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Advancing a peaceful transition to democracy in China through truth, understanding, citizen power, & cooperative action

Declaration of Unity – Eleventh Interfaith/Interethnic Leadership Conference Declaration of Unity April 30, 2016 Dharamsala, India We — representatives of a wide diversity of nationalities, ethnic groups, faith groups, and human rights activists — gathered for a closed-door discussion of “Strengthening Our Alliance to Advance the Peoples’ Dreams: Freedom, Justice, Equality and Peace.” After a rich sharing of our experiences, we have reached some initial reflections and suggestions for future actions. First, from our stay in Dharamsala, we have directly felt the tremendous significance of the ongoing moral leadership of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for all of humanity. Furthermore, we express our strong appreciation for determination of the whole Tibetan community, despite the great difficulties in exile, to develop democratic institutions and civil society. Second, from our stay in India, and our interactions with a wide variety of Indian participants, we express our utmost respect for the historical moral leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. On the one hand, his example of non-violent Satyagraha is extremely relevant for all our causes. At the same time, we appreciate his demonstration that the struggle for freedom is a natural and inherent part of Asian cultures, based on truly universal principles. We also take this opportunity to express our hope for ever-greater solidarity from Indian friends and partners to uphold these principles across Asia. Third, in order to be ready to peacefully resolve differences between ethnic, faith, linguistic, and cultural groups when the CCP regime collapses, we must redouble our efforts to strengthen mutual understanding and solidarity. Therefore, we take away with us the following recommendations for joint actions or heightened solidarity: — Extend mutual support for preservation of historical memory of human rights violations, through museums, education programs, etc. For example, we may promote the inclusion of the Tiananmen Massacre or/and the Tibetan Uprising in the UNESCO “Memory of the World” register as these events approach their 30th and 60th anniversaries, respectively. We should work together to seek the truth about the two Tiananmen tankmen. — Share experiences of recent social movements, especially youth movements, such as the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan and the Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong. — Support legal actions against perpetrators from the CCP regime, following the model begun by Falun Gong lawsuits against Jiang Zemin in all provinces of China and 28 countries. We will consider how to target more CCP officials for a broader range of crimes against humanity. — Support efforts by both civil society and governments to monitor and expose CCP activities abroad, including Confucius Institutes, investments and other commercial relations with the international media, and influence over researchers and opinion leaders. — Support enactment of laws and related policies such as the so-called “Global Magnitsky Act” currently under consideration by the US Congress, that would restrict the entry or activities, including economic and financial activities, of CCP officials who have committed human rights violations. — Uphold the rights of self-determination for all peoples, as set forth in common Article 1 of the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant for Economic and Social Rights. — Call attention to the concerted efforts of the CCP regime to eradicate cultural, linguistic, and religious diversity within the territory under its control. We are concerned that such efforts are accelerating in recent years, notably including: λ Tightened restrictions on Tibetan Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Falun Gong λ Development policies that destroy the nomadic way of life, such as the forced relocation of 1.2 million Tibetan nomads between 2003-2010, and the restriction of herding in Southern Mongolia. λ Limited opportunities for Tibetan, Uyghur and Mongolian language education λ Downgrading of the status of the Cantonese language in Hong Kong education (we note that Cantonese, Hokkien, Hakka, and other Chinese languages are not dialects, but the true mother tongues of their respective peoples) λ Destruction of cultural heritage such as the recent demolition of the old city of Kashgar — Raise the awareness of violations of economic and social rights by the CCP regime, especially but by no means only in non-Han areas, including the right to movement and the rights to food, water, housing, health, employment. — Recognize that the environmental degradation throughout the PRC is a threat not only to the health and livelihoods of local residents, but indeed to the whole world. Of particular concern are the climate change on the Tibetan Plateau and desertification in East Turkestan and Southern Mongolia. — Express our concern at recent crackdown on civil society within China, notably the crackdown on human rights lawyers that began on July 9, 2015, we condemn the “Foreign NGO Management Law” adopted on April 28, which expressly aims at disrupting international cooperation on human rights. — Recognizing the huge numbers of prisoners of conscience in China today, raise particular awareness for some highly salient cases, including: λ The 29 human rights lawyers still under detention after the July 9 crackdown, who are at high risk of torture and long prison sentences. λ Tibetan writer Shokjang λ Human rights defender Guo Feixiong, currently at high health risk λ Southern Mongolian activist Hada, currently at high health risk, and his family λ The six activists within China who have been imprisoned for their expression of solidarity with the Hong Kong Umbrella movement λ Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti. —Pay attention to the issue of transparency around enforced disappearances, within the Uyghur and Tibetan communities in particular. At the beginning of April, the mother of a young Uyghur man who was disappeared by the state back in July 2009 (among many others), was put on trial after she spoke to RFA about the case (Patigul Ghulam), yet her case has not been made public and very few details have been released. Although this is a single case, it is representative of the state’s response to those looking for answers about their missing relatives and will likely act to put a chill on others looking for similar answers. — Support restrictions on international organ tourism to China. Finally, we call on the new government taking office in Taiwan to adopt a refugee law that fulfils international human rights standards, so that political refugees from China, Tibet, or other countries may be able to seek necessary protection in Taiwan.

Posted on Nov 12, 2017 in No Category | Comments Off on Declaration of Unity – Eleventh Interfaith/Interethnic Leadership Conference Declaration of Unity April 30, 2016 Dharamsala, India We — representatives of a wide diversity of nationalities, ethnic groups, faith groups, and human rights activists — gathered for a closed-door discussion of “Strengthening Our Alliance to Advance the Peoples’ Dreams: Freedom, Justice, Equality and Peace.” After a rich sharing of our experiences, we have reached some initial reflections and suggestions for future actions. First, from our stay in Dharamsala, we have directly felt the tremendous significance of the ongoing moral leadership of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for all of humanity. Furthermore, we express our strong appreciation for determination of the whole Tibetan community, despite the great difficulties in exile, to develop democratic institutions and civil society. Second, from our stay in India, and our interactions with a wide variety of Indian participants, we express our utmost respect for the historical moral leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. On the one hand, his example of non-violent Satyagraha is extremely relevant for all our causes. At the same time, we appreciate his demonstration that the struggle for freedom is a natural and inherent part of Asian cultures, based on truly universal principles. We also take this opportunity to express our hope for ever-greater solidarity from Indian friends and partners to uphold these principles across Asia. Third, in order to be ready to peacefully resolve differences between ethnic, faith, linguistic, and cultural groups when the CCP regime collapses, we must redouble our efforts to strengthen mutual understanding and solidarity. Therefore, we take away with us the following recommendations for joint actions or heightened solidarity: — Extend mutual support for preservation of historical memory of human rights violations, through museums, education programs, etc. For example, we may promote the inclusion of the Tiananmen Massacre or/and the Tibetan Uprising in the UNESCO “Memory of the World” register as these events approach their 30th and 60th anniversaries, respectively. We should work together to seek the truth about the two Tiananmen tankmen. — Share experiences of recent social movements, especially youth movements, such as the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan and the Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong. — Support legal actions against perpetrators from the CCP regime, following the model begun by Falun Gong lawsuits against Jiang Zemin in all provinces of China and 28 countries. We will consider how to target more CCP officials for a broader range of crimes against humanity. — Support efforts by both civil society and governments to monitor and expose CCP activities abroad, including Confucius Institutes, investments and other commercial relations with the international media, and influence over researchers and opinion leaders. — Support enactment of laws and related policies such as the so-called “Global Magnitsky Act” currently under consideration by the US Congress, that would restrict the entry or activities, including economic and financial activities, of CCP officials who have committed human rights violations. — Uphold the rights of self-determination for all peoples, as set forth in common Article 1 of the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant for Economic and Social Rights. — Call attention to the concerted efforts of the CCP regime to eradicate cultural, linguistic, and religious diversity within the territory under its control. We are concerned that such efforts are accelerating in recent years, notably including: λ Tightened restrictions on Tibetan Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Falun Gong λ Development policies that destroy the nomadic way of life, such as the forced relocation of 1.2 million Tibetan nomads between 2003-2010, and the restriction of herding in Southern Mongolia. λ Limited opportunities for Tibetan, Uyghur and Mongolian language education λ Downgrading of the status of the Cantonese language in Hong Kong education (we note that Cantonese, Hokkien, Hakka, and other Chinese languages are not dialects, but the true mother tongues of their respective peoples) λ Destruction of cultural heritage such as the recent demolition of the old city of Kashgar — Raise the awareness of violations of economic and social rights by the CCP regime, especially but by no means only in non-Han areas, including the right to movement and the rights to food, water, housing, health, employment. — Recognize that the environmental degradation throughout the PRC is a threat not only to the health and livelihoods of local residents, but indeed to the whole world. Of particular concern are the climate change on the Tibetan Plateau and desertification in East Turkestan and Southern Mongolia. — Express our concern at recent crackdown on civil society within China, notably the crackdown on human rights lawyers that began on July 9, 2015, we condemn the “Foreign NGO Management Law” adopted on April 28, which expressly aims at disrupting international cooperation on human rights. — Recognizing the huge numbers of prisoners of conscience in China today, raise particular awareness for some highly salient cases, including: λ The 29 human rights lawyers still under detention after the July 9 crackdown, who are at high risk of torture and long prison sentences. λ Tibetan writer Shokjang λ Human rights defender Guo Feixiong, currently at high health risk λ Southern Mongolian activist Hada, currently at high health risk, and his family λ The six activists within China who have been imprisoned for their expression of solidarity with the Hong Kong Umbrella movement λ Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti. —Pay attention to the issue of transparency around enforced disappearances, within the Uyghur and Tibetan communities in particular. At the beginning of April, the mother of a young Uyghur man who was disappeared by the state back in July 2009 (among many others), was put on trial after she spoke to RFA about the case (Patigul Ghulam), yet her case has not been made public and very few details have been released. Although this is a single case, it is representative of the state’s response to those looking for answers about their missing relatives and will likely act to put a chill on others looking for similar answers. — Support restrictions on international organ tourism to China. Finally, we call on the new government taking office in Taiwan to adopt a refugee law that fulfils international human rights standards, so that political refugees from China, Tibet, or other countries may be able to seek necessary protection in Taiwan.

Eleventh Interfaith/Interethnic Leadership Conference Declaration of Unity April 30, 2016   Dharamsala, India   We — representatives of a wide diversity of nationalities, ethnic groups, faith groups, and human rights activists — gathered for a closed-door discussion of “Strengthening Our Alliance to Advance the Peoples’ Dreams: Freedom, Justice, Equality and Peace.” After a rich sharing of our experiences, we have reached some initial reflections and suggestions for future actions.   First, from our stay in Dharamsala, we have directly felt the tremendous significance of the ongoing moral leadership of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for all of humanity. Furthermore, we express our strong appreciation for determination of the whole Tibetan community, despite the great difficulties in exile, to develop democratic institutions and civil society.   Second, from our stay in India, and our interactions with a wide variety of...

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Twelfth annual InterEthnic/InterFaith Leadership Conference to be held in Tokyo, Japan, 14-17 November.

Posted on Nov 10, 2017 in InterEthnic InterFaith Leadership Conference, News, Publications | Comments Off on Twelfth annual InterEthnic/InterFaith Leadership Conference to be held in Tokyo, Japan, 14-17 November.

Press Advisory Twelfth annual InterEthnic/InterFaith Leadership Conference to be held in Tokyo, Japan, 14-17 November. The 12th InterEthnic/InterFaith Leadership Conference, organized by Initiatives for China (aka Citizen Power), will be held at the National Olympics Memorial Youth Center in Tokyo, Japan on November 14-17, 2017. The theme of this year’s Conference is “Advancing Human Rights, Democracy and Peace: New Tools, New Strategies, New Generation”. The annual InterEthnic/InterFaith Leadership Conference was established in 2000 by Dr. Yang Jianli, the founder and president of Initiatives for China, during his chairmanship of the Foundation for China in the 21st Century. The Conference has received guidance and encouragement from Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and is financially supported by the US National Endowment for Democracy, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy and other non-governmental organizations. Each year, the InterEthnic/InterFaith Leadership Conference brings...

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