November 13, 2009

Tibet: Response to China's White Paper

Active ImageTibet issues a response to China's White Paper of 25 September 2008. 

 

Below is an article published by Tibet Custom:

On 27 September 2009, the Chinese government issued a white paper on its nationalities policy. This is the third white paper on the minority nationalities. The first was issued in 1999 and the second in 2005. Meanwhile on 25 September 2008, the Chinese government issued a white paper on the protection and development of Tibetan culture.

The latest white paper issued by the Information Office of the State Council, the Chinese cabinet, comes in the wake of the most sustained and widespread protests in both Tibet and Xinjiang in 2008 and 2009, respectively. These protests, growing out of economic marginalisation and racial discrimination, were mercilessly suppressed with unprecedented military force.

The latest white paper comes four days before the 60th birthday of the People’s Republic of China on 1 October. It seems that this white paper is the Chinese government’s birthday gift to the minority nationalities. Will the minority nationalities accept this official and repeated whitewashing of the atrocities they have suffered under the Communist Party for these years? During these years their identities have been undermined, in some cases, erased, their cultures broken, their languages made useless and their legitimate aspirations for greater freedoms and more civil liberties actively suppressed. 

The answers to these question and the issues raised by them are explored in a specifically Tibetan context by a group of officials of the Central Tibetan Administration and the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, a human rights watchdog based in Dharamsala.

It is broadly divided into four chapters, which in turn are divided into many sub-headings. The four main chapters are: 1) The Status of Learning, Using and promoting Tibetan Language; 2) The Status of Tibetan Cultural Preservation in Tibet; 3) The Status of Religious Freedom in Tibet; and 4) The Status of Modern Scientific Education and Development of the Media inside Tibet.

In this rejoinder, a substantial amount of evidence has been meticulously put together to make a compelling case that the Chinese government has committed — and is committing — nothing less than cultural genocide on the world's roof. This evidence is sourced primarily from the documents brought out by the Chinese government itself, and also from the oral and written statements, opinions or suggestions made by Tibetans inside Tibet. Viewpoints of the Tibetan exiles and foreign experts or scholars on Tibet are deliberately not included.

As the political struggle of the Tibetan people [for greater freedoms in Tibet] is increasingly being recognised on the international stage as the struggle between truth and falsehood, we hope this response will go a long way towards vindicating the truth that basically lies on the side of the Tibetans.

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