Saturday, August 2, 2008
Rights Groups Urged to Press China to End Tibet Repression
The Tibetan Solidarity Committee has urged countries and particularly the human rights organizations around the world to press the Chinese government to immediately halt all activities of repression and to respect the fundamental human rights and religious freedom of the Tibetan people.
"His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration has, since the beginning, supported the Beijing Olympic Games as a fitting tribute to China's ancient civilization and a respect to the Chinese people's aspirations," noted a press released issued by the committee on 2 August."
However, in the name of Olympic security, the government of China has intensified security clampdown amounting to stifling of Tibetan people's religious freedom and human rights," the press note added.
The Tibetan Solidarity Committee - constituted by the Kashag and the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile - aims to plan, inform, co-ordinate and lead the movement in exile in unity under the policy of Middle-Way Approach of the Central Tibetan Administration to resolve the present crisis in Tibet.
The full text of the press release follows:
At Odds with the Olympic Principles
The Olympics symbolize peace, harmony and progress. The Principle 4 of the Olympic Charter states, "(the) practice of sports is a human right". Similarly, Principle 5 of the charter stress the importance of the Olympic spirit against any form of discrimination when it states, "any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement".
Mr. Liu Jingmin, the Vice President of the Beijing Olympic bid told that in 2001 that, "by allowing Beijing to host the Games you will help the development of human rights." Accordingly, Mr. Jacques Rogge, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in April 2002 reassured that "the Olympic Games will improve human rights in China".
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration has, since the beginning, supported the Beijing Olympic Games as a fitting tribute to China's ancient civilization and a respect to the Chinese people's aspirations. However, in the name of Olympic security, the government of China has intensified security clampdown amounting to stifling of Tibetan people's religious freedom and human rights. Following are some of the examples to validate these concerns:
1. At present, whole of Tibet and Tibetan inhabited areas are under heavy military clampdown with the free movements of the Tibetan people highly restricted. The monasteries around Lhasa, including Drepung monastery, have been turned into a virtual prison with movements, in and out, of the monasteries strictly controlled.
2. Those Tibetans living in Beijing and other Chinese cities are put under scanner with majority of them asked to return back to their native places. Similarly, all the hotels and lodges wherever Tibetan people are found to be staying, the relevant police departments are ordered to conduct thorough inquiries, leading to embarrassment and harassment of the Tibetan origin customers. This is an outright discrimination on the basis of one's nationality and ethnic belonging.
3. Whole of Tibet is undergoing through an intense period of "patriotic reeducation campaign". The monks and nuns are forcibly asked to denounce His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Moreover, all the monks and nuns under the age of 18 years old are being expelled from their monasteries.
4. In some places as in Karze prefecture, the new regulation to close down the monasteries and demolition of monk's accommodation are under implementation. This regulation was recently enforced on the monastic communities in Tibet and is based on certain percentage of monks and nuns taking part in the protests.
5. Continuous crackdown on the peaceful protesters and unfair trial of the prisoners is still rampantly followed.
6. As the month of August approached, the movements of Tibetan people have been restricted almost in all the Tibetan areas. In some places such as Drago (Ch: Luhou) county in Karze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, the authorities have even closed down the gas vending stations apparently to restrict the movements of those Tibetan who have their own vehicles.
7. A widespread clampdown on the communication facilities is undergoing with particular emphasis on the use of telephones and internet. Eavesdropping and surveillance of telephone conversations is in place with the police interrogating every incoming call from outside Tibet.
8. All the Tibetan officials and government employees have been debarred from seeking any leave during the month of August. Frequent and randomly conducted raids and arbitrary detention or arrest has become order of the day.
In sum, at this point of time, Tibet has become a large prison with all the restrictions imposed on the Tibetan people, whereas Chinese immigrants are free of any checks and control. In terms of human rights, the situation has markedly deteriorated in all of Tibet, without any significant improvement, in comparison to periods before.
In ancient Greece, a truce used to be announced before and during each Olympic festival. Wars used to be suspended, the carrying out of death penalties forbidden and safety of travellers and visitors were guaranteed. Even during the most infamous 1936 Olympic Games in the history of modern Olympics, Hitler's oppression of the Jews is no match to what China is doing in Tibet.
While China complains about the politicization of Olympics to avert international criticism of her rights records, it is but China herself who from the very beginning of the present Olympic Games has involved the issue of human rights to politicize the Games at the first place. China is still using the Games as a tool to push forward its political agenda.
Therefore, we urge all the countries and particularly the human rights organizations around the world to press the government of China to immediately halt all activities of repression and to respect the fundamental human rights and religious freedom of the Tibetan people.
Tibetan Solidarity Committee