UN Human Rights Day Fails A People’s Right To Independence

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As activists focus on December 10, the 67th commemoration of International Human Rights Day, it is timely to remind ourselves that the atrocities and injustices perpetrated against oppressed and occupied peoples do not exist in a vacuum, but are an integral element within a wider political and economic oppression, that’s waged by an aggressor to install fear, exert control and exploit people. While the championing of individual rights are of critical value, unless the wider realities of economic and political tyranny is challenged and exposed human rights violations will continue. Within the context of occupied Tibet (applying also to other nations and peoples who suffer occupation) no sensible person would dispute that the collective freedom of a people is a fundamental right, and as evidenced by China’s decades old terrorism against the people of Tibet, only national, political, territorial and economic independence, can provide Tibetans with a guaranteed protection against the systemic violations inflicted by China.

The United Nations in promoting this important event should reflect with shame upon its prioritization of the territorial and political sovereignty of member states over human rights issues, along with its cynical refusal to recognize the collective rights of a people (a term which the UN has great difficulty in using. It favors more neutral terminology such as groups or minority, definitions of which enables oppressive states such China to effectively violate with impunity. How so? Well if a people are denied the right to national, external self-determination (independence) they remain at the mercy of the occupying oppressor with the backing of the United Nations! After all it was the UN which cynically engineered its various statutes on human rights to deny any recognition of external self-determination, focusing instead upon individual rights. Such a position offers no protection when an entire people’s freedom is violently denied, and makes a mockery of any claim by the United Nations to be progressing human rights, especially relating to China where its mass program of forced sterilizations remains virtually ignored by the UN, which, while offering platitudes on a handful of individual Tibetan human rights cases, callously ignores the collective plight of Tibetans and their justifiable struggle for independence.

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