Today the UN High Commissioner’s office released a statement on the current situation in occupied Tibet, before we expose and correct some of the comments made by Ms Pillay’s office, we ask you to try the following exercise. Using a search engine of your choice try the following inquiry: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay+China+ forced sterilizations. What results? Anything at all? Strange don’t you think that the United Nation’s senior human rights officer seems to have remained deathly silent on what is clearly a major violation of human rights! Of course could be we overlooked some link that reveals a blistering condemnation of China’s birth-control atrocities, if so do let us know, as we would be most interested to see such a challenge from Navi Pillay.
However we digress, back to her statement on Tibetan self-immolations, calling on China to allow for independent human rights monitors to visit Tibet, and the release of Tibetans currently jailed, while no doubt greatly welcomed by Tibetans, seeking some crumb of support from the UN, it contains some troubling notions, which we are most happy to correct.
Firstly Ms Pillay you need to understand one important fact regarding where these self-immolations are taking place, which your spokesperson Rupert Colville wrongly stated as occurring beyond Tibet
“We don’t see any progress in dealing with the underlying problems facing Tibetans both in Tibet and in other areas, because quite a few of the self-immolations have been in Tibetan areas outside Tibet itself “.
The fact is that ‘Tibet’ is not just the so-called ‘Tibet Autonomous Region’ (a bogus claim and political construct imposed following China’s invasion of Tibetan territory in 1950) but an illegally occupied nation comprised of three regions, U-Tsang, Kham and Amdo, self-immolations are happening in all of those areas. The latter two in particular have seen the highest incidence of such protests. So for the record Tibetans self-immolate not in ‘Gansu’ or ‘Sichuan’.
We move now to another serious misconception expressed by the UN High Commissioner, who seems to believe that Tibetans are sacrificing themselves in such a harrowing manner to express a series, of what she described as “long held grievances”. Can Ms Pillay truly be unaware of the real motivation that has fuelled Tibetan resistance to China’s occupation for over six decades? The protests, collective and individual, along with a number of major uprisings have not been to assert improved social or economic rights or issue complaints against various policies but to demand the national freedom of Tibet, the return of the Dalai Lama and in support of Tibet’s Buddhist-based culture. As her office knows Tibetans face cultural genocide, assimilation,aggressive colonization and a widespread oppression imposed by an occupying military of over 300, 000 Chinese personnel. The ongoing protests seek an end to that tyranny and are not ‘grievances’ but a legitimate struggle for Tibetan national identity and independence.Perhaps Ms Pillay would care to reflect upon her Indian roots and ask herself if India’s struggle for independence was in fact merely ‘long term grievances’? If only Imperial Britain had exercised more enlightened policies, to address the ‘grievances’ of India’s people then presumably the British would be ruling still over a grateful Indian population!I
We are also not pleased by the High Commissioner urging religious and other leaders to exert an influence to dissuade Tibetans from self-immolating, she should realize that an oppressed and terrorized people, so long denied their rightful independence, have every right to determine the nature and course of their struggle, no matter how traumatizing it may be to witness from the comfort of an office in Geneva. Would she prefer Tibetans remain in their homes subdued, obedient slaves under China’s rule, avoiding protests for fear of injury or loss of life? Would she have advised her fellow South Africans not to demonstrate too violently against Apartheid, called upon the people of Soweto not to vigorously oppose the racist oppression? While Navi Pillay is phoning religious leaders to call for an end to Tibetan self-immolations maybe she would care to ask them to issue also a public statement demanding an end to China’s forcible sterilization of women?!