Jun 21, 2012

Arguments for Tibet’s Cultural Genocide

As a new discourse develops, UNPO moderates discussion between ICT representatives, academia and non-governmental organisations on the findings of  ‘60 Years of Chinese Misrule: Arguing Cultural Genocide in Tibet’ and the next steps to be taken.

The Brussels Press Club hosted the launch of the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) latest report, ‘60 Years of Chinese Misrule: Arguing Cultural Genocide in Tibet’ on 20 June 2012 to an audience of assembled civil society, media in the latest event to showcase the report and its findings.

The product of extensive research and internal discussion, the report stems from H. H. the Dalai Lama’s affirmation in 1993 that “The demographic aggression of Tibet through a policy of population transfer continues unabated, escalating the marginalisation of the Tibetan people and the assimilation of the Tibetan way of life into the Chinese mainstream.  Cultural genocide is being committed, intentionally to unintentionally.  Tibet, an ancient country on the roof of the world, is fast becoming a Chinese colony.”

Detailing the background to the report, ICT President, Mary Beth Markey, spoke of the debates that had taken place over the report and the efforts made to establish linkages and lessons from those affected by cases of genocide from around the world.  Following its presentation in Washington DC on 25 April 2012, the ICT would now be working to raise awareness of its recommendations at national and international policy-making levels around the world.

One of the drafters of the report, Kelley Currie, Senior Fellow with the Project 2049 Institute noted that the report was intended to act as the starting point for a deeper discussion on the development of ‘cultural genocide’ as a term of reference and in subsequent questions refuted the assertion often made that the European Union and others really lacked leverage over the Chinese authorities.

Adding a legal perspective from their precedent setting work, Alan Cantos of the Comite de Apoyo al Tibet and José Elías Esteve Moltó, Professor of International Law at the University of Valencia, questioned elements of discussions surrounding the cultural genocide.  Focusing attentions on the importance of legal instruments, they noted the important role that international law could play in bringing leaders to account.  Even in cases that proved unsuccessful, they believed the resulting media attention could put pressure on otherwise seemingly impervious regimes.

Placing the report and its recommendations in the context of the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue, Jean-Marie Rogue of FIDH spoke of the continued disregard Chinese authorities maintained for the Dialogue, particularly over any moves to see the format of the talks extended as had been intended.

The European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights subsequently heard testimony from Mary Beth Markey as part of the most recent hearing on Human Rights in China to be convened, during which the situation of human rights defenders was discussed.

The report’s presentation will be followed by a further panel discussion in Geneva, Switzerland on 21 June 2012 moderated by Michael Van Walt Van Praag, former UNPO General Secretary, and featuring Rinchen Sangpo, Tibetan Human Rights Defender and witness to the 2008 Uprising in Tibet, alongside Mary Beth Markey and Kelley Currie.



To download '60 Years of Chinese Misrule: Arguing Cultural Genocide in Tibet',  please click here. (PDF Format, 11.5MB)

To download a copy of the Speakers Biographies, please click here. (PDF Format, 0.1MB)

To download a copy of the joint ICT-FIDH report, 'Human rights violations and self-immolation: testimonies by Tibetans in exile' please click here. (PDF Format, 0.1MB)