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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Dr Nicholas Bequelin on "Human Rights Issues in Tibet"

September 18, 2011

A report on "Human Rights Issues in Tibet" talk by Dr Nicholas Bequelin, Senior Asia Researcher of Human Rights Watch at the Jawaharalal Nehru University campus in New Delhi organised by Friends of Tibet (Delhi) and the Tibet Forum of JNU on August 11, 2011.
New Delhi: The talk by Dr Nicholas Bequelin, Senior Asia Researcher of Human Rights Watch at the Jawaharalal Nehru University campus in New Delhi was of mostly surrounding the details that the recent bouts of violence Chinese-occupied Tibet had witnessed. Giving a brief overview of the incidents that led to the monks setting themselves on fire, in retaliation to specific demands that the Chinese government was making on the Tibetan monasteries, the talk centered on the significance of these acts of resistance in today's context. He was speaking on "Human Rights Issues in Tibet" at a function organised by Friends of Tibet (Delhi) and the Tibet Forum of Jawaharalal Nehru University at the JNU, New Delhi on August 11, 2011.
Dr Bequelin was also able to show, simultaneously, why the reports like the ones Human Rights Watch bring out in such systemic and drawn out acts of violence that the Chinese are carrying on, over the Tibetan people, play very important roles in the way China's perception in world continues to remain negative. It is on the bases of the data that the HRW Report provided Human Rights organisations can still try to take a strong stand against China's policies today, given the illegitimate economic clout it currently enjoys.
In response to the persecution of the monks in the Kirti Monastery, Dr Bequelin stated that "the judicial sentences on the monks were patently unjust verdict and the outcome of a purely political prosecution, and that it comes against a background of unprecedented persecution against the Monastery of Kirti, from where the Chinese government has already taken into arbitrary detention dozens of monks."
Dr Bequelin's audience was mostly the research scholars of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and the group mostly consisted of the younger generation of Tibetans who are born in exile. Most Tibetan Students are enrolled in the School of Languages, mostly Chinese, and the School of International Studies. The group calls itself the Tibet Forum, and so, the talk was co-hosted by the Tibet Forum and Friends of Tibet. In the coming few years, therefore, we will get to see a fresh take on Tibet and China, from the perspective of these young exiles. Researching and understanding China, is thus, gradually taking on very interesting tones, as the nation-less nationals are beginning to talk back. The discussion with Dr Bequelin, in such a scenario, becomes doubly significant, as he brings together several profound insights that would help their field of research. Thus, the notion of politically charged research is finally making its way into the field of Chinese Studies in India.
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