Free China Movement, China Support Network jointly appeal for Tibetan campaigners to stop
It is Day #9 of Tibetan pro-freedom campaigners putting their lives on the line, in support of their quite-reasonable demands for justice in the cause of Tibet, which is occupied by Communist China.
At the Free China Movement and the China Support Network, we are pro-freedom campaigners in the fight against that same regime -- the Communists of Beijing, China. We have expressed our well-wishes and our solidarity to the Tibetan campaigners, and endorsed their demands, where we seek in common the same results -- justice, human rights, and freedom.
We are even familiar with the fasting / hunger strike tactic in activism; the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy uprising included 3,000 college students going on a hunger strike for the reform of China. There may be such things as a 24-hour hunger strike; a three-day hunger strike; etc. In this case the Tibetans vow a hunger strike unto death.
That makes the strongest statement that can be made in a cause, and to the Tibetans, we repeat that we are with you in amplifying the strength of your message. It is ours, too.
Yet, at this time, we are fearful for the lives of Sonam Wangdu, Dolma Choephel, and Gyatso, and we differ with the tactic of losing their lives -- as if we haven't seen enough of death in this cause. Today, it is our joint decision, and on behalf of over 30 affiliate organizations, to call upon the Tibetan Youth Congress and the three heroic hunger strikers to stop their action.
In our campaign, we have been calling for less death, not more death. We should live by the same principles to which we'd like to hold our societies. In the better world that we fight for, the purpose of life is to live. And, in that better world, people will be respected and allowed to keep whole their lives, their liberties, and their pursuit of happiness.
The day that we fight for is a day worth living for. The Free China Movement and the China Support Network are persuaded that a day is coming, when Chinese and Tibetans will not have to live in red terror. This week, amid many events in our cause, FCM even began describing that future regime in China -- one "of the people, by the people, and for the people."
We would like Sonam Wangdu, Dolma Choephel, and Gyatso to live to see the end of the terror regime; the reform or change of China's regime; and, the new day of good will towards men. These three pro-freedom Tibetans are valued members of society -- at least, in the coming one. We are well persuaded that they should not waste their lives on an evil, corrupt regime that is not worthy of their respect. And, we feel that our cause is better served if they live to stand with us and pursue the good fight another day. Each of them is supposed to be a "die hard," not a "die easy."
We appeal to the Tibetan Youth Congress and the campaigners to stop the hunger strike, calling off this action, while their message and their demands will continue to be carried by everyone else in this very wide cause. The PRC will not be off the hook; the US administration will not be relieved of responsibility; and the UN will not be excused. The sought-for pressure will continue to be carried, by all of us together.
Thank you very much,
/s./ Shengde Lian, Exec. Dir,
Free China Movement
/s./ John Kusumi, Exec. Dir,
China Support Network
April 10, 2004