1. TIBET GROUP SAYS, "DON'T INVEST IN TORTURE"May 22, 2002 Contact: Minnie Cancellaro, 510-486-0588 Dennis Cusack

Cupertino, CA--Tibet Justice Center, today, issued a warning to attendees of what appears to be a Chinese Government sponsored Tibetan cultural and commerce fair at the Vallco Shopping Park from May 24 to June 23. The Berkeley-based human rights group urged visitors, and the events' organizers, to acknowledge the truth about China's brutal occupation of Tibet.
"Visitors to this exhibit, especially those considering doing business in Tibet, need to know that they are investing in the systematic and brutal repression of the Tibetan people," said Dennis Cusack, President of Tibet Justice Center. Torture is standard practice in Chinese prisons and the Tibetan people continue to suffer rampant abuses of their human rights by the occupying Chinese government. "We want to send the message to anyone considering doing business in Tibet that Tibet is an occupied country. Economic development in Tibet is little more than classic colonial exploitation of natural resources supported by grudging settlers and massive police power. The model is economically unsustainable and Tibet remains politically unstable."

Tibet Justice Center reports that 1 out of 7 Tibetan refugees has suffered torture at the hands of the Chinese governmentincluding children as young as eight years old. Peaceful political protest in Tibet is brutally repressed under the leadership of the Communist Party. Adequate education and healthcare remain out of reach for most Tibetans. Legqog, the Chairman of the Tibetan Autonomous Region's regional government and a high-ranking Party official, plans to attend the exhibition.

"The Tibetan people's way of life is being destroyed by the Chinese occupation. Development in Tibet can either help the Tibetan people to thrive, or contribute to their destruction," said Cusack. The Tibetan Government-in-Exile (TGIE), led by the Dalai Lama and the newly elected Prime Minister, Samdong Rinpoche, has proposed a set of guidelines for suitable development in Tibet. Companies who wish to invest in Tibet are expected to consult these guidelines and the TGIE. Companies that engage in harmful development in Tibet, Cusack warned, can expect to feel a backlash from Tibetans backed by the global Tibet support movement.

The exhibition opens with a press conference at 3pm on May 24th. At least 500 pro-Tibet demonstrators are expected to attend.

WHO: Tibetan Association of Northern California, Bay Area Friends of Tibet, Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibet Justice Center and Students for a Free Tibet. WHAT: Demonstration at "Tibetan Cultural and Commerce Exhibit."WHERE: Vallco Shopping Park, Lower Level, Cupertino, CA WHEN: Friday, May 24, 2:30pm - 5:00pm
[Cupertino] - Tibetans and their supporters are planning to protest the official opening of what appears to be a Chinese Government sponsored Tibetan cultural fair at the Vallco Shopping Park.
In order to draw attention to what they call a cynical Chinese propaganda ploy, members of the Tibetan Association of Northern California, Bay Area Friends of Tibet, Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibet Justice Center and Students for a Free Tibet will hold demonstrations throughout the month-long duration of the "Tibetan Cultural and Commerce Exhibit."

According to the event's organizer, Dr. Lian Sheng Zhang, the Exhibit aims to introduce Tibetan culture to the business community in Silicon Valley for the purpose of encouraging increased trade between California and the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR). The Chairman of the TAR's regional government, known only as Legqoq, is scheduled to make a special visit to the Exhibit, and will be attending a banquet for Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.

"This exhibit is an insult to Tibetans," said Uygen Tsering, Vice President of the Tibetan Association of Northern California. "Tibetan culture has been under attack since the Chinese invasion of our country. This is nothing more than a propaganda stunt aimed at whitewashing the devastating impact of China's rule in Tibet."

"The fact that a thug like Legqog will be attending this event is outrageous," said Jamyang Wangden, regional coordinator for Students for a Free Tibet (SFT). "In the four years that he has been in power in Tibet, he has been responsible for some of the worst political, religious and cultural repression since the Cultural Revolution. We want everyone attending this event to know that he is not a legitimate representation of the Tibetan people - he has brought them only great suffering."

Legqog has gained the reputation of a hard-liner during his rule in Tibet. He has waged an aggressive campaign against Tibetan support for the Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, calling him a splittist and accusing him of trying to stand in the way of the Tibetan people's happiness. Under Legqog's rule, hundreds of Tibetans have been incarcerated for taking part in nonviolent demonstrations for Tibetan freedom.

Chuye Kunsang and Passang Lhamo, two Tibetan nuns, who were imprisoned and tortured for four and five years respectively for shouting freedom slogans in Lhasa will attend the protest. "This event is not telling the truth about Tibet," said Passang Lhamo. "Our experiences of abuse and torture are commonplace in Tibet, and yet the exhibitors at this fair try to portray Tibetans as content with Chinese rule. We hope that the people attending this event will realize that if they do business in Tibet, they are contributing to China's brutal occupation of our country," said Chuye Kunsang.
3. Bay Area Tibetans Protest Against China Propaganda "Exhibit"
May 20, 2000: Bay Area Tibetans and supporters will stage massive protests against the latest Chinese propaganda campaign on Tibet in the form of "Tibet Culture and Commerce" exhibit to be held in Cupertino from May 24 to June 23. More than 500 protestors are expected to turn out during the month-long exhibit to expose the lie behind China's claim of development inside Tibet.

"The larger portion of any "foreign investment" money into Tibet indirectly helps strengthen Beijing's network of brutal repression inside Tibet," said Topden Tsering, President of the San Francisco Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), the largest Tibetan NGO with over 10,000 members worldwide. "It is outrageous that Beijing is misleading Californian investors into collaborating on further tightening China's military control over Tibet."
"In the name of development for Tibetan people, China is basically fishing for easy money to support its People's Liberation Army (PLA), People's Armed Police (PAP), Public Security Bureaus, its countless civil-clothed policemen and informers who have infiltrated into every spectrum of Tibetan society, be it schools, neighborhoods or the monastic community," he said. "Little wonder that any Tibetan protestor to shout "Free Tibet" is whisked off to prison in no less than five minutes in Tibet today."

"It would be extremely disgusting if any California-state leader condoned this charade by participating," added Giovanni Vassallo, Secretary of Bay Area Friends of Tibet, a local 2000-member Tibet support group. "This exhibit is a farce intended only for the material gratification of China's dictatorial elite," he said.

The exhibit - to be inaugurated by "TAR" governor, Leqgog - features "Tibetan" cultural performances by troupes from Beijing, besides other such attractions. According to the invitation proclamation by its Chinese organizers, the exhibit is intended to "establish a Sister-State relationship between Tibet and California" and to "develop friendship and understanding for development of reciprocal trade and commerce between the two state/regions."

"Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR)" is a term for the truncated area of central Tibet left over from Beijing's assimilation into Sichuan and Qinghai respectively of the two traditional Tibetan provinces of Kham and Amdo. Beijing exerts its control over "TAR" through its hand-picked Party Secretary, a position that has always been filled by a Chinese.

Over 1.2 million Tibetans have died as a direct result of China's occupation of Tibet in 1959, which resulted in the forced exile into India of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and some 100,000 of his followers. Despite His Holiness the Dalai Lama's earnest call for peaceful negotiations with Beijing over the Tibet issue, recent years have witnessed an unrelenting brutality mark China's persecution of Tibetan independence aspirations and Buddhist beliefs.

The protests are being jointly organized by San Francisco Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), Tibetan Association of Northern California (TANC), Bay Area Friends of Tibet (BAFT) and Students for a Free Tibet (SFT).

Contact: Topden Tsering,
Time: May 24 - June 23, 2002
Location: Vallco Shopping Center
Basement Level, Cupertino, CA


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