Sikyong Penpa Tsering of CTA reading the statement of Kashag on Human Rights Day on December 10, 2022. Photo: TPI

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Dharamshala, India – Tibetans commemorated the 33rd anniversary of conferment of Nobel Peace Prize on His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in Dharamshala and Kashag said, "the Tibetans are forced to express gratitude to the Chinese government and coerced to follow the so-called advanced Chinese culture and way of life. This system of all-encompassing control of society is unheard of in the world. No one other than the Chinese government in this world can think of such policies which violate people’s inherent human rights and dignity.”

Central Tibetan Administration commemorated the 33rd anniversary of the conferment of the Nobel Peace Prize on His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Tsuglagkhang, Mcleod Ganj, Dharamshala, HP, India, on December 10, 2022. Shri Jamyang Tsering Namgyal ji, member of Indian parliament-Ladakh, as Chief Guest; Shri Sujeet Kumar ji, member of Rajya Sabha and APIPFT Convener, and Shri Tashi Gyaltson ji, Chief Executive Councillor of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council as special guests, Sikyong and Kalons(ministers) Of CTA, Deputy Speaker as well as members of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, and Secretaries and staff of departments of CTA, Tibetan students and Tibetans around the Mcleod Ganj attend the occasion that marks the 33rd anniversary of the conferment of the Nobel Peace Prize on His Holiness the Dalai Lama as well as Human Rights Day.

"Today we are observing the 74th anniversary of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and also the International Human Rights Day. However, the violations of basic human rights remain unabated across the world. We stand in solidarity with those who are suffering under repressive regimes and authorities. We also express our deep admiration for those individuals and groups who are striving for human rights and fundamental rights," said Sikyong Penpa Tsering of CTA, while reading the statement of Kashag on Human Rights Day.

"Across Tibet, unrelenting gross violations of human rights are taking place. In recent years, under a broad policy objective of the Chinese government, it has enforced forging of uniform Chinese national identity, Sinicization of Tibetan Buddhism and discriminatory language policies. This has resulted in coerced enrolment of Tibetan children in colonial-style boarding schools. These coercive policies are causing an unprecedented threat to the survival of distinctive Tibetan identity. Unless the Chinese government is eager to follow Mao Zedong who was seeking an opportune moment by waiting for Tibetans to resist and then suppress them, it is pertinent to seek methods which conforms to the international laws and norms. This is in the long-term interest of the country’s harmony and national stability," Sikyong said.

"With an already entrenched and pervasive Chinese Communist Party and state control all over Tibet, the Communist Party system is being strengthened by increasing the party membership. Likewise, village leaders are being recruited into CCP and they are tasked with the responsibility to “crack down on separatism and maintain stability”. In large villages, the permanent “work teams” are systematically implementing measures to “reform village system, eradicate old systems and transform habits, customs and traditions”. Through the Gridlock Management System, PRC authorities continue to conscript local Tibetans. For instance, among the 48,000 personnel of the grid management system sent to Qinghai province from 2011 to 2018, 34,000 were deployed in the Tibetan areas. This year, 23 towns in Pekar, which are currently administered under Driru County with a population of 10,400 people are divided into 50 grids and are being tightly controlled and closely monitored by 57 grid leaders, 280 grid examiners and 140 volunteers," he stated.

"Besides this, to make the grid system more intrusive in the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), “Double-Linked Household Management System” has been set up. Under this system, neighbourhoods have been divided into small groups of 5 to 15 households, each with lay people, monks and nuns and government officials who are tasked with maintaining “social stability and security control”. Every year, a model “Double-Linked Households” at the village, township, county, prefecture and region levels are selected and awarded monetary prizes. Their children are also given bonus points in the university entrance and staff recruitment exams," he added.

"Last month, the Chinese government announced that it has built and started operating a big cloud computing data centre in Lhasa to monitor data of 300 million people in Asia. The centre will be used for compiling data through the ongoing surveillance systems such as CCTV camera, facial recognition, Global Positioning System (GPS) and large-scale collection of DNA. It will also enable digital dictatorship with unprecedented power of surveillance and control," the statement of Kashag stated.

"Although there is no system of appointing government officials in areas below village and township levels in China, over 20,000 permanent government or party officials were sent to the “TAR”. Moreover, six office buildings and staff quarters were built for every village administrative district in the “TAR”," it added.

"The Chinese government is claiming that these measures are aimed at maintaining stability and falsely accuses Tibetans of “separatism and disturbing social security”. To maintain stability, every movement of Tibetans are watched round-the-clock through enforcement of communist ideology and policy of one nation, one culture, one religion and one language. Moreover, the Tibetans are forced to express gratitude to the Chinese government and coerced to follow the so-called advanced Chinese culture and way of life. This system of all-encompassing control of society is unheard of in the world. No one other than the Chinese government in this world can think of such policies which violate people’s inherent human rights and dignity," Kashag said.

"The Central Tibetan Administration is making consistent efforts to seek a mutually-beneficial and a lasting solution to the Sino-Tibet conflict through the Middle-Way Approach based on non-violence and negotiation. It is because we consider the sustenance of the Tibetan people’s cultural, religious, linguistic identity and natural environment as crucial to our existence. Despite all odds, we stand firm in our efforts and commitments to reach out to and engage with the Chinese leadership to resolve the Sino-Tibet conflict," the Sikyong of CTA concluded.

Statement of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile on Human rights Day writes, "Today is also observed internationally as Human Rights Day. It is therefore an occasion marked as such with joyousness and fondness by people in free countries across the world. Unfortunately, however, in Tibet, the government of China continues to exert such severe repression that even people from outside the country are prevented from visiting it freely. This is underlined by the fact that there is a total disregard for human rights there, with the result that the Tibetan people are subjected to grossly unfair judicial trials. They are arrested, jailed, or disappeared after being falsely accused as criminal offenders. They are also ill-treated and tortured. The Tibetan language, religious traditions, culture, and other aspects of Tibetan heritage are being sought to be destroyed, including with obliteration. The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, therefore, wishes to appeal to the leaders of this world to take responsibility to bear upon the government of China to bring these practices to an end."

"The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile also sees it as incumbent to reiterate our concern that even in this twenty-first century, the totalitarian system of government continues to exist and flourish. Apart from that, it bears pointing out that as regards the communist Chinese government, it is also the most serious source of danger to order and stability not only in Tibet but also to the entire world. Additionally, for a period starting from some months ago, the government of China, by making use of the pretext of the spread of the Covid-19 global pandemic – which initially broke out from the central Chinese city of Wuhan – imposed an additional regime of immense hardship on the Tibetan people in their everyday activities, whether they are standing, sitting or walking, so to speak. The Tibetan Parliament in Exile wishes to call on the government of China to forthwith end the measures under which the Tibetan people continue to suffer enormous additional hardships," the statement continued.

"Recently, after the conclusion of the 20th five-yearly National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese public, and especially students, teachers, and others in universities in provinces and cities across the People’s Republic of China came out to assemble and hold protests. It is noteworthy that one set of slogans they raised during those protest events included those such as “we do not need autocracy, we need democracy!” “Down with the Communist Party of China! Step down Xi Jinping!” “We want freedom of speech!” “We want uncensored news!” “We do not wish to be slaves!” and so forth. The large-scale peaceful protests which took place recently were therefore also expressions of dissent against the current policies of the government of China. With regard to these developments, the Tibetan Parliament in Exile wishes to call on the government of China to reflect on its past history and ensure that the situation does not end with a repetition of the horrors of the brutal crackdown on the 4th of June 1989 protests. The Tibetan Parliament in Exile also calls on the international community to refrain from adopting a short-sighted view of only seeking opportunities for economic gains and instead pay proper attention to the ongoing developments in China so as to strive to achieve a noteworthy improvement in the human rights situation there," the statement of TPiE explained.

"The communist Chinese government has used armed aggression to keep Tibet under its occupation rule since 1959. As regards the question of how serious the situation in Tibet has continued to remain ever since the facts are a matter of common knowledge. Even today, the situation of the Tibetan people in Tibet continues to remain severely grim under the egregious design and repression of the Chinese government, as a result of which they continue to suffer such ill-treatment and torture as to render it excruciating to them to get on with their daily lives through day as well as night. The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile wishes to express its heartfelt fellow feeling and sense of empathy with them. We have nothing but wholehearted admiration and praise for the Tibetan men and women in Tibet, whether they are alive or deceased, for their utter selflessness, patriotism and determination, and for the peerless actions they have carried out thus far for the Tibetan cause. Accordingly, the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile wishes to reiterate its appeal to the Tibetan people living in free countries of the world to prize the opportunity they thus have, to act with united solidarity towards publicizing and lobbying international support directed at ensuring a just resolution of the issue of Tibet," the statement concluded.