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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

UN Human Rights Council Discuss Tibet

March 19, 2009

Central Tibetan Administration (CTA)
March 17, 2009

Geneva, 16 March -- The UN Human Rights Council currently in
third-week of its 10th session in Geneva where numerous international
NGOs raised issues concerning serious human rights violations taking
place around the globe.

According to the agenda, this morning the Human Rights Council began
its general debate on the promotion and protection of all human
rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights,
including the right to development, addressing a wide range of issues
including the importance of the prohibition of torture and the
abolition of the death penalty; ways to end discrimination against
women and children; and the need to protect cultural rights, among others.

In the afternoon during interactive dialogue, among other NGOs,
Tenzin Samphel KAYTA on behalf of the Society for Threatened Peoples
said "the report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food
stated that: "At a general level, human rights-based approaches to
development cooperation recognize people "as key actors in their own
development, rather than passive recipients of commodities and
services." All stakeholders should be involved in analysis and the
programmes should focus on marginalized, disadvantaged, and excluded
groups, and aim at reducing disparity.

He further said -- when a government implement resettlement
programmes in the name of environmental protection the people
involved have been required to slaughter most of their livestock and
move into newly built housing colonies in or near towns, abandoning
their traditional way of life while agricultural communities have had
their land confiscated, with minimal compensation, or have been
evicted to make way for mining, infrastructure projects or urban development."

In conclusion, he said "the forced evictions of thousands of Tibetan
nomads since 2003 is a dangerous strategy because their traditional
livelihood system which is based on production of dried cheese,
butter, yak meat and procurement of medicinal plants will now slowly
be eliminated forever."

In her statement, Dekyi Dolkar on behalf of Helsinki Foundation for
Human Rights said "we are concerned by circumstances when those
committed "to promote and protect all human rights" engage in
extra-judicial killings, mass detentions, to the extent that the
sheer scale of those detentions means that names, locations and other
data cannot be ascertained in any meaningful way as evident from
interventions by Special Procedure mandate-holders in many cases.
Such acts can occur under conditions that resemble de facto martial
law, or the denial to independent assessment of the occurrence,
nature and extent of violations committed.

She also said "when foreign journalists, tourists, diplomats and UN
officials and experts are not officially welcomed to hide something
from an entire region and these policies encourage government
officials and security forces to act with impunity and without
restraint to merciless repression."

She said in conclusion that "we remain dismayed by the lack of
progress by the Human Rights Council to address many chronic human
right realities and situations, including now faced by the six
million Tibetan people and the uncertain fate of 1000 individuals
reported to have been detained or disappeared since the Tibetan
Uprising of March 2008."

In this ongoing session, Tibetan participants consist of
representatives from Tibetan Centre for Human Rights, International
Campaign for Tibet (ICT) and Tibetan UN Advocacy. They have been
meeting with UN officials, Government delegates and NGOs to brief on
current deplorable human rights situation inside Tibet. A press
conference was held last week in the UN where international
journalists were briefed on present human rights situation in Tibet.
The latest reports of ICT and annual report of the TCHRD were also distributed.

The session will go on till 27 March.

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