This Blog is getting increasingly irritated by the description of Tibetans and Uyghurs as so-called ethnic-minorities, a term which has replaced an even more offensive predecessor, ‘natives’. Yet the implied meaning is the same, bestowed by colonisers upon oppressed peoples, whose lands have been forcibly occupied. The modern use of the phrase, although having anthropological associations, sits well in the lexicon of propaganda and deception, a political tool used to gloss-over any legitimate political or territorial aspirations held by a sub-ordinated people. Communist China uses the term to create an impression of national unity, one people with differing ethnic identities, with the pregnant insistence that although possessing a cultural distinctiveness, such groups are by order-of-the state, Chinese.
So what are we to make of the recent trend of the Tibetan Government in Exile to describe Tibetans, not as a people, with all the rights that flows from such a definition, including the right to self-determination, but as an ethnic minority! In using this description the TGIE is conceding in effect that Tibetans have no political or territorial rights as a distinct people, but are an ethnic-minority of communist China. This from the very same Administration which encouraged, supported and participated in the Conference of International Lawyers on Issues Relating to Self-Determination and Independence For Tibet ( London January 6 to 10 1993) which had the central objectives of determining, under international law, if Tibetans were indeed a people, and as such enjoyed the right to self-determination.
The conference attracted some of the world’s most eminent legal authorities and academics in the field of international law, and had a number of Tibetan participants and advisors including; Lobsang Dhargye (then Chief Supreme Justice Commissioner of the Tibetan Government in Exile) Samdhong Rinpoche (then Chair of the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies), Gyaltsen Gyaltag (then Representative of the Tibet Offfice in Zurich) Mrs Kesang Takla (then head of the Office of Tibet-London) and Sonam Frasi (at that time Chair of the Tibetan Community on Britain).
These Tibetans actively participated and endorsed the findings of the conference, which amongst a number of conclusions and recommendations agreed that:
“..the Tibetan people satisfied the requirements and are a “people” for international law purposes” Paragraph 4.5
“..three resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly (Nos 1353, 1723 and 2079) have recognised the status of Tibetans as a “people”. Resolution No. 1723 expressly refers to the right of the Tibetan people to self-determination” Paragraph 4.6
The Conference also concluded that the Tibetan people possessed an “abiding desire” for:
“The establishment of an independent Tibetan state” Paragraph 4.10
It was also agreed that:
“The Tibetan people are entitled to..the exercise of the right to self-determination” Paragraph 4.11
Chaired by the Honourable Michael Kirby (then Chair of the Executive Committee of the International Commission of Jurists) the Conference made a recommendation to communist China and the Tibetan Government in Exile to begin negotiations to:
“..facilitate the exercise of the Tibetan people’s right to self-determination” Paragraph 8.9
Having secured such formidable legal endorsement for the Tibetan cause these findings are now collecting dust in the archives of the exiled Tibetan government, while those same Tibetans who participated in the London Conference are actively engaged in surrendering such rights, and keeping shamefully silent about the fact that Tibetans are indeed a people with the right to self-determination. They propose a capitulation to communist Chinese demands, with one important element being to accept that Tibetans are simply another ethnic-minority of China.
Take the comments http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/275588 made by Sonam Tenzing, the Dalai Lama’s Representative to South Africa, who in 2009 responding to the bloody crackdown in Urumchi stated that:
“The international community can help minorities suffering under repressive regimes like China’s where the government of beautiful China [sic] has used all its power to control and repress any peaceful protest where people air their long-suppressed grievances. The countries of the world can help by supporting the demands (of the Uyghurs) by persuading sincerely the Chinese government to stop and exercise restraint— just as His Holiness has expressed —and refrain from killing the ethnic minorities. In the present case it is the Turkestanis who are the minority, who are expressing their grievances.” (Emphasis Added).
These along with similar remarks https://tibettruth.wordpress.com/2009/05/20/tibetan-envoy-claims-tibetans-are-a-chinese-minority-people/ made by other Tibetan officials, reflect a policy of appeasement designed to encourage negotiations with communist China, such a dangerous surrender betrays the legitimate rights of Tibetans as a people with a justified and legal right to exercise their self-determination. Such freedoms will not be enjoyed by accepting slavery as a so-called ethnic-minority of China.
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