E-MAIL LETTER OF FRANCE-TIBET T.S.G, December 98

 

1/ Greeting of Mr Robert Badinter and Statement of His Holiness at a public conference.

2/ MOTHER'S APPEAL TO SEE HER SON (and french translation)

3/ RECENT NEWS ABOUT NGAWANG CHOEPHEL

4/ Letter to President Jiang Zemin

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1/ Greeting of Mr Robert Badinter and Statement of His Holiness at a public conference

At a public conference that he gave at the Great Arche (La Defense) in Paris on december 9th, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been welcomed by Mr Robert Badinter. Former french Minister of Justice at the origin of the abolition of death penalty in France, now President of the Inter-ministerial Mission for the Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he has invited His Holiness the Dalai Lama for this Celebration.

At the end of the conference, Mr Badinter greeted His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the "Champion of Human Rights" and explained that "We could not celebrate this Anniversary whithout His Holiness. This had no political aims even though some were deeply moved many kilometers away from here. The aim was at a higher level: that of Human Rights... I ought to honore such a man among the few in such a crual world, so precious by the radiance of His though and action, because He knows one become credible only if one leads ones life accordingly to ones principles."

As the audience was making a standing ovation with visible emotion, His Holiness gave a traditional long and bright white Kathag to Mr Badinter. His Holiness then answered to questions from the audience.
Answering about the situation in Tibet, the disappearance of the tibetan identity, and especially the possible negotiations of autonomy with the Chinese government, the Dalai Lama made the following statement :
" The actual situation in Tibet is very difficult, increasingly serious. It seems that a new Cultural Revolution is currently occuring in Tibet. As for me, my position has not changed, you know it; I have adopted the "middleway" approach. As you know, a certain hope for an improvement of the situation had appeared, through non official channels of communication with the Chinese government. But recently, other difficulties emerged, and these channels do not function any more. I did not change, my approach remains the same one. Until now, you supported the cause of Tibet because you think that it is right. On the basis of the rightness of this cause, I ask you to continue to support it. The solution of the Tibetan cause is not that there are a winner and a loser. What we wish is the victory of both."
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, 9 December 1998
(Communicated by France-Tibet, a french Tibet Support Group)

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2/ L'APPEL D'UNE MERE : MOTHER'S APPEAL TO SEE HER SON

France-Tibet and the Tibetan Community in France invited Sonam Deckyi and Tsering Norzom in France (2-8 Decembre 98) during their campaign in Europe.
All the Tibet Support Groups were invited by the Tibetan Community in France to a meeting of information and dialogue so as to define strategies and methods to put our efforts in common. Sonam Deckyi and Tsering Norzom have given a conference urging for common actions for Ngawang Choephel, Human Rights and Freedom in Tibet. Common actions were decided by the TSG :The letter of Appeal of Sonam Deckyi was translated into french to be distributed to all TSG for wider distribution within France and french speaking countries.

A MOTHER'S APPEAL TO SEE HER SON
"I cannot wait that long. I am old and ill. I am worried and do not know what to do. Please help me save my son. I am aging and my health is worsening day by day. I long to see my only son before I die".
Sonam DeckyI, Sonam Decky, mother of Ngawang Choephel, have come all the way from the South India Tibetan Camp at Mundgod to seek support from you and the international community. I appeal to all of you to help my son be released from prison and to help me visit Tibet and see my son before I die. Since his childhood days my son has had an immense interest in studying Tibetan music and culture. He learnt Tibetan traditional performing arts at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts in Dharamsala (H.P.), India. He left for Tibet in August 1995 to make a video on the now disappearing traditional Tibetan musical customs. On December 26, 1996, my son was sentenced to 18 years, charged with carrying out "espionage activities" for the Tibetan Government-in-Exile. I fear that my son was made to confess to being a "spy" by the Chinese authorities after he was subjected to severe torture and inhumane prison conditions. The Chinese authorities have offered absolutely no evidence to support their accusations and I believe them to be groundless. I am getting old and my health is worsening. It seems that I will not live long and I long to see my only son before I die. I have written twice to the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi, requesting a visa to go to Tibet. I also visited the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi on January 9, 1997, and in June1997, and met with the First Secretary, Mr. Huo Zhongquan. He said that it will take at least three to four months to get approval from the "Tibet Autonomous Region", but so far there has been no response from the Chinese officials in New Delhi. I cannot wait that long. Ever since my son's disappearance in August 1995, I have been suffering from acute trauma and my health has worsened. I am suffering from tuberculosis and the pain of my son's imprisonment is unbearable. I am worried and do not know what to do. I beg you to support the campaign for my visit to Tibet so that I can see my son. I take this opportunity to request human rights groups, individual supporters and the international community in particular the Chinese government, to allow me to visit my son in prison in Tibet. This is my fervent desire and I hope that I can see him soon.

Recommended Action: Please send fax/telegrams/airmail letters expressing your concern about myson, Ngawang Choephel. Urge China to immediately and unconditionally release Ngawang Choephel or allow me to see him in Tibet.
Write appeals to:
H.E. Zhu Rhongyi
Premier of the PRC
Guowuyan 9
Xihuanchenggenheijie
Beijingshi - 10032 People's Republic of China
Telex: 210027 FMPRC 22478 MFERTH.

E. Shao Wenguang Consular,
Embassy of People's Republic of China
2300 Connecticut Avenue N.W.
Washington DC 20008, USA
Tel: (202) 328 2509 Fax: (202) 234 4055

Gyaltsen Norbu President,
Tibet Autonomous Region1,
Kang'angdonghu
Lhasa City - 85000
People's Republic of China
Telex: 68014 FAOLT CN 68007 PGVMT CN

FRENCH TRANSLATION : L'APPEL D'UNE MERE : MOTHER'S APPEAL TO SEE HER SON
Les associations dont les noms suivent appuyent la demande de Madame Sonam Deckyi, la mère de Ngawang Choephel, pour la libération immédiate de son fils unique emprisonné depuis 3 ans et 3 mois au Tibet. En attendant cette libération, les associations appuyent aussi sa demande de visite afin qu'elle puisse revoir son fils. Mesures recommandées : écrire à vos députés, maires, sénateurs, à Monsieur Lionel Jospin et Monsieur Jacques Chirac. The associations listed below support the request of Mrs. Sonam Deckyi, the mother of Ngawang Choephel, to urge China to immediately and unconditionally release Ngawang Choephel or to allow her to see him in Tibet.

Monsieur le Président de la République
Jacques Chirac
Présidence de la Republique
Palais de l'Elysee
55 rue du Faubourg St Honore
75008 PARIS
Fax: 33 1 42 92 81 00

Monsieur le Premier Ministre Lionel Jospin :
Hôtel Matignon
57, rue de Varenne
75007 PARIS
Fax: 33 1 45 44 15 72

Liste des Associations appuyant "L'APPEL D'UNE MERE"
Aide au Tibet
Aide à l'Enfance Tibétaine
Aide aux Réfugiés Tibétains
Alliance Tibet-France
Association France-Tibet
Association France-Tibet Nord-Pas-de-Calais
Alpes-Tibet
Collectif Francophone pour le Tibet Libre (CFTL)
Comité de Soutien du Peuple Tibétain
Communauté Tibétaine en France
Don et Action pour le Tibet
Eco Tibet France
Getza Tibet Secours
centre_du_tibet
Lions des Neiges (Lyon)
Tibet Lions des Neiges-Strasbourg
Maisons des Himalayas
Pontault Combault Tibet
Rencontres Tibétaines/CSPT Midi Pyrénées
Solidarité Tibet
SOS-Femmes Tibétaines
Tibetan Snowlion Friendship Society (Kyoto,Japan)

Si votre association veut se joindre à cette liste, envoyez nous un mail pour nous le faire savoir.

APPEL D'UNE MERE POUR REVOIR SON FILS CONDAMNE A 18 ANS DE PRISON AU TIBET
Je ne pourrai pas attendre très longtemps, je suis vieille et malade. Je suis inquiète et ne sais plus que faire. Je vous en supplie, aidez-moi à sauver mon fils. Mon état de santé décline chaque jour. Je désespère de pouvoir revoir mon fils unique avant de mourir. Moi, Sonam Deckyi, la mère de Ngawang Choephel, j'ai fait un long voyage depuis le camp tibétain de Mungod en Inde du sud, afin de chercher votre soutien. J'en appelle à vous tous, pour aider à la libération de mon fils,et en attendant, pour qu'on m'autorise à aller le voir au Tibet avant que je ne meure.
Depuis son enfance, mon fils a toujours porté un grand intérêt à l'étude de la musique et de la culture tibétaine. Il a appris les arts du spectacle traditionnels au TIPA (Institut Tibétain des Arts et de la Scène) à Dharamsala. En août 95, il est parti au Tibet pour faire un reportage vidéo sur les coutumes musicales tibétaines traditionnelles, qui sont menacées de disparition. Le 26 décembre 96, mon fils a été condamné à une peine de 18 ans d'emprisonnement, accusé "d'espionnage" pour le Gouvernement tibétain en exil. Je crains que mon fils n'ait été poussé à se dénoncer comme "espion" par les autorités chinoises, après avoir subi des tortures et des conditions de détention inhumaines. Les autorités chinoises n'ont pu produire absolument aucune preuve pour étayer leurs accusations, dont je pense qu'elles sont infondées. C'est en se basant sur des propos rapportés par des tierces personnes qu'elles ont condamné mon fils. Par deux fois, j'ai écrit à l'Ambassade de Chine à Delhi, demandant un visa pour aller au Tibet. Je me suis également rendue à l'Ambassade de Chine à Delhi le 9 janvier 97, en juin 97 et le 28 juillet de la même année, où j'ai pu rencontrer le Premier secrétaire, Mr Huo Zhongquan. Il m'a dit qu'il faudrait trois à quatre mois pour obtenir l'accord de la "région autonome du Tibet", mais à ce jour, je n'ai obtenu aucune réponse de la part des officiels chinois à New Delhi. Je ne peux pas attendre indéfiniment. Depuis la disparition de mon fils au mois d'août 95, mon état de santé a décliné. J'ai contracté la tuberculose et la souffrance devant l'emprisonnement de mon fils m'est insupportable. Je ne vivrai plus très longtemps, je suis inquiète et ne sais plus que faire. Je vous supplie de soutenir ma demande pour me rendre au Tibet afin que de pouvoir revoir mon fils. Je profite de l'opportunité qui m'est donnée, pour demander à toutes les organisations de défense des Droits de l'Homme, à toutes les personnes de bonne volonté, à la Communauté Internationale d'appuyer ma demande. Je demande au Gouvernement chinois de me permettre de rendre visite à mon fils en prison au Tibet, ou de le libérer sans condition préalable. Voilà mon souhait le plus cher et j'espère pouvoir revoir mon fils bientôt.
SONAM DECKYI
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3/ RECENT NEWS ABOUT NGAWANG CHOEPHEL :
MUSICOLOGIST NGAWANG CHOPHEL IS NOW IN THE WORST PRISON OF TIBET.

Ngawang Chophel, a young tibetan professor of music who won a Fulbright scholarship in the United States, was arrested in 1995 in Tibet. He was doing a video report there, on musics and traditional dances of Tibet. He has been sentenced to 18 years for spying, despite all testimonies of his exclusive interest for music... No proof of spying was brought. Previously in jail in Shigatse, in June 98 he was placed in Drapchi prison for 3 days and he is now in the high security labor camp of Powo Tramo, where prisoners have little diet and are submitted to forced labor. Do the Chinese authorities try to withdraw him from the international attention? Until recently, his mother, Sonam Deckyi, 63 years old, bravely occupied, day and night, a polluted street in the center of Delhi, in front of the chinese embassy. During more than one year, she asked people to sign petitions for the Chinese authorities, asking for the release of her son, and before his release, the authorization to go and to see him in jail. She did not obtain any response from the Chinese authorities.
" I cannot wait any more, I am old and sick... I am anxious and I don't know what to do. Please, help me to save my son. I am getting old and my health declines each day. I despair to see my only son before dying "

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4/ Letter to President Jiang Zemin

President Jiang Zemin
Guojia Zhuxi
Beijing-shi
People's Republic of China

Dear President Jiang Zemin,
Ngawang Choephel is an exile-Tibetan music teacher.
In September 1995 he was in Tibet filming traditional music and dance performance. He was held without charge for 15 months and then sentenced to 18 years for "spying".
He has committed no crime. Ngawang Choephel was researching and recording his own cultural heritage.
I urge you ensure the safety of Ngawang Choephel and to secure his immediate release from custody. There has been no evidence to support his conviction.
Furthermore I urge you to protect the freedom of the Tibetan people to enjoy their own cultural traditions in freedom and safety.
Yours sincerely,

Signature
Print Name
Address

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FRANCE-TIBET (Non-Profit Association)
10 rue Jean MACE, 75011 Paris, France
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Délégué Ile de France : Christophe CUNNIET 33 (0)1 69 05 45 17 / 33 (0)612 25 95 54
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To receive a free information (about once every 15 days), just send an mail with "free subscription" as the subject, if you do not wish to receive information anymore on your e-mail addresse: "unsubscribe"....

"The agony of Tibet does not only concerns murders of human beings, torture of nuns and monks, thousands of people deported in re-education camps, it is also a real cultural, linguistic and religious genocide, continiously performed by the Chinese authorities to scratch this country and his civilization out of the face of the earth. The systematic sinisation of Tibet is at short term its insured death. And this is occuring in a general indifference, so strong is the fear of some to miss a market of more than one billion future consumers, and that of others to irritate a fearsome neighbor."...
Elisabeth Badinter, Preface of: "TIBET DEAD OR ALIVE" by Pierre-Antoine Donnet

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