Switzerland: Exiled Tibetan families launch solidarity campaign against Chinese repression

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A group of exiled Tibetan families launched a solidarity campaign in Switzerland in support of those Tibetans who are undergoing political repression, cultural assimilation and environmental destruction under the Chinese Government.

The protest was held outside the United Nations Office in Geneva during the 54th Session of the ongoing UN Human Rights Council.

They have said that the Chinese government wants to “eradicate” the Tibetan culture and the state-sponsored mining is leading to “catastrophic ecological degradation” of the alpine ecosystem.

“In honour of those who have committed self-immolation as an ultimate form of non-violent civil disobedience, in memory of the 1.2 million Tibetans who have perished under the Chinese rule and the Tibetan people living inside Tibet undergoing the political repression, cultural assimilation, social discrimination, economic marginalisation and environmental destruction imposed by the Chinese Government, we, a collective of exiled Tibetan families from Switzerland, have launched a campaign on their behalf,” the Tibetan families said in a statement.

The campaign started on the Human Rights Day on December 10, 2012. Under this, the protestors continued to campaign in front of the United Nations Office in Geneva every month to demand action for and justice for the plight of the Tibetan people.

“The violence and lies of the authoritarian regimes should not be accepted anymore. Under the disguise of goodwill, Tibetan people have been deprived of all their fundamental rights. Many live in exile and those who live in Tibet are under constant repression. In their own country, they are denied their religion and cultural freedoms. Close to one million Tibetans between four and eighteen years old are being forced to live in colonial boarding schools cut off from their homes, families, their language and their way of life,” the statement read.

It added, “At the same time, Tibetan language schools are being closed and demolished. This leads to a loss of national identity for the Tibetan people. PRC’s plan is to eradicate the Tibetan Identity and culture. Furthermore, rampant state-sponsored mining activities have led to catastrophic ecological degradation of the fragile alpine ecosystem of Tibet a symbolic foreshadowing of the destruction of both the land and the people of Tibet. Please save Tibet before it is too late”.

The exiled families further appealed to review and implement the UN resolutions on Tibet, to restore freedom and peace in Tibet, and press the Chinese government for the unconditional release of all Tibetan political

“Review and implement the UN resolutions on Tibet passed in 1959, 1961 and 1965. Facilitate His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s return to Tibet. Restore freedom and peace in Tibet. Stop the widespread environmental destruction in Tibet, resulting in deforestation, overgrazing, uncontrolled mining, nuclear waste dumping, and forced relocation of nomads from the grasslands. Protect the fragile ecosystem of ‘the third pole and the water tower of Asia’,” the statement read.

They also urged for pressing the Chinese government for the unconditional release of all Tibetan political prisoners, including, the 11th Panchen Lama, Gendun Choekyi Nyima, who was abducted at the age of six.

“Urge the Chinese authorities to investigate the situations surrounding the suppression of Tibetan religion and cultural freedoms, including mass demolition of Larung Gar and Yachen Gar and forced eviction of nuns and monks. Urge the Chinese Government to shut these boarding schools down and their attempt to eradicate Tibetan’s distinct identity,” the statement read.

It added, “Establish and lead an independent UN fact-finding mission to investigate the on-the-ground realities in Tibet following the series of self-immolation protests. Urge the Chinese government to resolve the Tibet issue by engaging in substantive negotiations with the representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Call China to uphold its international obligations and respect the rights of all its people, including the Southern Mongolian and Uyghur populations”. 


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