Friends of Tibet: Global

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W O R L D   T I B E T   D A Y

World Tibet Day
World Tibet Day (WTD) was initiated in Chicago in 1997 at an informal meeting between Tendzin Choegyal, the Dalai Lama's younger brother and Richard Rosenkranz, a Pulitzer Prize nominee in history and a former correspondent from the US Senate Rosenkranz proposed the concept of WTD, saying it could become an annual worldwide event, designed to help the Tibetan people regain essential freedoms. He also suggested this event could be a way to showcase and celebrate the unique value of Tibetan culture and thought. Enthusiastic about the idea, Tendzin Choegyal suggested WTD should be held in July, linked to his brother's birthday - in order to increase potential support among Tibetans. Believing that the proposed event held great promise, they offered the idea to His Holiness - who gave them his blessing and his warm support.

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World Tibet Day (WTD) was initiated in Chicago in 1997 at an informal meeting between Tendzin Choegyal, the Dalai Lama's younger brother and Richard Rosenkranz, a Pulitzer Prize nominee in history and a former correspondent from the US Senate Rosenkranz proposed the concept of WTD, saying it could become an annual worldwide event, designed to help the Tibetan people regain essential freedoms. He also suggested this event could be a way to showcase and celebrate the unique value of Tibetan culture and thought. Enthusiastic about the idea, Tendzin Choegyal suggested WTD should be held in July, linked to his brother's birthday -- in order to increase potential support among Tibetans. Believing that the proposed event held great promise, they offered the idea to His Holiness -- who gave them his blessing and his warm support.

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WTD is founded with three main goals: first to create an annual worldwide event to help restore essential freedoms for those living in occupied Tibet; second to increase awareness of the genocidal threats to the Tibetan people; and third, to celebrate the unique beauty and value of Tibetan culture and thought.

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There are many differences in WTD events from country to country, with local organisers showing a great deal of independence in the campaigns they pursue on behalf of Tibet. As one example, many Tibetan Associations encourage participants at their events to support the worldwide Boycott of goods from mainland China -- in order to help pressure the Chinese government into ending human rights abuses to the Tibetan people. Of course, other local organizers are choosing just the opposite, by not supporting the Boycott. As we've emphasised on this website, we believe in freedom of choice in the Tibet movement.

HH the Dalai Lama with Richard Rosenkranz, Founder of World Tibet Day
HH the Dalai Lama with Richard Rosenkranz, Founder of World Tibet Day

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Shown in excellent movies like "Tibet's Stolen Child" and "Windhorse", the very survival of the Tibetan people is seriously threatened at this time, along with their culture and religion. Since the Chinese Army invaded Tibet in 1949, and under Chinese occupation, over 1 million Tibetans have died and more than 6000 monasteries have been destroyed. Forced to flee his homeland in 1959, the Dalai Lama has lived in exile since then in northern India, working with his countrymen and Tibet supporters to keep alive the culture and religion of his people, while trying to establish a peaceful dialogue with the Chinese government.

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We need to act now: Tibetan people in occupied Tibet are facing cultural genocide; it's urgent we act immediately. As one response to this, we are trying to make WTD as big as possible in size and scope - through observances by Tibetan Associations and support groups along with educational campaigns in schools and colleges around the world.

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One positive action each of us can take: No matter what country we live in -- is to urge our government, our elected representatives, our president or prime minister -- to approach the Chinese Government on behalf of the Tibetan people. One of our goals with WTD is to put pressure on Chinese decision makers to agree to negotiations with the Tibetan government in exile without preconditions.

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I support of our goals, we are offering a petition on this occasion of WTD, and we hope it will gather many signatures and will be handed to the news media and to the UN. Please sign our Petition urging the president of your country to intercede with the government of China to demand the restoration of essential freedoms for the Tibetan people along with the liberation of all Tibetan political prisoners, including the Panchen Lama and Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. We also wanted to offer an option for those of you who want to pledge your support for the worldwide Boycott of goods from mainland China -- until fundamental human rights are restored in Tibet and China. For more information go to www.boycottmadeinchina.org

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To know more or to get involved with the international observance of 'World Tibet Day', get in touch with:
*Richard Rosenkranz (Founder and former Executive Director, WTD) Email: RichardR888@aol.com
* Sethu Das (Executive Director, WTD) Email: sethu.das@friendsoftibet.org |

Official website of the World Tibet Day Foundation: www.worldtibetday.org / Email: info@worldtibetday.org

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Friends of Tibet (India)

Friends of Tibet, PO Box 16674, Bombay 400050, India.

Friends of Tibet is a people's movement to keep alive the issue of Tibet through direct action. Our activities are aimed at ending China's occupation of Tibet and the suffering of the Tibetan people. Friends of Tibet supports the continued struggle of the Tibetan people for independence.