Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tibetan Youth Congress Statement on World Human Rights Day

Tibetan Youth Congress Statement on World Human Rights Day

Date: 10 December 2009

Today, as we all observe the Universal Human Rights Day, the human rights condition inside China in general and Tibet in particular are deteriorating and China's continued colonial occupation of Tibet remains the single largest challenge to the principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. China continues to carry out its policy of Cultural genocide with impunity as Tibetans, Uighurs of the East Turkistan, People of Southern Mongolia and Manchuria face a grim future under its colonial occupation.

The mass migration of Chinese settlers into Tibet has marginalized and disenfranchised Tibetans making us a minority in our own Country. China's transfer of millions of Chinese into Tibet to strengthen its occupation by completely marginalizing the Tibetans is leading to the extinction of the national identity of the Tibetan nation. The accelerated exploitation of Tibet's natural resources threatens Tibet's fragile environment. The leader of Tibet and International Buddhist leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has rightly termed the present conditions of Tibetans inside Tibet as “Hell on Earth” and “An ancient civilization and old Nation undergoing a death sentence”.

It has been over 60 years since UN adopted the Universal human rights declaration on 10 December 1948, but even today China has failed to sign and ratify some major international covenants. Although China has signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights with much reservations but it has still not ratified the covenant. We appeal the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the International communities to seriously pressure China in signing and ratifying all the International covenants and instruments on Human Rights.

The US President Barack Obama has spoken forcefully about the importance of defending human rights globally in speeches in Egypt, Ghana, Turkey, and at the United Nations but in China where the government remains profoundly hostile to these concepts, he chose to speak softly on human rights and more surprisingly during the press briefing, Mr Obama stated “We did note that while we recognize that Tibet is part of the People’s Republic of China, the United States supports the early resumption of dialogue between the Chinese government and representatives of the Dalai Lama to resolve any concerns and differences that the two sides may have.” No Country or World leaders have any moral right to rewrite the history of Tibet and historicize their views on Tibet. The issue of Tibet is not just about religious freedom nor it is just about human rights but rather it is an issue of an ancient civilization which is facing complete wipe out, it is an issue of an Independent Nation which was forcefully occupied by China since 7 October 1949.

While we welcome the statement from Ms. Navanethem Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNCHR) at the 12th session of the Human Rights Council for expressing the concerns on the recent disturbances in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region and those previously in the Tibetan Autonomous Region and surrounding areas and also urging the Chinese authorities to respect human rights in upholding the law and encouraging them to reflect on the underlying causes of such incidents, which include discrimination and the failure to protect minority rights. We urge the UNCHR and World leaders to pressure China for the complete withdrawal of “Patriotic Re- education Campaigns”, “Strike Hard Campaigns”, and “Order number 5” from its implementation within the Tibetan regions of Tibet.

On this Human Rights day, we honor the never surrendering Tibetans inside Tibet and the political prisoners who continue to fight for our common goal. The constant defiance of Chinese rule by our brave brethrens inside Tibet is our only strength and inspiration that transcends all material bounds and touches the deeply rooted human need for a meaningful existence and articulates the aspirations and the grievances of the six million Tibetans inside Tibet. We who are in the free world resolve to continue our struggle from exile and overcome any challenges that lie ahead. We resolve to strengthen our democracy in exile and renew our commitment to struggle for the independence of Tibet even at the cost of one's life.

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