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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Durban Review Conference on Racism Highlights Tibet Issue

April 27, 2009

Central TIbetan Administration
April 25, 2009

Geneva -- The UN Durban Review Conference was
held from 20 -- 24 April in Geneva to review
progress and assess implementation of the Durban
Declaration and Programme of Actions (DDPA).

In 2001, Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and
Democracy and International Campaign for Tibet
had attended the third world conference against
Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and
Related Intolerance held in Durban, South Africa.
However, due to procedural manoeuvred played by
China particularly on TCHRD's accreditation,  the
third Prepcom decided not to take action on
applications of certain NGOS. This decision
automatically results expulsion of TCHRD as EU
stated that it was a “de facto expulsion” from the conference.

Despite the absence of the leading Tibetan
independent human rights watchdog in exile,
issues of racism and discrimination that Tibetans
have been confronting under China's occupation of
Tibet since 1959 were raised by several ECOSOC
status NGOs in the final day of the conference.
He said "as we all know incitement is one of the
greatest sources of racism and racial
discrimination, especially when the State
involved. In March 2008 when massive protests
erupted on the Tibetan Plateau, the Chinese
Government quickly in a very derogatory manner
defamed that the Dalai Lama “is a wolf in monk’s
robes, a devil with a human face but the heart of a beast.”

Kayta called on the UN Human Rights Council to
analyse on how it can promote intercultural and
interreligious dialogues when the Tibetan people
are forced to denounce their spiritual leaders
through campaigns like the “patriotic
re-education” and the “Anti-Dalai Lama” launched by the Chinese authorities.

Ngawang C. Drakmargyapon representing the Asian
Indigenous & Tribal Peoples Network and Movement
Contre le Racisme et Pour l'amitié entre les
Peuples said “The decision pertaining to the
TCHRD has no legal or moral basis.” Among other
issues he said “it must be recorded that a
procedural tool was used to deny participation of
an NGO which denotes the name of a community
“Tibetan”. He asked “Is it not identification and
discrimination based on “ethnic origin?”. He
further warned that “international community must
not allow repeat such action in future which
cannot legally and morally be justified."

Dekyi Dolkar on behalf of International Campaign
for Tibet said "for Tibetans in present-day
China, the intensification of repression from the
State in response to widespread popular protests
since march 2008 has led some Tibetans to liken
this period to the excesses of the Cultural
Revolution. They are witnessing a deliberate and
concerted effort of incitement by the Chinese
authorities to portray Tibetans as suspicious,
ungrateful, violent and anti-Chinese or even
“terrorist”, a situation which they argue
entrenches mutual distrusts, drives the two
communities further apart and of course, makes a
sustainable solution to the Sino-Tibetan problem
all the more elusive. She calls on international
community not to forget tragedy of millions of
Tibetans suffered and continue to suffer under
oppressive occupation and hard-line policies of the Chinese government.

The Chinese delegates interrupted several times
when the above three speakers read their statement.

On the last day of the conference, a group of 15
members from Gu-Chu-Sum Association currently
touring Switzerland performed a 20 minutes play
at the “Geneva Book Fair”. The fair attracts
almost 125'000 visitors. The political play
highlights the torture suffered by Tibetan
prisoner while in Chinese prisons in Tibet. And
the discrimination ex-political prisoners faced
after their release from prison.

Gu-Chu-Sum Association made up of former
political prisoner were invited to Switzerland by
Tibetan Community in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

-- Report filed by Tenzin Samphel Kayta
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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