Statement by the Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars (IFCSS) on the Tibet Issue
March 17, 2008
Since mid March, there has been a peaceful petition and demonstration by the monks and people of Tibet, which evolved into a bloody conflict between the Chinese Communist government and the Tibetans.
The IFCSS believes that
- The Tibetan Buddhism is a treasure of human culture;
- Tibetans have their rights to choose their religious beliefs and life style;
- Tibetans should enjoy a high degree of autonomy;
- The Tibetans' religious beliefs and culture rights should receive respect and protection;
- When the Tibetans' rights of a high degree of autonomy and religious and cultural freedom are not respected and protected, they have the right to choose demonstrations to express their dissatisfaction.
The IFCSS strongly condemns the Chinese Communist government's indifference toward the Tibetans' request, and expresses its strongest protest over the Chinese government's violent suppression that followed. We ask the Chinese government to release those who have been detained; to open the foreign media to Tibet to report and interview, as well as permit international society to have an independent and fair investigation over this incident. Only an open China with human rights has the right to hold the Olympics.
Human rights has a universal value. The IFCSS feels what the Tibetans feel. We solidly support Tibetans' long-time struggle by means of peace and non-violence. We wish that democracy and freedom shall be realized in China, including Tibet.
-- The Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars (IFCSS)
Editor's note: At the time of Tiananmen Square's massacre in 1989, America was educating about 40,000 students from China at U.S. universities. China's uprising had pitted Chinese college students againt the administration of Red China. In exile after the massacre, democracy-minded college students needed a student association to be independent of the Chinese regime. Thus the IFCSS was formed with the blessing of leading Chinese dissidents, who assigned it to represent those 40,000 Mainland students in the United States. In addition to fielding political issues as seen above, the IFCSS sponsors the yearly candle light vigil opposite Washington's Chinese embassy for every annivesary of Tiananmen Square's "June 4" massacre.