On behalf of the Australia Tibet Council (ATC) I am delighted to endorse the 12-hour symbolic fast and prayers on 30th August 2008. ATC members and supporters will be joining Australia’s Tibetan Communities at many locations across the country to observe the fast and join in this very timely and important peaceful action.
Over the coming weeks, as international attention on China subsides after the Olympic Games and we move into a new phase in the Tibetan struggle, it is more important than ever to maintain the international support for Tibet. It is timely for Tibetans and Tibet supporters to re-affirm their commitment to peace and non-violence.
For many Tibetans 2008 has been a year of tremendous hardship. Yet despite the immense challenges of recent months we remain convinced that under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and through a steadfast commitment to truth and non-violence, the coming months will mark the beginning of a brighter future for Tibet.
ATC is calling for substantive, results-orientated and time-bound negotiations on the future of Tibet to begin immediately. We are urging the Australian government to be forthright with the Chinese leadership and to encourage President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao to enter into direct negotiations with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. ATC continues to call for full media access to Tibetan areas and for the release of the more than one thousand monks and lay Tibetans unaccounted for since March.
ATC sends its heartfelt support and encouragement to all the Tibetans, Tibet supporters and peace-loving people of the world who will be observing the 12-hour fast and prayers.