On Friday, the top political leadership of Tibet’s government-in-exile asked the international community to stand against China as there is an imminent threat of “cultural genocide” against Tibetans in Tibet, reports Times of India.
Penpa Tsering, the newly elected president of the Tibetan government-in-exile or Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), said that they are committed to a peaceful resolution with China. However, the current policies of Beijing are threatening the future of Tibetan culture, he said, urging the international community to unite against Chinese atrocities in Tibet ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
“Time is running out,” said Tsering, speaking from CTA’s headquarters in Dharamshala, India. “Once it is eliminated, it doesn’t make sense to fight for anything,” he said.
The Human Rights groups and Tibetans in Tibet accuse the Chinese government of carrying out persecution by putting strict controls on religion, language, education and labour while encouraging immigration by Han people, China’s largest ethnic group.
Tsering said that Tibetans are not against multiculturalism, but one majority population completely overwhelming a minority population, aided by the state, amounts to cultural genocide. “If you are not challenging China’s practices right now, then China will get away with everything,” said Tsering, stating that there has to be a stop to Chinese atrocities.
“Money alone does not bring happiness. If we had been independent we could have been economical as developed as Tibet is today,” Tsering said.
Ready to reach out to China, Dalai Lama will reincarnate in a free country: Tibetan President
The Tibetan government President also said that they would use all ways and means to reach out to the Chinese government. If the Chinese do not respond to Tibetans, the only way to keep the issue alive is to reach out to the international community, Tsering said.
The dialogue between Beijing and the CTA has stalled since 2010. Tsering said that the return of the Dalai Lama to China was crucial to reopen a dialogue.
Over the years, the CTA and Tibetan advocacy groups have received a boost in international support and several rights groups, particularly from the United States, have voiced concerns against China’s human rights record.
In November last year, Tsering’s predecessor Lobsang Sangay visited the White House for the first time in the six decades. A month later, the US Congress passed the Tibet Policy and Support Act, which calls for the right of Tibetans to choose the successor to the Dalai Lama and the establishment of a US consulate in the Tibetan capital Lhasa.
Speaking to the media, Tsering also reiterated that the next Dalai Lama passes will only be reincarnated in a “free country” according to his wishes. China says it has a right to select the Dalai Lama’s successor according to Chinese law.
“Why are they so concerned with the 15th Dalai Lama?” said Tsering. “The 14th Dalai Lama is still living and he wishes to go to China … the Chinese government leaders need to learn about Buddhism first.”
China denies human rights violations, prepares to celebrate 70th anniversary of Tibetan occupation
Meanwhile, China denies allegations of human rights violations against Tibetan people. The Communist Party of China claims that its development policies have eradicated absolute poverty in the region and are backed by all residents.
In 1950, the Chinese troops occupied Tibet, which it calls a “peaceful liberation”. In 1959, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama fled into exile, following a failed uprising against Chinese rule. The CTA was founded after the Tibetan exile to India. The CTA maintains its own executive, legislative and judicial bodies in Dharamshala. As many as 1,50,000 Tibetans are living in exile.
Tibet has since become one of the world’s most restricted and sensitive areas. The Chinese government does not allow any journalists, diplomats and other foreigners to travel to Tibet.
China is already readying to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its Tibet occupation and has organised press events and a government-sponsored tour to the region. These staged events are believed to be the broader effort to formalise Beijing’s claim over Tibet and share a positive narrative of the Communist Party’s role there.
In a white paper released in state media on Friday, Beijing has claimed that Tibet was a “wretched and backward feudal serfdom” that was “doomed to die out” before China’s intervention.