Dharamshala: - Marking the 66th International Human Rights Day, thousands of Tibetans in exile and their supporters gathered in Dharamshala to remember and honor all of those who lost their lives fighting for their basic human rights and freedom for their countrymen and women. Because they continued to face arbitrary arrest, repression, torture, intimidation, imprisonment in the last 65 years.
"Today is also International Human Rights Day, commemorating the United Nations' 1948 adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as the common standard to measure the freedoms by which all peoples and nations should live," Sikying Dr Lobsang Sangay said in his statement, adding: "Unfortunately, even 66 years after the proclamation, Tibetans have very little to celebrate. Instead, China consistently negates the provisions of the declaration, and human rights standards in Tibet continue to deteriorate. Tibet is still under occupation and the Tibetan people suffer political repression, economic marginalization, social discrimination, environmental destruction and cultural assimilation."
The Tibetan political leader continued: The 132 self-immolations also include Tibetans of all ages and walks of life on the Tibetan plateau. On November 14th this year, an anonymous testimony by the survivor of a self-immolation protest reads: "Compared to other countries,we don't have freedom of religious belief, freedom of speech, and our spiritual leader cannot return home. The restrictions are ongoing. I was unable to bear the suffering of living under Chinese aggression, so I thought about a self-immolation protest."
The universal reach of human rights should not be restricted to one day alone but extended to every day of the year, top United Nations officials declared Wednesday as they marked Human Rights Day – an annual UN-backed event commemorating the date on which the General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Spearheaded by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), this year's observance – celebrated under the banner of Human Rights 365 – encompasses the idea that "every day is Human Rights Day" and that "each one of us, everywhere, at all times is entitled to the full range of human rights."
On Human Rights Day we speak out," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message. "We declare that human rights are for all of us, all the time: whoever we are and wherever we are from; no matter our class, our opinions, our sexual orientation."
"Violations of human rights are more than personal tragedies," Mr. Ban continued. "They are alarm bells that may warn of a much bigger crisis.
The Secretary-General explained that as a result of those "alarms," his Human Rights Up Front campaign – launched in 2013 – sought to anticipate violations before they degenerate into mass atrocities or war crimes while advancing the struggle against injustice, intolerance and extremism.
The Secretary-General said: "On Human Rights Day we speak out. We denounce authorities who deny the rights of any person or group. "Violations of human rights are more than personal tragedies. They are alarm bells that may warn of a much bigger crisis. I call on states to honour their obligation to protect human rights every day of the year. I call on people to hold their governments to account."
In his message for the Day, UN Human Rights Chief, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, highlighted the first words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by virtually all UN Member States on 10 December 1948, more than sixty years ago: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights."
"In perhaps the most resonant and beautiful words of any international agreement, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights promises, to all, the economic, social, political, cultural and civil rights that underpin a life free from want and fear," the High Commissioner stressed. "These human rights are not country-specific. They are not a reward for good behaviour, or particular to a certain era or social group. They are the inalienable entitlements of all people, at all times and everywhere, 365 days a year."
Zeid recalled that the Declaration is the kernel of the entire international human rights legal system, thanks to which people have "obtained justice for wrongs, and national and international protection for their rights."
"Violations have been prevented. Independence and autonomy have been attained," he said. "Many people – though not all – have been able to secure freedom from torture, unjustified imprisonment, summary execution, enforced disappearance, persecution and unjust discrimination, as well as fair access to education, economic opportunities, rich cultural traditions and adequate resources and health-care."
After more than 60 years of violent oppression of Tibetan people, the Chinese government continued its hardline policies in Tibet, restricting freedoms and basic human rights, have intensified Tibetan grievances and exacerbated the resentment felt across the region. Tibetans have been subjected to harsh 'patriotic re-education' programmes and students have been sentenced to harsh prison terms for advocating for the right to use their language, and the friends and families of Tibetans who have self-immolated have been detained and interrogated.
Humans Rights Day is celebrated on 10 December every year in order to address the issue of equality and the fact that every human on earth has the right to live with full dignity and justice.