The International Forum for a Free Tibet was held in Turin (Italy) on 26 May, 2007 to explore new strategies and to discuss the issue of Tibetan independence.
Nearly one hundred participants attended the Forum, including delegates, speakers and guests. Delegates from the USA, India and European countries of Italy, France, Spain and Switzerland, which included key Rangzen figures like Palden Gyatso, Jamyang Norbu (Rangzen Alliance), Dhundup Namgyal Khorko (Chushi Gangdruk), Chime Yungdrung (National Democratic Party of Tibet) along with representatives from other Tibetan NGOs and TSGs were present at the forum. Italian trade unions and political representatives as well as the Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng also attended the Forum.
This Forum was held by the Campagna di Solidarieta con il Popolo Tibetano (CSPT) in collaboration with Tibet Culture House, Tibet Destination Rangzen and Alternative Tibetaine (France), and it was sponsored by the Italian Trade Union CISL-ISCOS with the support of the Piedmond Region Council and the Compagnia di San Paolo.
Other invited delegates and guests, like Tanak Jigme Sangpo and Ngawang Woeber, President of Gu-Chu-sum movement were unable to attend the conference. Messages from Larry Gerstein of International Tibet Independence Movement (ITIM) and Harry Wu (Laogai Research Foundation) were read out at the forum. The Forum also received words of encouragements from Kelsang Phuntsok, President of Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), Tenzin Tsundue (Friends of Tibet) and Lhasang Tsering, former TYC president.
The International Forum of Turin is in keeping with the previous international conferences held last year, including "Declaration of Independence of the Nations of High Asia" (Washington, 19 September 2006) and "International Conference of Dhokham Chushi Gangdruk" (New York, 23 December 2006).
So, the Turin Forum is another new step in favour of Rangzen (Tibetan independence). The Conference for an Independent Tibet to be held in New Delhi on 23 and 24 later this month is the next step.
This Forum provided Rangzen Tibetan activists and supporters from several countries and different NGOs an opportunity to come together and discuss about the future of their struggle, share experiences and define common strategies.
The organisers believe that the equal and active participation by non Tibetan people in these conferences publicly affirm that Tibetan people are not alone any more in their struggle for independence. They now believe that they are now openly supported and recognized in their rightful struggle.
Considering the impasse in the kind of dialogue process between Tibetan representatives and Beijing, the participants at the Forum clearly reaffirmed the right to self-determination of the Tibetan people and expressed the need for a unified Rangzen movement involving other alternative strategies.
The need for a united common front with all the political and social forces opposing the Chinese dictatorial regime was strongly urged during the Forum. The participants decided to use all opportunities to fight for the rights of the Tibetan workers in Tibet and for their trade union freedoms and end all the discretionary Chinese impunity in including Olympic Games, Universal Justice, and International Law.
The International Forum of Turin is considered a significant event to help and support the Tibetan people to take their future in their hands and to call upon the global community, specially the European Union to assume their responsibilities.
Declaration of Turin
Reflections about China
The reality of China is really different from the picture of the country that the CCP gives. The inequalities are increasing, corruption is spreading more and more in every level of the system, the condition of the farmers, that are the majority of the population, keeps on deteriorating economically, socially and ecologically. Even the economic growth, where it started, didn't improve at all the condition of life and working of the majority of the workers and all the basic freedoms keep on being denied.
Therefore, the widespread social protest is increasing continuously, as it is acknowledged also by the official sources of Beijing itself. Besides, it has to be added the non-violent resistance of the supporters of the spiritual movement Falun Dafa, the fighting of the workers that try to organize some free Trade Unions and the resistance movements against the Chinese colonial occupation that are reorganizing in eastern Turkestan and in southern Mongolia.
In the international framework, the Chinese politics is everyday more aggressive politically, economically and militarily (the dizzy rise of the outlay for armaments could be aimed to a possible military action against Taiwan).
Tibet in the Chinese framework
Chinese policies in Tibet didn't change in the last few years. Indeed, from many angles, it has been made harsher. The massive entry of Han settlers keeps on, the marginalization of the Tibetan people is growing more and more, because Tibetans didn't gain any real benefit from the scarce investment of the so called "Development Plan for the Western Areas", planned by Beijing. It keeps on preventing all the basic civil and religious freedoms, in spite of many claims and declarations by parliaments and international organizations. Today we are powerless witnesses of the mass deportation of farmer and nomadic shepherds. Therefore, we must acknowledge the failure of all the political and diplomatic actions that have been undertaken till now.
Particularly, we acknowledge that, 19 years after the "Proposal of Strasbourg Proposal" (June 1988), the choices of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile did not produce any real change in spite of the subsequent concessions to the Chinese regime, up to the recent renunciation of the right to self-determination itself of the Tibetan people (Tibetan people is called in the Dalai Lama's declaration of 10th March 2006 "...one of the more important groups of the 55 Chinese ethnic minorities").
Therefore it is clear that the so called "dialogue", emphasized by many people, didn't modify this framework but it even provided an alibi to governments and international institutions to avoid to bring about some important resolutions on Tibet (see the Resolution of the European Parliament on 6th July 2000).
One of the more worrying consequences of this approach was a general loss of tension about the Tibetan issue, as the confusion of the Tibetans themselves and their supporters, who were explicitly asked for stopping every complain and protest against Beijing. Besides, the Dalai Lama and some members of his government in exile expressed their support to projects and proposals as the admission of the PRC in the WTO and the designation of Beijing for the Olympic Games. Besides you have to add the declaration of the Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche, hailing the opening of the Golmud-Lhasa railway as a favourable event for the Tibetan economic development.
This framework requests us:
- To support a unified independence movement which we could give our unqualified support and cooperation to realize the aspirations of the Tibetan People for an independent Tibet, that courageous activists demonstrates constantly over the years protesting inside Tibet.
- To settle an appropriate strategy, based on the self-determination right of the Tibetan People, taking into account the decisions taken by the International Conference of the Chushi Gangdruk (December 2006) and the principles ratified in the Declaration of Independence of the Nations of High Asia (September 2006).
- To unify in a single front all the political and social forces opposing to the Chinese communist regime, in Tibet and in the other countries illegally occupied by China.
- To lay the foundations for a Free Trade Union that fights because the Tibetan workers obtain a dignified work, a right salary and the assertion of Trade Union freedom.
- To ask all the free countries for boycotting the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008.
- To request the UNO condemns the illegal occupation of Tibet, Eastern Turkistan and Southern Mongolia.
- To request the European Union to stop the so-called "dialogue" with China till PRC won't have ratified and completely enforced all the subscribed treaties.
- To employ Universal Justice and International Law to end impunity in Tibet and China.
Turin (Italy), 26th May 2007
International Forum for Tibetan Freedom:
Palden Gyatso, Jamyang Norbu (Rangzen Alliance), Dhundup Namgyal Khorko, (Dhokham Chushi Gangdruk), Tamding Choepel (Tibet Culture House), Chime Yungdrung (National Democratic Party of Tibet), Wei Jingsheng (Wei Jingsheng Foundation), Claudio Tecchio (Campagna di Solidarieta con il Popolo Tibetano), Mathieu Vernerey and Sonia Pradine (Alternative Tibetaine), Francoise and Francois Bruxeille, Francois Corona (Tibet Destination Rangzen), Alan Cantos and Jose Elias Esteve (Comite de Apoyo al Tibet), Larry Gerstein (ITIM), Mario Scotti (Segretario Generale, CISL Piemonte), Paolo Pozzo (Comitato ISCOS Piemonte), Bruno Portigliatti (Unione Buddhista Europea), Antonello Brandi (Laogai Research Foundation Italy), Angelo Montali (Movimento Cristiano Lavoratori), Piero Verni, Claude B. Levenson, Antonio Attisani, Jean-Claude Buhrer
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