April 5, 2004
Tenzin Samphel Kayta, of the Society for Threatened Peoples (an organization promoting human rights among ethnic and religious minorities, denounced China for its use of capital punishment, brutal prison detentions and torture of inmates –especially when involving dissidents. Kayta also bashed China for its general absence of religious freedom and expression, as well as its treatment of Tibet. He accused China of trying to divert attention and criticism, brought forth by the international community concerning its poor human rights record, by releasing certain political prisoners just before the Commission’s work got underway
Regarding Tibet Tenzin Samphel Kayta, a state official, quoted the Dalai Lama, who said: “Tibet’s human rights situation is peculiar in that Tibetans are prevented from laying claim to their own identity and culture. Violations are the result of policies of racial and cultural discrimination in addition to religious intolerance.
The state official asked the UN to urge China to allow representatives from the Commission, government monitoring agencies, journalists and NGOs to enter Tibet.
Tenzin Samphel Kayta also asked the UN to push for the release of all prisoners of conscience in China. Among them is Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, a well-respected Tibetan lama imprisoned without a trial who might be sentenced to death in December. Another is Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama, who at just 15 years of age is the youngest political prisoner in the world.
Until 1950, the year China invaded, Tibet was a sovereign country having its own religious, cultural and ethnic identity in addition to its own language, cultural and environmental heritage
In 1959, after the ferocious repression of a citizens’ revolt, Tibet’s sovereignty came to an end in blood bath when 87,000 Tibetans lost their lives, according to Chinese military sources.
During China’s military occupation of the region around 6000 monasteries, temples and monuments were demolished. China also carried out a veritable “ethnic cleaning” operation by means of forced abortions and mass sterilizing of Tibetan women. Moreover, it moved around 7.5 million Chinese to the region in order to form colonies (now predicted to grow to 40 million by 2020), effectively causing the indigenous Tibetans to be a minority among the local population. (ThR)