(TibetanReview.net, Jan26’23) – With Tibetan and Hong Kong flags in hand, a group of campaigners presented a petition to the City Council of Sheffield in South Yorkshire County, England, on Jan 24, urging it to end its twin-city relationships with Anshan and Chengdu in China because of human rights abuses of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), reported thestar.co.uk Jan 25.
The group has presented its petition, with more than 150 signatures, as the Town Hall was holding its strategy and resources committee meeting.
The group has said such a move would send a clear message of protecting human rights, pointing out that local authorities in Newcastle and Bath had de-twinned with China last year.
Speaking in the meeting, a campaigner has read out a statement that said: “We the Tibetan residing in Sheffield would like to request Sheffield Council to reconsider and sever its twinning city program with Chinese cities. It’s well known that the CCP has a very poor record in human rights.
“The ongoing self-immolation (suicide) inside Tibet is a big indicator of how repressive the CCP is towards the Tibetans. The self-immolator count stood at 160 right now and it is not just a number. Rather, it shows how much they are deprived of basic human rights.
“The recent policy to send 800,000 Tibetan students aged six to 18 to mandatory Chinese boarding schools across Tibet is a big threat to the very identity of Tibetans. As Chengdu is a city with a large number of Tibetan, the council should definitely think about who they are twinning up with.”
Councillor Terry Fox, leader of the council, has said the authority was working on a report about its relationships with international cities and the campaigners’ comments would be fed into that. He has said they were also meeting with local councillors to discuss the issue soon.