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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

China blames separatist, not its polices, for Tibet and Xinjiang unrests

August 12, 2009

Tibetan Review
August 10, 2009

China came in for tough questioning from some of the experts of the
UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Geneva
which was hearing its report Aug 7 on the issue. In particular, it
was asked about the treatment of Tibetans and Uighur held after the
Mar'08 and May'09 disturbances in Tibet and Xinjiang, respectively,
and whether it was not the Chinese immigrants who were the main
beneficiaries of China's massive investments in the minority areas.

Special Rapporteur Linos-Alexandre Sicilianos called on China to
detail measures on the treatment of those detained following the
Tibet unrest, reported AP Aug 7. He also called on China to treat
over 1,000 suspects held over the Xinjiang unrest according to
"international human rights standards."

Committee member Dilip Lahiri was reported to have noted that
economic investments in the ethnic minority regions may have not
benefited the minorities, but, rather, the Han settlers in the
regions. "The change in the demographic balance brought about by the
Han settlers... and their securing the lion's share of government
investments is one of the primary causes of unrest among China's
ethnic minorities," The report quoted Lahiri as saying. "Action by
the government to address this trend is imperative."

Other committee members were reported to have also asked about the
teaching of ethnic minority languages in schools and issues
surrounding religious freedom.

China was reported to have put the total blame on last year's unrest
in Tibet and July's violence in Xinjiang on alleged separatists
abroad, thereby trying to avoid answering claims that its polices of
rights violations and racial discrimination may have been  behind the
disturbances.

The Chinese delegation was to reply to the questions when the hearing
reconvened on Aug 10.
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