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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?"

Sino-Tibetan conference underlines pivotal role of freedom for resolving Tibet issue

August 12, 2009

Tibetan Review
August 11, 2009

The first major conference between exile Tibetan and Chinese
scholars, educators, writers and human rights advocates was held from
Aug 6 to 8 in Geneva with a call on the Chinese government to respect
the Tibetan people's fundamental right to preserve their unique
identity and for democracy and rule of law in China as a fundamental
precondition for it.

The "Finding Common Ground" conference brought together over 100
Chinese and Tibetans and saw robust discussions on a range of issues
of common concern to the two sides. The discussions focused on the
obvious obstacles to resolving the Tibet issue and suggested possible
efforts to create better understanding between the peoples on the two sides.

Although the exile Tibetan government's Aug 7 said the
participants sought to discuss the challenge of moving the
Sino-Tibetan dialogue process forward and reaching out to the Chinese
people, the conference's final document Aug 8 did not contain any
provision on the dialogue process. Indeed, the participants could
have contributed very little on the dialogue process, since the
Chinese government's intransigence on it was all too well known.

Indeed, as the reported, a Chinese participant said China's
current anti-splittism rampage gives career and livelihood to at
least about 400,000 cadres and they would be rendered jobless if
dialogue between Dharamsala and Beijing was to succeed. Vested
interests formulate policy and their interests outweigh China's
national interests, he was cited as saying.

It was acknowledged that despite the communist Chinese government's
propaganda otherwise, Han chauvinism and attempts to destroy the
Tibetan identity remained a grim reality that needed to be halted and
reversed so as to ensure mutual respect and harmonious co-existence
between the two peoples. "We need to discuss how we can expose and
discredit government propaganda. We can do this by writing on the
issue of Tibet extensively and non-stop. We need to destroy big Han
chauvinism," quoted one of the participants as saying.
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