As three executive members of the Tibetan Youth Congress enter the fifth day of their hunger-strike, in Delhi, India, to demand active engagement on Tibet from the United Nations (UN) we should remind our subscribers and friends that in 2012 outside the New York headquarters of the UN a trio of Tibetans went on a 30 day hunger-strike. Their protest was called off 22nd March after Mr Parfait Onanga (Representative of the UN Secretary General) and Richard Bennett (Representative of the UN Human Rights Office) issued statements and assurances to the hunger-strikers and organizers that action would be taken. Indeed Tibetans were promised by a UN investigation into the situation inside Tibet and were assured that official would be arranging a meeting with China’s government to discuss the plight of Tibetans.
Those pledges it would appear turned out to be, what an optimist may describe as well intended platitudes, a more cynical view would suggest that in making such assurances UN officials knew very well that China’s regime would of course reject any inquiry into the plight of Tibetans. Thus making their promises to Tibetan hunger-strikers little more than self-serving rhetoric, after all it would have been a public relations nightmare to have witnessed Tibetans dying at the very doorsteps of the United Nations!
That the institution is corrupt and toothless in regard to the political dictates of China is well known, that reality however should not discourage those who seek to hold the United Nations to account for its silence, appeasement and hypocrisy in its dealing with the Chinese regime. In that context the bravery, determination and sacrifices of the three Tibetans currently on hunger-strike deserve our solidarity and active support, if nothing else their action is highlighting the tyranny which Tibetans are enduring under an illegal and vicious occupation. For that we salute them!