On 29 January the Kashag issued an appeal to Tibetans in Tibet not to engage in protests and to avoid any activity that will bring unnecessary imprisonment, detention and harm. In that appeal, the Kashag has also requested Tibetans in Tibet to avoid any clashes with the Chinese people.
Since then to our deep regret the situation in Tibet has deteriorated by the fact that the PRC authorities have deployed additional troops across the Tibetan plateau. The deployment of additional troops are significant and conspicuous in the Tibetan capital city Lhasa, Labrang Tashikhyil (Ch:Xiahe), Rebgong (Ch:Tongren), Lithang in Kham and in other parts of Tibet.
The PRC authorities’ recent remarks that they “will wage a people’s war” to crush any potential protest is especially inflammatory and is an incitement for ethnic tension.
The authorities’ refusal to permit tourists to visit Tibet is a clear indication that the situation in Tibet is not stable, despite their claims to the contrary.
The Kashag strongly deplore the recent arbitrary arrest, detention and torture taken place in Dege, Zogang, Lithang, Nagchuka and other places for slightest peaceful expression of their aspirations or resentments.
The Kashag supports the right of every Tibetan in Tibet and elsewhere to not to celebrate the Tibetan New Year as a mark of respect for those Tibetans who sacrificed their lives in the 2008 protests to highlight the deplorable human rights situation in Tibet. At the same time, the Kashag would like to appeal to Tibetans in Tibet to do this with peace and dignity that conform to the values embedded in Tibetan culture.
The Kashag especially regrets the re-launching of the strike hard campaign, patriotic re-education and forcing Tibetans to celebrate Tibetan New Year. The Kashag is convinced that this show of military force by the PRC authorities and the accompanying strike hard campaign are acts of provocation. In view of this the Kashag once again ask the PRC authorities to call off the strike hard campaign and to withdraw the undeclared martial law imposed to suppress the Tibetans.
In view of the grave and urgent situation in Tibet the Kashag call upon the parliaments, governments, human rights organisations, Tibet Support Groups and concerned individuals around the world to actively intervene and persuade the PRC authorities to exercise restraint. The PRC authorities must be convinced that repression and military might will not resolve any problems and that tolerance and engagement are the only effective means to bring stability in Tibet.
21 February 2009