Founder of petition offers qualified praise for Levin’s urging of peace in Tibet

To the Editor:

I write to publicly thank President Levin for speaking up for human rights in Tibet (“Levin urges China to seek peace in Tibet,” 4/10). President Levin’s disclosure of his meeting with Chinese Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong — though vague was the mention of what actually was broached at that encounter — is an important first step for incorporating the concerns of Tibet into our important relationship with China.

More importantly, however, I write to urge President Levin that his first meeting be just that — a first of many. I recognize that one remark to the Chinese ambassador will, in all likelihood, do little to improve the day-to-day lives of Tibetans.But as Yalies, what we can do for the Tibetan people is great. If we want Yale to become a true partner and friend of China, then let us be a partner and friend to all of China—and, as even the Dalai Lama recognizes, that includes Tibet.

As a university respected at home and in China, we have the ability to cut through the political to work on the issues that concern ordinary Tibetans. And so here I invite President Levin to sit down with a group of committed experts, engaged students and other relevant community members to discuss what our university can do to be a positive force specifically in Tibet, as we are in the rest of China. I appreciate the President’s willingness to make a public statement in support of human rights in Tibet. But I also know that it will only be important if it is merely a point of departure.

I anxiously await President Levin’s reply.

Eli Bildner

April 10

The writer is a sophomore in Davenport College. He recently began a petition to urge University President Richard Levin to apply pressure to Tibet. He is a staff reporter for the News.

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