Dharamshala - The U.S. based Freedom House, an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom around the world has published its latest report on China, including Tibet and Xinjiang and states that there is an increase in repression under the new leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The report also shows strong suppression of anti-government protests, with statistics showing a dramatic increase in the number of trials and prosecutions for crimes of endangering state security, with many of those punished believed to be Tibetans and Uighurs.
The 135 self-immolations of Tibetans are the direct result of China's harsh suppression of Tibetan culture, language and religion. Many parliaments and governments from around the world – including the U.S. and EU – urge China to review counterproductive policies toward Tibetan Buddhism and to embrace concrete negotiations with appointed representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. All these governments previously have raised Tibetan issues with China in important high level political meetings.
China's infamous and aggressive campaigns to restrict Tibetan religion, culture, and language are squarely to pressure on China for the despair that drives these horrifying acts of self-immolation. The world leaders should lead a global effort to stop future deaths and encourage negotiations between the Chinese government and His Holiness the Dalai Lama's representatives. Because, Human Rights, freedom of press and the religious freedom of all Tibetans must be protected and should be treated equally and with dignity – no matter what their circumstances.
Since March, 2009, 135 Tibetans have set themselves on fire. 116 are believed to have died and the fates of the rest remain unknown. Most of the self-immolations occurred in the Himalayan region in response to China's escalating attempts to stifle Tibetans' peaceful political expression and public religious veneration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Many Tibetans also oppose China's compulsory "patriotic education” programs for Tibetan monks and nuns, as well as new laws expanding Chinese control over the selection of Buddhist religious leaders.
The Central Tibetan Administration, representing all three provinces of Tibet and the Tibetan community abroad, must continue to urge the governments and parliaments around the world to develop a coordinated strategy and interagency message for our movement. But additional efforts must be made with nations such as Japan, South Korea, India, Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand that have significant Buddhist populations.
According to recent reports, religious freedom conditions for Tibetan Buddhists remain particularly acute as the government broadened its efforts to discredit and imprison spiritual leaders, unpopularity control the selection of Buddhist reincarnations, ban peaceful religious and cultural songs, poems and writings. The Chinese government's policies have led to significant religious freedom abuses and nurtured deep resentments among Tibetan people.
Despite this repression, a growing international condemnation, Tibetans have tried to gain more rights and freedoms by demonstrating peacefully in the past six decades, but these demonstrations have only resulted in death – estimates aren1.2 million Tibetans have died by the hand of the Chinese. China is a communist country that has been forcing its unjust laws on the people of Tibet.
Tibet has been economically and militarily by the Chinese government since the early 1950's. Since then the human rights of Tibetan people have been grossly violated. Tens of thousands of Tibetans have been brutally murdered for demonstrating peacefully, and also for just refusing to comply with China's hard-line policies in Tibet.
Therefore, the most important thing in helping the Tibetans right now is to educate people around the world of current situation in Tibet. The fundamental rights, such as freedom of expression and religion, are severely restricted and women are increasingly subjected to forced abortions and sterilisations through family planning policies.
Both Tibetan and Chinese advocates for human rights and political and social freedoms are often detained, face police harassment, house arrest, short term detention, forced to undergo reeducation through labour, imprisonment on criminal charges and beatings and torture while in detention.
Historically, the most respectful countries in the world have always condemned human rights violations across the world. But where China is concerned it is treated a different matter. However, many argues some leaders only raise human rights concerns in the context of engaging China in an economic context with the volume on condemnation turned well down. Some of the leaders even ugly suggested that the human rights situation in China has improved.
China’s repression does not just apply to Tibetans in Tibet. Many governments and rights groups, including UNHRC and Amnesty International, highlighted that suppression and abuse extend to all minority groups – including the Uighurs and Mongolians. The world once again argues that China should not be considered a world power until policies aimed at eliminating these cultures and identities are revoked.
Despite clear breaches of international human rights conventions, some governments have remained hesitant in expressing support for the Tibetan people and in condemning China’s human rights abuses in recent years. Rather, these leaders are determined to strengthen political and strategic engagement, and boost bilateral and economic prosperity. But critics believe it is unethical and immoral.
It seems that the new and influential position of those nations on the UN Security Council and their increased ties with China will force them to consider their own patchy record on human rights. If they are to capitalise on their growing influence, they need to be more willing to raise human rights issues and more discerning about the nations with which they chose to establish economic ties.
"There are lot of changes. Since Xi Jinping became President, judging him through his handling of problems, he is comparatively more realistic and with more principles," His Holiness said at several times. In the long run, President Xi however must change his government's repressive policies to bring long lasting solution to the issue of Tibet— like his anti-corruption campaign that gives a positive signal to the world.
We must be able to encourage ourselves in our freedom struggle that millions of people around the world raise their voices of concern for the people of Tibet. Tibetans both inside and outside Tibet must remain vigilant and united, keep our spirits high and sense of solidarity strong. But we must know that a resolution to the main problem in Tibet is yet to come.
As this year's observance which sspearheaded by the Office of the UN– 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." Let us make every effort to help those still living in oppression to gain the freedom and dignity that they deserve.