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Avaaz Uthao

*This is from the MadMomma. Freeing Tibet is one of those issues I strongly believe in. I've met a lot of Tibetans while travelling in the northern areas of the country and I can't think of a more friendly, smiley people and that is why my heart bleeds to hear what's happening. Which is why when I saw this on the MadMomma's blog, I had to put it up.*

Dear friends,

The global outcry over Tibet is rising fast - In just 5 days, 751,472 of us from 192 countries have come together to call for restraint and dialogue with the Dalai Lama. Even more amazing, we have told over 5 million of our friends about this important campaign - that’s 1 million people per day!

A personal email from a friend is a powerful thing – it is helping to drive the global tide of concern. Let’s push now to tell 5 million more friends, get over 1 million signatures this week, and deliver the largest global online petition in history to the Chinese government. Just forward the email below to a few more friends and family with a personal note from you…

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Dear friends,

After decades of repression, the Tibetan people are crying out to the world for change. The spotlight of the upcoming Olympic Games is now on China, and Tibetan Nobel peace prize winner the Dalai Lama is calling to end all riots and violence through restraint and dialogue–he urgently needs the support of the world’s people.

China’s hardliners are lashing out publicly at the Dalai Lama–but we’re told that President Hu Jintao may believe dialogue is the best hope for stability in Tibet. China’s leadership is right now considering a crucial choice between repression and dialogue that could determine Tibet’s–and China’s–future.

We can affect this historic choice – for President Hu, China’s global reputation matters. He needs to hear from us that the ‘Made in China’ brand and the upcoming Olympics in Beijing will succeed only if he chooses dialogue over the hardliners’ repression. An avalanche of global people power is moving to get his attention. We’re closing on our goal of 1 million signatures and the largest global online petition in history - click below to join the global outcry, and then forward this email to friends and family right away:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/tibet_end_the_violence/52.php?cl=66033783

China’s economy is dependent on “Made in China” exports that we all buy, and the government is keen to make the Olympics in Beijing this summer a celebration of a new and respected China. China is also a sprawling, diverse country with much brutality in killed innocent people. But President Hu must recognize that the greatest danger to Chinese stability and development today comes from hardliners who advocate escalating repression, not from those Tibetans seeking dialogue and reform.

We will deliver our petition directly to Chinese officials in New York, London and Beijing, but it we must reach our goal of 1 million signatures first. Please forward this email to your address book with a note explaining to your friends why this is important, or use our tell-a-friend tool to email your address book–it will come up after you sign.

The Tibetan people have suffered quietly for decades. It is finally their moment to speak–we must help them be heard.

With hope and respect,

Here are some links with more information on the Tibetan protests and the Chinese response:

Crackdown in Tibet, but protests spreading:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/mar/19/tibet.china
and
http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/crackdown-on-protests-widens/2008/03/17/1205602289349.html

Dalai Lama calling for dialogue and restraint, and an end to violence:
http://www.dalailama.com/news.216.htm
and
http://www.agi.it/world/news/200803191258-pol-ren0032-art.html

Leaders across Europe and Asia starting to back dialogue as the way forward:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7300157.stm

Chinese Prime Minister attacks “Dalai clique”, leaves door open for talks:
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-03/18/content_7813194.htm

Other Chinese signals:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/China_looks_at_India_to_talk_to_Dalai_Lama/articleshow/2875142.cms

PS - It has been suggested that the Chinese government may block the Avaaz website as a result of this email, and thousands of Avaaz members in China will no longer be able to participate in our community. A poll of Avaaz members over the weekend showed that over 80% of us believed it was still important to act on Tibet despite this terrible potential loss to our community, if we thought we could make a difference. If we are blocked, Avaaz will help maintain the campaign for internet freedom for all Chinese people, so that our members in China can one day rejoin our community.

Here are some links with more information on the Tibetan protests and the Chinese response:
BBC News: UN Calls for Restraint in Tibet - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7301912.stm
Human Right Watch: China Restrain from Violently Attacking Protesters - http://hrw.org/english/docs/2008/03/15/china18291.htm
Associated Press: Tibet Unrest Sparks Global Reaction - http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gSSpPcDOPMoAiRLhPUyezuCRiXBQD8VFDD680
New York Times: China Takes Steps to Thwart Reporting on Tibet Protests - http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/18/world/asia/18access.html?ref=world
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ABOUT AVAAZ
Avaaz.org is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means “voice” in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, Washington DC, and Geneva.


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