Tibet-China dispute must be resolved immediately: advocacy group
Dharamsala (IANS) According to a Washington-based advocacy group, the UN experts’ warning about China’s efforts to forcibly assimilate the “vast majority” of Tibetan children by separating them from their families and boarding them at state-run schools highlights the urgent need to resolve the Tibet-China conflict.
“China’s efforts to isolate Tibetan children from their language, religion and families pose an existential threat to the survival of Tibetan culture inside Tibet,” said the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), which advocates for Tibetan human rights and democratic freedoms.
“The international community must increase pressure on Beijing to return to the negotiating table with the Dalai Lama. His Holiness can still play an active role in negotiations and before China’s government erases Tibetans’ beautiful culture.”
In a statement issued on February 6, three UN experts — Fernand de Varennes, Special Rapporteur on minority issues; Farida Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on the right to education; and Alexandra Xanthaki, Special Rapporteur on cultural rights — warned that nearly one million Tibetan children have been separated from their families and sent to residential schools, where they are forced to learn in Mandarin Chinese in a curriculum centered on Chinese cult.
“As a result, Tibetan children are losing their facility with their native language and the ability to communicate easily with their parents and grandparents in Tibetan,” they wrote.
On November 11, 2022, the experts expressed their concerns in a letter to the Chinese government and stated that they are still in contact with Chinese officials.
The expert’s statement this week sparked outrage among Tibetans and global leaders, including the Chairwoman of the Human Rights Committee in the German parliament, the US Permanent Representative to the UN Human Rights Council, and the chairs of the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China.
According to the watchdog group Freedom House, China has illegally occupied Tibet for over 60 years, making it the least-free country on the planet today, alongside South Sudan and Syria.
Between 2002 and 2010, the Chinese government held ten rounds of negotiations with the Dalai Lama’s envoys, but the dialogue process has since stalled.