We, the people of India, support the people of Tibet sign now

The recent protests against the Chinese occupation of Tibet have garnered worldwide attention. Those of us who have been following the Tibet issue closely know that this is an expression of the frustration felt by Tibetans over the period it has been colonised by China, where its culture has been denigrated and its language, religion and customs devalued.

The protests represent a collective uprising of the Tibetan people. It is not a localised riot by separatist elements, as claimed by the Chinese authorities. Repression at all levels has been rampant in Tibet; it has been invisible to the rest of the world in the absence of a free media. In recent times, accounts of the same brought by Tibetans fleeing to India have been shored up by communication through the internet.

We, the people of India, are proud to host His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan community in our country. His Holiness has often referred to India as the 'guru' of Tibet because Buddhism went from India and was established in Tibet by the many masters who travelled there from the great Buddhist university at Nalanda. In addition, His Holiness and other Tibetans who stand for non-violence have cited Mahatma Gandhi as a major influence in their dealing with a brutal, colonial oppressor.

At this point, when Tibet needs India's support, our government has offered none. It has, instead, stopped Tibetan refugees from voicing their protest against the Chinese regime, and has not condemned the brutal crackdown in Tibet. The reasons we have been given range from non-interference in other countries' internal affairs, to Sino-Indian relations, to economic ties, and so on. Surely there are values that are greater than these considerations, that are based in our shared humanity, and move us to care for the other, to have compassion and kindness.

What about human rights? What about colonisation, against which India raised a powerful voice in her own freedom struggle? What about supporting the colonised and their movements of freedom, something India did in Asia and Africa after her emergence as an independent nation? What about the power of non-alignment -- where one didn't belong to any power clique, and had the freedom to criticise injustice wherever it took place? And what about Mahatma Gandhi and non-violent resistance? Today, the Tibetan movement is perhaps the only non-violent resistance movement in the world. Can we not extend our spiritual and moral support to it, as citizens of this country that won its independence on the basis of a similar movement?

When the US decided to invade Iraq, many of its citizens took to the streets and implored that the war not be fought in their name. Today, we the citizens of India, need to send the message to our government that we don't wish to be party to their non-support of the people of Tibet. Now is the time we stand up and say, 'Not in my name'.

We support the aspirations of the people of Tibet. We support their non-violent resistance, we support their right to practise their religion and live in their culture and speak their language without fear of repression. We the people of India, stand with the people of Tibet, and request the People's Republic of China not to dismiss their genuine aspirations or crush them with violence, but to enter into dialogue with them so a peaceful way forward may be found.

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    we, the people of the world who respect other nations and do not steal from them support the petition and thank the people of India and their kindness towards those who are beleagured and forced to flee or are killed
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Kelly GibsonBy:
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Petition target:
The Government of India

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