To the Editors:
On March 5th eight unarmed Tibetans were killed by Chinese soldiers during a non-violent demonstration in Lhasa. Among those killed were a ten year old boy and a sixteen year old boy. Unfortunately, these were not the first people to die. Since the Chinese occupation of Tibet, 1.2 million Tibetans have been killed. In addition, 6,254 monasteries have been destroyed; one out of every ten Tibetans has been imprisoned for ten to twenty years; Tibet’s ecology and environment have been critically damaged by ruinous agricultural policies and deforestation; Tibetan women have been subjected to forced abortion and sterilization and full-term babies have been murdered by injection; more than 5,000 Tibetan religious and political prisoners are still interned; China’s massive population transfer policy threatens the very existence of a Tibetan nation—7.5 million Chinese settlers outnumber six million Tibetans.
There are several unfortunate facts which have obscured Tibet’s desperate situation. Before China invaded Tibet in 1950, Tibet had few diplomatic ties to the outside world. Currently, China has expelled all Western journalists from Tibet and imposed a complete news blackout. Tibet’s exiles are scattered around the world; there is no other outside group that shares Tibet’s cultural and religious heritage. Therefore, all of us in the West must take it upon ourselves as human beings to protest China’s Final Solution for Tibet. We must let China know that unarmed Tibetans who protest nonviolently for freedom cannot be killed without notice.
Readers of the NYR are asked to add their names to those who support human rights in Tibet by contacting the US Tibet Committee, 107 E. 31st Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10016. The NYR could aid the Tibetan cause, just as it has aided the cause of black South Africans and Palestinians, by publishing verified accounts of Chinese atrocities in Tibet.
Thank you in advance for your much needed support.
June 2, 1988