When the United Nations commemorates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), signed in Paris December 10, 1948, it should reflect that the Tibetan people have since 1950 endured a series of violations which are in gross contravention of the principles, commitments and freedoms enshrined in the UDHR.
Moreover it should acknowledge that Tibetans constitute a distinct people;
who enjoyed at the least de jure independence, having their own government, treaties with others states, currency, language and culture, and therefore possess the right to self-determination, a fact reflected in UN Resolution 1723. However in light of Tibet’s history of sovereignty there is a powerful case that argues in favor of Tibetan statehood and independence.
Tibetans in Tibet and in exile should take careful note that while individual human rights are of extreme importance, the collective Tibetan right to, at the very minimum, self-determination remains a critical and irreplaceable truth.
Furthermore it is vital that all Tibetans understand that the present policy of the exiled Central Tibetan Administration to accept Chinese rule on the basis of improved autonomy, if realized, would effectively relinquish any Tibetan right to self-determination.
Within the reasoning of the UN and international law human rights are individual in terms of definition and principle, so violations are addressed within the context of of a dominant government exerting political, civil, and territorial control over a people. The UN considers such an authority as ultimately responsible for human rights.
In consideration of that, while of immense value in terms of securing individual freedoms, or as a check against abuse, they do not protect a collective people against the expansionist oppression and cultural genocide which China wages against Tibet.
There is only only one right which Tibetans currently have that can, if realized, offer such protection, the Tibetan people’s right to self-determination, which could permit a plebiscite to determine the common political aspirations of Tibet’s people. The result of such a referendum would inevitably call for an end to Chinese rule and the restoration of Tibet’s rightful independence.