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"See No Tibet, Hear No Tibet, Speak No Tibet": WSSD Gags Tibetan Voice

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 02/09/02; September 2, 2002.]

3 September 2002

Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa

The Tibetan Delegation to WSSD is holding a silent vigil today at Sandton-venue of the Governmental segment of this global meeting-to protest the denial of accreditation to three Tibetan NGOs from India and United States of America.

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, Tibet Justice Center and International Campaign for Tibet were denied accreditation to the Summit when the People's Republic of China used a procedural motion called "no-action" during PrepComs II, III and IV of the Summit held at New York and Bali, Indonesia.

"We feel politically discriminated against," said Ms. Norzin Dolma of the India-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy founded in 1996. "It is unfortunate that the majority of member-countries of the G77 played a major role to gag Tibetan organizations at this Summit," she added.

Since the current wave of UN world conferences began in 1992, the Chinese authorities have always tried to block the participation of established Tibetan NGOs to ensure that the issue of Tibet is not heard. "With Tibetan NGOs barred from entering World Summit on Sustainable Development, the international community must now scrutinize China's 'sustainable development ' policies in Tibet," said Ms. Lisa Sock from the International Campaign for Tibet.

Today Chinese-occupied Tibet faces a crisis of unsustainability. China is now in full swing to implement its so-called "large-scale western development program" which will bring more Chinese settlers into Tibet. China's major investments are the Gormo-Tibet Railway project to link central Tibet with China, a huge south-north water diversion project and an east-west gas pipeline project. These are just a few of the numerous unsustainable projects that adversely impact the Tibetan Plateau's environment and pose a grave threat to the survival of the religious, cultural and national identity of the six million Tibetan people.

While the Chinese authorities blocked Tibetan NGOs from the WSSD process, Beijing has brought more than 40 Government-sponsored NGOs to support its propaganda at the Johannesburg Summit. "Our goal has always been to engage in constructive dialogue with the Chinese participants as the only possible route for solving the issue of Tibet. The Chinese government has once again made that impossible," said Ms. D'Arcy Richardson of Tibet Justice Center.

Contact
D'Arcy Richardson, Tibet Justice Center -082 858 3884
Norzin Dolma, Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy 072 478 8180
Lisa Sock, International Campaign for Tibet -082-379-5792


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