Dear fellow citizens – How can we, as South Africans, who fought for our own freedom, stand by and allow the atrocities against the Tibetans by the Chinese to continue?
Days ago, Palden Choetso walked out of her nunnery, covered herself in petrol and set herself on fire while pleading for a ‘free Tibet’. Minutes later she died. In the past month, nine monks and nuns have self-immolated to protest a growing Chinese crackdown on the peaceful Tibetan people.
These tragic acts are a desperate cry for help. Machine gun-toting Chinese security forces are beating and disappearing monks, laying siege to monasteries, and even killing elderly people defending them — all in an effort to suppress Tibetan rights. China severely restricts access to the region. But if we can get key governments to send diplomats in and expose this growing brutality, we could save lives.
We have to act fast — this horrific situation is spiralling out of control behind a censorship curtain. Over and over we have seen that when diplomats themselves bear witness to atrocities, they are motivated to act, and increase political pressure. Let’s answer Palden’s tragic cry and build a massive petition to the six world leaders with the most influence in Beijing to send a mission to Tibet and speak out against the repression.
I am appealing to all of you to sign this urgent petition: