CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 18 November 2017

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Trampled rights in Tibet

MADRID (UCAN): Fifty-eight years ago, a large Tibetan protest against the Chinese government broke out in Lhasa, Tibet, on March 10, which eventually led to the political and spiritual leader of the country, the Dalai Lama, some government officials and tens of thousands of Tibetans fleeing to neighbouring India, Nepal, Bhutan and other countries.

On March 10 this year, exiled Tibetans around the world held a variety of activities to mark the anniversary and called on the Chinese government to improve its policy towards Tibet and resolve the issues that cause so much discontent.

Under Chinese reign, basic human rights of the Tibetans have been trampled on. The serious destruction of its natural environment has further threatened the survival of the people.

From the perspective of China’s policy on Tibet, or perhaps we may say, under the rule of the current president, Xi Jinping, there is little hope of improvement. The future of Tibet is deeply concerning.

Due to China’s strict control on freedom of speech and severe crackdown on information sources in Tibet, it has become increasingly difficult to obtain information from inside the area.
This makes people outside feel that Tibet is peaceful, while Chinese propaganda pushes Tibet as being in the best period of its history, which is deceptive and misleading.

The latest report from the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy described Tibet as a giant open prison.

A report from Freedom House says that the human rights situation in Tibet ranks somewhere between Syria and North Korea. In the State of Worlds Human Rights published by Amnesty International, the situations in China, which includes Tibet and Syria, are listed together as the two countries of greatest concern.

During the 34th meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the high commissioner, Zeid bin Ra’ad al-Hussein, particularly expressed his concern over the problems currently being faced by Tibet.

Six experts jointly issued a statement pointing to a series of human rights’ violations in Tibet, in particular the situations of Larung Gar Buddhist Academy in Sertar County and Yarchen Gar Monastery.

The Chinese government not only violates the religious beliefs of those who follow the Dalai Lama and other foreign religious leaders, it also violates the rights of religious freedom of the numerous Tibetans who do not accept the so-called additional Panchen, Gyaincain Norbu, selected by the government to represent the Panchen Lama of Tibetan Buddhism.

The government forces believers to join his worship ceremonies, hoping that they will recognise him. The local government also explicitly bans the propagation of Tibetan Buddhism in China.

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