Stand up for the Tibet Pledge #mustread #mustshare


 

15 August 2012

Dear Friends,

This is a crucial moment. Please help us to double support for Stand Up for Tibet.

TsewangNorbu.jpeg

One year ago 29-year old monk Tsewang Norbu set light to himself and died in Tawu, eastern Tibet. Although not the first self-immolation in Tibet – Tapey, in February 2009 was followed two years later by Phuntsok in March 2011 –this was our first realization that those fiery protests were not isolated incidents, and that what we were witnessing unfold in Tibet was a tragedy of enormous proportions.

Unbelievably, there have now been almost 50 confirmed self-immolations in Tibet; a staggering 36 since 1 January 2012 and five in the past 10 days alone. At least 39 of all these protestors have died from their burns.

Something different is happening in Tibet. Over 60 years of occupation, periods of Tibetan resistance have been crushed by China’s military forces. But trying to stop individuals who are determined to set light to themselves must be akin to trying to stop grains of sand running through their fingers. And more than that, China is also now discovering that its military might is unable to prevent mass gatherings of Tibetans, whether they are praying for those self-immolating or engaging in more challenging acts of protest.

On Monday several Tibetans were brutally beaten, one possibly fatally, after a protest erupted in the immediate aftermath of the twin self-immolations by Tashi and Lungtok in Ngaba, Amdo. And as I write this message, a mass demonstration is taking place in Rebkong, Amdo, with several hundred Tibetans gathered outside the police station to protest against the unprovoked beating of four Tibetans by drunken police.

 

I’m writing to ask that you continue to stand with Tibet. Although we feel heartbroken by the news of each passing self-immolation, the Tibetan people need our support now more than ever. We mustn’t lose focus. Now is the time to double our efforts, in raising awareness and pressing for political action, because we’re making an impact. 
Tibetans in Tibet are not alone. They have your support and your pledge to Stand Up for Tibet. And the Tibet movement has made important progress towards our main objectives.

Rebkongprotest.jpg

* Tibet Groups around the world have delivered your pledge and worked hard to press governments to publicly express concernMany of the world’s most influential governments have spoken out, including at sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council. In early September, as the United Nations General Assembly and Human Rights Council prepare to meet, we’ll be calling for an International Advocacy Day and will send you more details soon.

 

* Our demand for governments to act together for Tibet is gradually gaining traction. We were delighted to see that US Congressmen Frank Wolf and James McGovern wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this week, calling for “stronger, more coordinated, visible international diplomatic steps with regard to the People’s Republic of China’s policies and practices towards Tibetans.” Read the full letter here.

* A number of key governments have strongly pressed China allow access to the region, including the European Union and Australia. China has agreed that the UN Human Rights Commissioner can visit Tibet as part of a wider visit to China, but no dates have been agreed. Online advocacy group Avaaz joined this campaign and nearly 700,000 people signed an appeal for governments to demand urgent access to Tibet.

* Tibet Groups have generated significant media coverage of the self-immolations, and made a huge effort to raise public awareness, staging coordinated actions and protests around the globe on a regular basis over the last 12 months.

On this anniversary of Tsewang Norbu’s self-immolation, I am writing to ask each and every one of you to undertake to get one more person to sign the Stand Up for Tibet pledge, and help us to double the support for Tibetans in Tibet to more than 100,000 people. Let’s respond to this rapid increase in self-immolations in Tibet with a huge increase in those pledging to take action, to help Tibetans realise their dreams for freedom and for the return of His Holiness to Tibet.

Many, many thanks for your support,

Alison Reynolds
Executive Director, International Tibet Network Secretariat

The second image shows protests in Rebkong, Tibet on 14 August 2012. The banner reads “The atrocity committed by the Administration’s People’s Armed Police to the masses”

 

We Never Said “We Wanted it All”: How the Media Distorts the Goals of Feminism


 By Ruth Rosen, alternet

What Anne-Marie Slaughter and so many other privileged women have failed to understand is that the original women’s movement sought an economic and social revolution that would create equality at home and at the workplace.
August , 2012  |

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

 For over thirty years, the American media have repeatedly pronounced the death of the women’s movement and blamed feminism for women’s failure to “have it all.“ But none of this is true. The movement has spread around the globe and early radical feminists wanted to change the world, not just seek individual self-fulfillment.

The latest media-generated debate exploded when Anne-Marie Slaughter revealed in the July 2012 edition of theAtlantic Magazine why she had left her fast-track, high-pressured job for Hillary Clinton at the State Department. Families, she admitted, could not withstand the strain. Even a superwoman like herself — blessed with a helpful husband, enough wealth to buy domestic help and child care, could not do it all. Although she described the insane work policies that made her neglect her family, she implicitly blamed feminism for promising a false dream. It was too hard, the hours too long, the persistent sense of guilt too pervasive.

What was missing in her article was the history of “having it all.” Too many editors care more about how an article about the death of feminism will, without fail, create a sensation and increase readership than about an inaccurate media trope.

And her article went viral, as they say, setting off a round of attacks and rebuttals about the possibility of women enjoying – not just enduring – family and work. She returned to her former life as a high-powered professor at Princeton University, which in my experience, hardly counts as opting out of trying to have it all.

To Slaughter, I want to say, you may know a great deal about foreign policy, but you certainly don’t know much about our history. By 1965, young American women activists in Students for a Democratic Society asked themselves what would happen to America’s children if women worked outside the home. Activists in the women’s movement knew women could never have it all, unless they were able to change the society in which they lived.

At the August 1970 march for Women’s Strike for Equality, the three preconditions for emancipation included child care, legal abortion and equal pay. “There are no individual solutions,” feminists chanted in the late sixties. If feminism were to succeed as a radical vision, the movement had to advance the interests of /all/ women.

The belief that you could become a superwoman became a journalistic trope in the 1970s and has never vanished. By 1980, most women’s (self-help) magazines turned a feminist into a Superwoman, hair flying as she rushed around, attaché case in one arm, a baby in the other. The Superwomen could have it all, but only if she did it all. And that was exactly what feminists had not wanted.

American social movements tend to move from a collectivistic vision to one that emphasizes the success of the individual. That is precisely what happened between 1970 and 1980. Alongside the original women’s movement grew another kind of feminism, one that was shaped by the media, consumerism and the therapeutic self-help movements that sprang up in that decade. Among the many books that began promising such fulfillment for women, was the best seller “Having It All” by Elizabeth Gurley Brown (1982) who tried to teach every woman how to achieve everything she wanted in life.

Self -help magazines and lifestyle sections of newspapers also began to teach women /how/ to have it all. Both turned a collectivistic vision of feminism into what I have elsewhere called Consumer Feminism and Therapeutic Feminism. Millions of women first heard of the movement when they read about the different clothes they needed to

Read more here

Immediate Release- Indian activists ask PMO to sincerely engage with Burma


8 May 2012

Indian civil societies urge the Prime Minister of India to sincerely engage with Burma

New Delhi: Today, Burma Centre Delhi submitted a memorandum on behalf of Indian civil society groups to the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh before his upcoming landmark visit to Burma.

The memorandum conveys important message to end atrocities targeting ethnic areas, to follow proper environmental standard on the ongoing developmental projects implemented by the two countries and to strengthen historical and bilateral ties.

A copy of memorandum submitted to the PM of India is below

MEMORANDUM

May 8, 2012

To

Dr. Manmohan Singh

Hon’ble Prime Minister of India

Respected Prime Minister,

We heartily welcome your proposed landmark visit to Burma from 10-12 May 2012 which is taking place at a time when the country is going through political reforms and not long after the country witnessed the thumping victory of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her party, the National League for Democracy in the April 1 Parliamentary by-elections. You are also aware that these political developments are welcomed by other international communities as is evident from the series of visits made by prominent dignitariesfrom governments around the world including US Secretary of State Hillary ClintonBritish Prime Minister David Cameron and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

This much-awaited political reform will enhance Burma’s engagement with other countries like EU, US and ASEAN. Thus, at this important turn of events in its immediate strategic neighbour, India should also take an opportunity and play a significant role by strengthening its historical relations and engage with pro-democracy groups led by Aung San Suu Kyi and her party, the National League for Democracy and other ethnic political parties.

As this landmark visit will strengthen bilateral ties between the two neighboring countries, it is pertinent for India to develop a fresh thinking in this new political scenario in Burma.Alongside its national interest, India must be sincerely committed to strengthen democracy and facilitate the process of national reconciliation in Burma.

We the Civil Society Groups and citizens of India would like to draw your kind attention before your upcoming landmark visit to Burma on the following crucial issues that urgently need your kind intervention and action.

1.       The issue of ethnic nationalities remains a serious concern and must be made a priority while engaging with President Thein Sein’s government in order to secure a durable political settlement. India should also press for an end to atrocities targeting ethnic areas particularly in Kachin state, restoration of the civil and democratic rights of the Rohingya, end of atrocities in Arakan and safe repatriation of the Rohingya refugees.

2.       The ongoing developmental joint ventures implemented by the two countries for which a standard Environmental Impact Assessment, implementation process such as public consultation should be conducted as envisaged in the project to ensure the desired vision is achieved. Project related documents should also be made public. That these developmental projects should not have undesired effect such as displacement of the communities in both the countries.

3.       Construction of Tamanthi Hydroelectric Power Project (THPP) on the Chindwin River in northwest Burma’s Sagaing Division is another serious concern. The water current due to construction of this proposed Dam is estimated to wipe out an area of approximately 1,400 sq km. (the size of Delhi) displacing over 45,000 people living nearby. Over 2,400 villagers have already been forcibly evicted in 2007 from the Dam site, with a mere compensation of US $ 5 (Rs 500 INR).

4.       The Kaladan Multi-Modal Project, developed by India in 2008 to improve connectivity between the two countries has raised several concerns in border areas of Burma and India. The project requires an estimated 196.75 hectares of forest land to be cleared. The development along the port and river will displace thousands of people from their homes and livelihood. While an environmental and Social Impact Assessments have not been conducted till date, the project implementation is already way behind its stipulated time frame of 2010. Communities specifically beneficiaries inhabiting border areas in Burma and India have no information about the proposed project.

We strongly urge the Honourable Prime Minister to take these matters into utmost importance while meeting with President Thein Sein.

We urged Hon’ble Prime Minister to ensure democratic process and people’s participation in the development process of the two countries, whereby developing strong ties and strengthening neighbourly relations.

We are confident that the visit of our Honorable Prime Minister to Burma will bring encouraging results and strengthen ties not only in trade and security but also enhance co-operation at the people-to-people level.

Sincerely,

Indian Civil Society Groups

Endorsed by:

1.       Burma Centre Delhi

2.       Grassroot Development Network

3.       Zo Indigenous Forum

4.       MANUSHI

5.       Vinish Gupta

6.       Campaign for Peace & Democracy (Manipur)

7.       Arun Khote

8.       Peoples Media Advocacy & Resources Center- PMARC

9.       Dalits Media Watch

10.   Anand Bala – Bangalore

11.   Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR)

12.   Vidya Bhushan Rawat

13.   Journalists’ Forum Assam, Guwahati

14.   CACIM

15.   Dr. Vandana Shiva, Navdanya/Research Foundation for Science Technology & Ecology

16.   Himalayan Peoples Forum

17.   Uttarakhand Parivartan Party (UKPP)

18.   Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, Editor, The Milli Gazette, New Delhi

19.    Mahtab Alam, Civil Rights Activist and Journalist

20.   Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Human rights lawyer and activist, Mumbai

21.   Amar Kanwar

22.   Anjuman Ara Begum, Guwahati

23.   Pradeep Esteves, Context India, Bangalore

24.   Dr. Subash Mohapatra, Journalist

25.   Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF)

26.   Jharkhand Alternative Development Forum

27.   Hiren Gandhi and Saroop Dhruv, DARSHAN, Ahmedabad

Contact:

Burma Centre Delhi

Vikaspuri, New Delhi – 110018

Tele:             +91-11-45660619

Email: office@burmacentredelhi.org

www.burmacentredelhi.org

Why is China so afraid of one blind activist ? Take Action


Chen Guangcheng‘s future hangs in the balance.
Chinese human rights advocate Chen Guangcheng, who is blind, escaped house arrest in Shandong province last week — but his future remains uncertain.

The U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue is underway in Beijing now. Urge leaders to respect Chen’s human rights and allow him to choose his own future.

Chen, a self-taught lawyer who was imprisoned and then subjected to violence and house arrest for exposing forced abortions and sterilizations in China, made a daring, Houdini-like escape to the U.S. embassy. Following delicate negotiations with the United States, Chinese officials pledged to allow Chen to live a “normal life” with his family, and he initially agreed to return home.

Does this sound “normal” to you?

“I don’t know what’s happened to my mother. There are guards inside the yard, in all the rooms, even on the roof. They’ve set up lots of cameras in my home and are preparing electric fences. They told my family they’d take wooden sticks and beat my family to death, so it’s very unsafe.”

-Chen Guangcheng, in an interview with NPRi

In recent hours, Chen has expressed a desire to leave China, fearing that he and his family can never enjoy freedom under the current system.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is representing the United States in China today. Her presence can provide the pressure we need to ensure Chen’s safety. The world is watching. Let Chen choose his own future.

 

 

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