United Nation: Establish an office for Tibetan affairs within the Secretariat of the UN.
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His Excellency, Mr.Antonio Guterres
United Nations Secretary General
United Nations Headquarters
New York, NY 10017
Re: Continued Crisis in Tibet
Dear Secretary-General Guterres,
The Situation in Tibet is critical. As recent as May 19,2017, a monk, Jamyang Losel, 29 years old, from Tibet. He is the 149 person to engage in such an act to protest the Chinese rule in Tibet. The Tibetans who burnt themselves are young monks, nuns and lay people, all of whom were born under Chinese Occupation.
Here is brief historical perspective: Tibet was an independent nation state with a government, a judicial system, its own currency, postal system, taxation, language and a culture very different from China. Racially, Tibetans are not Han Chinese. The overwhelming majority of the population of Tibet was Tibetan until China invaded Tibet in late 1949 and occupied all of Tibet by 1959. The Tibetan government appealed to the United Nations in 1950 to intervene on their behalf (U.N. Doc. A11549-11). Subsequently the General Assembly of the United Nations debated and adopted three resolutions calling “for cessation of practices of which deprive the Tibetan people of their fundamental human rights and freedoms, including their right to self-determination”. (G.A. Resolution 1353(XIV) of 1959, Resolutions 1723 (XVI) of 1961 and Resolution 2079 (XX) of 1965). In order to expedite the decolonization process of captive nations, the United Nations changed ‘self-determination’ from a principle to a political right which allowed a people to remain under occupation by a foreign entity or break away as an independent nation state. In 1991, the UN Sub-commission on prevention on discrimination and Protection of Minorities expressed concern over violations of fundamental human rights and freedom which threaten the 5national identity of the Tibetan people.” (E/CN.4/Sub.2/1991/10).
The Tibetan resistance to Chinese rule has continued since the occupation. The protests in 1987, 1988 and 1989 in Lhasa, capital of Tibet have been non-violent. In advance of the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008, a self-taught filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen shot the “Leaving Fear Behind”, to portray life in Tibet. He was arrested and sentenced to 6years in prison and released in 2014 but he is not allowed to travel. In 2008, huge demonstration took place all over Tibet before and during the Olympic Games in Beijing. At the same time, Tibetans in Tibet started Tibetan movement called Lhakar or White Wednesday. It is based on non-violent, non-cooperation and civil resistance in Tibet. Every Wednesday Tibetans wear their traditional dress; eat traditional Tibetan food; speak in Tibetan; and boycott Chinese goods.
On February 27,2009, Tapey, a monk at Kirti Monastry in Ngaba, Tibet set himself on fire to protest Chinese rule. Since 2011, over 149 young Tibetan monks, nuns and lay people have burnt themselves in Tibet to protest the Chinese rule.
Wangchuk Tashi, 31-year-old activist for education rights was detained in 2016, after appearing in a New York Times video in which he advocated for the rights of Tibetans to learn and study in their own language. In March 2016, he was charged with “inciting separatism” and he now faces up to 15 years in prison. The documentary called “A Tibetan’s Journey for Justice,” focused on Wangchuk’s journey to Beijing to appeal for the protection of Tibetan Language rights.
The following Chinese government attacks on Tibetans have been relentless:
1. Official Chinese programs to remove hundreds of thousands of native herdsmen from their ancestral pasturelands and resettle them featureless blocks of cinder-block huts by the side of roads or in newly created urban areas.
2. Extensive mining operations throughout Tibet for which native farmers and pastoralists are removed from their land and where the mining jobs are primarily given to Chinese workers imported from China. The transformation of the pasture land use and mining has serious environment impact that affect regional and global climatic conditions.
3. Chinese population transfer into Tibet, as in Lhasa, capital of Tibet where Tibetans are already a minority, and where Tibetans are subject to regular and systematic surveillance and persecution by Chinese security agencies. The State Council of China unveiled the National New Type Urbanization Plan (NUP) in 2014 to increase the percentage of urban residents in the total population and the ratio of Chinese will increase even greater in Tibet as more Chinese move into Tibet.
4. A serious development in recent years has been attack on Tibetan religious institutions to destroy the very heart of the Tibetan Culture. An important monastery, Larung Gar where monks and nuns are being expelled and their living quarters are being demolished. The monastery has been ordered to reduce the number of resident to 5,000 by September 2017 from an estimated to have between 10,000 to 20,000 occupants. Over 3,225 homes have already demolished. Another important monastery, Yangchen Gar is also under destruction, (Human Right Watch press release on March 29, 2017)
As the custodians of Peace and a place where nations provide solutions to crisis, the United Nations has a special obligation to protect those who are being abused and whose rights and freedoms are trampled upon by no less than by a member of the security Council of the United Nations, the People’s Republic of China. We believe that you as the head of the world’s peaceful organization has the power and facility to help restore justice. Therefore, we urge you to:
1. Kindly grant the Exile Government of Tibet/Central Tibetan Administration, based in India, with status as a non-member observer in the United Nation.
2. Appoint a special coordinator in your administration to review the situation in Tibet.
3. Send a UN delegation to Tibet to:
A. Examine the situation in Tibet.
B. Speak with the Tibetan people to get a clear picture of the situation, and
Interview, political prisoners, including Gedun Choekyi Nyima, the 11th Panchen Lama who has been under house arrest in Beijing since 1995 when his reincarnation was confirmed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
We eagerly look forward to a positive response from you.
Tibetan National Congress (New York and New Jersey)
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