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TheArachneed » Uncategorized » Belgian Tibet supporters ask their Prime Minister to keep human rights central in the foreign policy

Belgian Tibet supporters ask their Prime Minister to keep human rights central in the foreign policy

 

 

On the 2nd February 2012, the new Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo held a press conference at the end of the diplomatic contact days, an annual meeting with all the Belgian ambassadors and ministers. The head of the Belgian government stated: “the fundamental principle of human rights is the key point in the foreign policy, along with the strengthening of democratic institutions, the rule of law, a good management, and respect for the rights of everyone, from the majority but also of the minority.”

 

In October 2011, the Belgian Tibet supporters Dennis Barbion and Ilse Keysabyl have written a letter already to the Prince of Belgium Philippe, in connection with the human rights violations in Tibet and China. The Belgian Prince had just finished a huge trade mission to China then.

 

A new letter is now sent to Prime Minister Di Rupo, in which he is asked:

 

1. to ascertain and to study the situation in Tibet and China, and especially the human rights violations and to condemn them;

 

2.  to call upon the Chinese government for more freedom and humanity;

 

3. to make every effort what could help to improve the situation.

 

 

 

On the occasion of the speech by the Prime Minister about the importance of human rights, the letter was sent for several reasons:

 

1. the oppression of the Tibetan people in Tibet for so long time, but also of other minorities like the Uyghurs in China, and this by the Chinese government;

 

2. the gross violations of human rights in Tibet on a large scale;

 

3. the lack of freedom in general in Tibet and China, even for Chinese citizens;

 

4. the censorship and manipulation of all the information and news in Tibet and China by the Chinese authorities;

 

5. the dictatorship of the Chinese Communist Party.

 

 

 

The letter to Mr. Di Rupo says:

 

Every person anywhere should have the fundamental human rights, as enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations in 1948, and adopted and approved by many countries. Respecting human rights in a country is fundamental. It is the basis of a stable and peaceful society where all citizens are respected equally, without discrimination. Any form of discrimination and oppression based on origin, race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, and this individual, by institutions, organizations or governments, should always be indicted and convicted, on a national or international level. Every human being should have the right to free speech, the right of assembly, freedom of practicing his religion, employment without any form of slavery, education, participation in culture and so on.”

 

Freedom, the urge for freedom, both individually and in society, is perhaps characteristic for every human being.”

 

Democracy is another basis for a good and balanced society. The democratic system is a political form of government that involves a whole population and also the opportunity to participate in decision making. Democracy is a form of equality for all citizens. A multiparty system and participation in the elections for everyone, with the right to be elected, is crucial.”

 

You are probably aware of the violent, military invasion of Tibet by the Chinese Red Army in 1950. Thousands of innocent victims, adults and children, lost their lives. This was no ‘peaceful liberation of the Tibetan people’ as the Chinese authorities claim for many years, quite the contrary. Since then, this peaceful and tolerant people are affected enormously by the heavy repression directed from Beijing.”

 

Although China is a major economic superpower now, the people in Tibet and China suffer from a dictatorial regime, a one-party-system without any opposition. Even having a different opinion is not allowed. Anyone who expresses a different view than that of the CCP gets arrested and liquidated. Political prisoners often have to endure the most intolerable and disgusting tortures, and China is also a leader in the number of death sentences. A party card and ‘loyalty to the party’ and its leaders is the only opinion that is accepted and respected.”

 

In addition, there is also the censorship and manipulation of all the information and news by the Chinese government. The reality is always packed according to the ideas and position of the CCP.”

 

A recent study by the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy has pointed out that the situation in Tibet was very terrible last year. 2011 was one of the most repressive years ever. Human rights organizations have sounded the alarm regularly, but in vain… Because of the terrible oppression and inhuman living conditions, since March 2011 to date (7 February 2012) there have been already nineteen (!) self-immolations by Tibetans in Tibet. It is a very deplorable act of desperation, a terrible cry to the outside world to draw attention to the oppression and enslavement they have to undergo, with the hope for change and more human living conditions and more freedom… It’s something that those young Tibetans, including several monks or nuns, can only hope and dream of when they set themself on fire in a public place… What would it be to live in such conditions, and how desperate must someone be for such a terrible deed?”

 

 

Elio DI Rupo, Prime Minister, Belgium

Both the European Parliament and many other parliamentarians, for example in the United States, Germany, France, Canada and Australia, and prominent figures such as Archbishop Tutu and Richard Gere, have condemned the very violent reaction of the Chinese government on this self-burnings, and they called for respecting human rights and more freedom. The monasteries and villages as Ngaba where the self-burnings have taken place, are real military bases now, where thousands and thousands of Chinese soldiers are stationed, and where control and orders are very strict.”

 

The lack of freedom and restrictions in China have an impact on all residents, also other minorities like the Uyghurs and the people of Inner Mongolia, and even the ordinary Chinese citizens. Everyone is considered to respect and follow the laws and regulations of the Chinese Communist Party only, as there is no democratic nor multiparty sysem. Many of the universal human rights are violeted on a large scale, with all the unfortunate consequences for the people…”

 

When we, ordinary Belgian citizens who stand up for Tibet and its people, and who are concerned about human rights in Tibet and China, hear the guidelines of your foreign policy, we can only applaud this: that respect for human rights is most important, and also the promotion and strengthening of the democratic principle, respect for the rights of all citizens, including minorities.”

 

There are many people who have a heart for Tibet and its people, also in Belgium. It is also in their name that we send this letter.”

 

We express our hope that the emphases of foreign policy are not just empty words, but that real and concrete action is taken, to establish more freedom and better living conditions for Tibetans in Tibet, the Chinese people but of course also elsewhere.”

 

We thank you for an answer and look forward to the implementation of the foreign policy with the emphasis on human rights, and to a positive development in the countries where a dictatorship still is in power.”

 

 Dennis Barbion is a Free Tibet activist based in Belgium


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