Press Advisory For Immediate Release: 18 February 2016
Contacts: Lobsang Dorji 510-706-8721
Phuntsok Dolma 510-680-8352
Tenzing Dolma 510-254-1420
San Francisco Team Tibet
Joins Global Commemoration of Tibetan National Uprising
Tibet Ranked as 2nd ‘Worst of the Worst’ Places for Freedom in the World; only Syria scored lower
WHAT: On March 10, 2016 hundreds of Tibetans and Tibet supporters in the San Francisco Bay Area will join thousands of people around the world in the annual global commemoration of the 57th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising.
8:30 AM Berkeley City Hall 2180 Milvia St., Berkeley
10:30 AM San Francisco City Hall 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco
12:00 PM March to Chinese Consulate
1:00 PM Chinese Consulate 1450 Laguna St., San Francisco
2:30 PM March to Union Square
5:00 PM Union Square Program 333 Post St., San Francisco
WHY? It is 57 years since hundreds of thousands of Tibetans rose up and demanded an end to China’s illegal invasion and occupation of their country. China’s use of extreme force to quell these protests compelled His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to escape to India, where he has lived in exile ever since. Today, China is stepping up its efforts to punish Tibetans in Tibet for expressing loyalty to His Holiness the Dalai Lama - a devotion that has not wavered despite the half century that has passed.
The human rights situation in Tibet has declined dramatically in recent years with the fundamental rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, religion, and privacy highly restricted. Media is greatly restricted and near 150 Tibetans burned themselves alive since 2009 to protest conditions in Tibet under Chinese government rule. Freedom House’s 2016 assessment of political and civil freedoms in countries around the world ranked Tibet as the 2nd ‘Worst of the Worst’, with only Syria scoring lower.
China’s tightening of restrictions in Tibet, including the increase in military presence, the criminalization of friends and relatives of protesting Tibetans and the escalation in anti “Dalai-clique” propaganda campaign are adding to the legitimate grievances of the Tibetan people.
In 2013 the Chinese government re-joined the United Nations Human Rights Council and made commitments to uphold human rights and the integrity of the UN human rights system; the contradiction between these commitments and the human rights situation in Tibet under Chinese rule has never been more evident, especially given the strong criticisms of the United Nations Committee Against Torture during its November 2015 review of China.
This March, thousands of Tibetans and Tibet supporters will be taking to the streets across the globe.
BACKGROUND: San Francisco Team Tibet consists of Tibetan Association of Northern California (tanc.org), Bay Area Friends of Tibet (friends-of-tibet.org), San Francisco Regional Youth Congress (sfrtyc.org), Students for a Free Tibet – West (https://www.facebook.com/SFTWest/)
President | Bay Area Friends of Tibet
Bay Area Friends of Tibet was founded in 1983 to study, promote interest in and actively preserve Tibetan culture in all its aspects: educate the general public in matters pertaining to Tibet and the Tibetan people; and provide assistance to Tibetans.