I know that you care about the Tibetan people and I am deeply grateful for that.
But religious freedom is under serious attack in Tibet and I need your help. Will you sign our petition to U.S. Secretary of State Clinton asking her to press for a more substantive dialogue with China? And if you can, will you make a small donation to support our work?
Your actions will help ICT continue to counteract the lies and injustices perpetrated by the Chinese government . . . spread the truth and advocate for the Tibetan people . . . and bear witness on their behalf.
Let me highlight just a few of the ways your gift makes it possible for ICT to continue to fight for the Tibetan people.
You probably already know that this March 16, a young monk called Phuntsog set himself on fire to protest China's restrictions on religious freedom, and later died. He took this tragic action on the anniversary of the 2008 protest at his monastery, Kirti, in eastern Tibet.
Shockingly, Chinese police were seen kicking and beating Phuntsog before he died. Chinese military then detained an unknown number of monks, surrounded the monastery and cut phone connections.
Your support helps ICT shine a spotlight on Tibet despite China's best efforts to cut off outside communication, and to mobilize the international human rights community.
Over the years, ICT has received and provided care for Tibetan political prisoners, including two young nuns who were only released by the Chinese after governments around the world joined our campaigns for their freedom. Your generosity allows us to continue this critical work on behalf of political prisoners.
Item: The current Dalai Lama is the 14th incarnation. He is a brilliant and compassionate teacher. The Chinese are so threatened by the notion of a 15th Dalai Lama continuing his international advocacy for Tibet that they are insisting that they now can and will identify reincarnated lamas.
Chinese authorities - through new rules, manipulations and kidnapping - are stepping way beyond their political roles and assaulting the very foundation of Tibetan Buddhism.
With your help, ICT will continue to advocate that it is up to the Tibetan people, not the Chinese Communist Party, to decide.
Item: Each year since 1991, ICT has worked diligently in the U.S. Congress to secure humanitarian assistance for Tibetan refugees. Many of these refugees are monks and nuns fleeing religious repression and seeking to build a full religious life in the monastic institutions that have been established in Tibetan communities in India and Nepal.
Your support ensures that this critical funding will not be threatened, especially during these contentious political times on Capitol Hill, and that Tibetans will be able to maintain the richness of the Tibetan Buddhist culture outside of Tibet.
China's brutal repressions in Tibet are particularly cruel given that their target is a people who are dedicated to truth and nonviolence, led by a Buddhist monk with unwavering commitment to the non-violence teachings of his religion.
You and I can and must continue to stand with Tibetans on their noble, just path.
Together, we can support the Dalai Lama and his people and act to make sure that the truth and compassion of Tibetan voices are heard around the world.
With your help, ICT can remain the strong, effective champion for Tibetans in Tibet and in exile.
Please make a small gift today to fuel our efforts. As you can see, your contribution helps in so many important ways.
I hope you will also join with me by signing our petition to U.S. Secretary of State Clinton, so she will do everything in her power to facilitate a more substantive human rights dialogue with China and for the benefit of all those Tibetans who suffer.
On behalf of the Tibetan people we serve and all the staff at ICT, I thank you.
Mary Beth Markey
P.S. Whatever you do, please sign our petition to Hillary Clinton. We need to take strong action now in support of Tibet. And if you can, please donate to support our work for Tibet and the Tibetan people. Thank you!