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Saturday, September 10, 2005

TIBETANS AND STUDENTS PROTEST VISIT OF CHINESE PRESIDENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 9, 2005


Contact:
Dechen Goff - 647-886-5076 (mobile)
Kate Woznow – 778-322-3071 (mobile)
*Photo opportunity*


TIBETANS AND STUDENTS PROTEST VISIT OF CHINESE PRESIDENT
Canadian Government Urged to Press Hu Jintao on Tibetan Issue


OTTAWA, September 9th – China's President Hu Jintao will be met with protests calling for Tibetan independence during his first official visit to Canada today. Members of Students for a Free Tibet Canada (SFT Canada) are planning a demonstration in Ottawa to bring attention to China's ongoing military occupation of Tibet and pressure Prime Minister Paul Martin to ensure that Tibetan self-determination is on the agenda for discussions with the Chinese President. Protests are also planned for Vancouver, Toronto and New York.


"The situation in Tibet has not improved since Hu Jintao came to power," said Dechen Goff, a young Tibetan-Canadian lawyer and Chair of the SFT Canada Board of Directors. "The Chinese authorities continue to imprison and torture Tibetans for nothing more than the peaceful expression of their religious and political beliefs. The only change we've seen lately is the effort by the Chinese government to improve their public relations on the Tibetan issue."


Hu Jintao’s visit to Canada comes on the heels of China's recent celebrations of the “40th anniversary” of the establishment of the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR)-- the Chinese governments' most recent attempt to depict Tibet as an integral part of China rather than a distinct nation andd people with a rich history of independence.


"The image Beijing is attempting to put forth in anticipation of the upcoming 2008 Olympic Games-- of China as a progressive and modern democratic nation-- is grossly inaccurate," said Kate Woznow, National Coordinator of SFT Canada. "It's up to the governments and citizens of free countries like Canada to reject this myth and hold China accountable for its continued systematic repression of Tibetans' fundamental right to determine their own future."


Business interests are expected to dominate the agenda of the Chinese President's landmark visit to Canada. In recent months, Bombardier, Nortel and PowerCorp (Investors Group) have been the targets of a campaign by SFT Canada and other Tibet support groups for their involvement in the Chinese Government's controversial China-Tibet railway. This project is the cornerstone of China's so-called “Western Development Plan,” aimed at aggressively developing the occupied territories of Tibet and East Turkestan (Xinjiang) in order to consolidate Chinese government control over the restive regions.


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2 Comments:

  • At 1:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Here goes my first comment on SFT Blog, and with that, a good luck as always! Bhoe Rangzen!

     

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