000 people in calling for multilateral pressure on Hu Jintao to resolve the escalating crisis in Tibet. “We have received overwhelming support for the Enough! campaign from Nobel Laureates, celebrities, politicians, and people of conscience in dozens of countries worldwide. Today we're taking this groundswell of support to the G20 leaders here in Cannes to demand coordinated, global action for Tibet, because international diplomatic pressure will save Tibetan lives from China's growing crackdown," said Norbu Gyantsang, a German-Tibetan member of Tibetan Youth Association of Europe, who was one of the climbers on the action.
Campaigners are calling for a coordinated, multilateral approach, including a joint démarche and the urgent creation of an appropriate and effective multilateral mechanism through which longer-term diplomatic measures to resolve the situation in Tibet can be pursued.
Tenzin Dorjee (Tendor)
Executive Director, Students for a Free Tibet
Address: 602 E 14th St., 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10009, USATel: +1 (212) 358-0071 Skype: tendorsft Facebook.com/tendor Twitter.com/tendorWebsite: www.sfthq.org Blog: blog.studentsforafreetibet.org