CECC 2014 annual report critical of human rights and rule of law situation in Tibet
DHARAMSALA, Oct 14: The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), in its annual report for 2014, released on October 9 has said there was an increase in harsh security and punitive measures in Tibetan areas while maintaining that human rights and rule of law in China has deteriorated compared to the past year.
Noting that the frequency of Tibetan self-immolations reportedly focusing on political and religious issues declined steeply during the 2014 reporting year, the Commission said it has not observed any sign that Party and government leaders intend to respond to Tibetan grievances in a constructive manner or accept any accountability for Tibetan rejection of Chinese policies. It further said that the Commission observed for the first time reports of county-level governments turning to collective punishment in apparent attempts to deter individuals from engaging self-immolations.
In its recommendations, the CECC urged Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials to urge “the Chinese government to resume contact with the Dalai Lama or his representatives and engage in dialogue without preconditions.”
“A Chinese government decision to engage in dialogue can result in a durable and mutually beneficial outcome for the government and Tibetans that will benefit local and regional security in coming decades,” it added.
Following are the other recommendations made by the commission to Members of the US Congress and Administration officials:
- Urge the Chinese government to recognize the role of government regulatory measures and Party policies in the wave of Tibetan self-immolations and other protests. Stress to Chinese officials that strengthening the measures and policies that Tibetans resent is unlikely to promote “social stability” or a “harmonious society.” Urge the government to refrain from using security and judicial institutions to intimidate Tibetan communities by prosecuting and imprisoning Tibetans with alleged links to a self-immolator or for sharing self-immolation information.
- Urge the Chinese government to refrain from using intrusive management and legal measures to infringe upon and repress Tibetan Buddhists’ right to the freedom of religion. Urge the government to cease treating the Dalai Lama as a security threat instead of as Tibetan Buddhism’s principal teacher. Urge the government to respect the right of Tibetan Buddhists to identify and educate religious teachers in a manner consistent with Tibetan Buddhist preferences and traditions. Stress to Chinese officials that increasing pressure on Tibetan Buddhists by aggressive use of regulatory measures, “patriotic” and “legal” education, and anti-Dalai Lama campaigns is likely to harm social stability, not protect it.
- Request that the Chinese government follow up on a 2010 statement by the Chairman of the TAR government that Gedun Choekyi Nyima, the Panchen Lama whom the Dalai Lama recognized in 1995, is living in the TAR as an “ordinary citizen” along with his family. Urge the government to invite a representative of an international organization to meet with Gedun Choekyi Nyima so that he can express to the representative his wishes with respect to privacy.
- Stress to the Chinese government the importance of respecting and protecting the Tibetan culture and language. Urge Chinese officials to promote a vibrant Tibetan culture by honoring the Chinese Constitution’s reference to the freedoms of speech, association, assembly, and religion, and refraining from using the security establishment, courts, and law to infringe upon and repress Tibetans’ exercise of such rights. Stress the importance of respecting Tibetan wishes to maintain the role of both the Tibetan and Chinese languages in teaching modern subjects, and to refrain from criminalizing Tibetans’ passion for their language and culture.
- Encourage the Chinese government to take fully into account the views and preferences of Tibetans when the government plans infrastructure, natural resource development, and settlement or resettlement projects in the Tibetan areas of China. Encourage the government to engage with appropriate experts in assessing the impact of such projects and in advising the government on the implementation and progress of such projects. Encourage the government to report accurately and comprehensively data on population in Tibetan areas of China.
- Continue to stress to the Chinese government the importance of distinguishing between peaceful Tibetan protesters and rioters; condemn the use of security campaigns to suppress human rights; and request the government to provide complete details about Tibetans detained, charged, or sentenced for protest-related and self-immolation-related “crimes.” Continue to raise in meetings and correspondence with Chinese officials the cases of Tibetans who remain imprisoned as punishment for the peaceful exercise of human rights.
- Encourage the Chinese government to respect the right to freedom of movement of Tibetans who travel domestically, including for the purpose of visiting Tibetan economic, cultural, and religious centers, including Lhasa; to provide Tibetans with reasonable means to apply for and receive documents necessary for lawful international travel; to respect the right of Tibetan citizens of China to reenter China after traveling abroad; and to allow access to the Tibetan autonomous areas of China to international journalists, representatives of non-governmental organizations, representatives of the United Nations, and U.S. Government officials.
The Congressional-Executive Commission on China was created by Congress in 2000 to monitor and report on human rights and the development of the rule of law in China.