DHARAMSHALA: A group of 12 Nobel Peace Laureates — including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Rigoberta Menchu Tum, and President Jose Ramos Horta — today sent a letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao urging him to “respect the dignity of the Tibetan people” and open “meaningful dialogue” with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan leaders. The letter is in response to the recent spate of self-immolations of Tibetans protesting the repression of the Tibetan people. Full text of letter: President Hu Jintao, The People’s Republic of China Bejiing, China Dear Mr. President: The people of Tibet wish to be heard. They have long sought meaningful autonomy, and chosen negotiation and friendly help as their means of attaining it. They now turn to protest. The international community is concerned by the drastic expressions of resentment by the people of Tibet through self-immolation. The Chinese government should hear their voices, understand their grievances and find a non-violent solution. That solution is offered by our friend and brother His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who has never sought separatism, and has always chosen a peaceful path. We strongly urge the Chinese government to seize the opportunity he provides for a meaningful dialogue. Once formed, this channel should remain open, active and productive. It should address issues that are at the heart of the current tension, respecting the dignity of the Tibetan people and the integrity of China Specifically, we are respectfully requesting that the Chinese government release all those who have been arbitrarily detained; cease the intimidation, harassment and detention of peaceful protestors; allow unrestricted access for journalists, foreign diplomats, and international organizations to Tibet; and respect religious freedom. It is especially important to understand that the international community will be reassured if your government would allow members of the press and United Nations Human Rights investigators full access within Tibet. Without that access, progress is unlikely and an opportunity may be lost.
Jody Williams Rigoberta Menchu Tum
Jose Ramos Horta
Adolfo Perez Esquivel
Mairead Corrigan Maguire