Paris: It may be recalled that Senator Michel Raison, President of Tibet Group in Senate, France had informed the Tibetan delegation yesterday that he had initiated numerous measures to raise the issue of Tibet in the Senate, particularly drawing the French Government’s attention to situation in Tibet.
Senator Raison shared with the Tibetan delegation the information published on the French Senate’s website regarding his questions to the French Foreign Ministry on the issue of Tibet.
The website referred to his written question no. 24771 titled “Violations of the rights of the Tibetan people” and published in the official journal of the Senate dated 26 January 2017, which drew attention of the Minister of the Foreign Affairs and International Development of the French Government to the violations of the rights of the Tibetan people.
The question referred to a report jointly released by International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) and International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) entitled, “China’s new law on counter-terrorism”, “consequences and dangers for Tibetans and Uighurs” highlights the attacks on the freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly and religion in Tibet.
The report denounces the adoption of a Chinese law on security and counter-terrorism which voluntarily amalgamates the notions of terrorism and extremism, giving an extended framework to the penalisation of expression of Tibetan identity. Also, this new definition makes it possible to prosecute non-violent dissent as well as criticism of ethnic or religious policies, the question reads.
Senator Raison had asked the Foreign Minister on the actions that the Minister intended to engage with the international community to encourage the Chinese authorities to amend these texts that violated international human rights law.
Earlier in December 2016, on the request of the Tibetan delegation and seeing the urgency of the matter, Senator Michel Raison had drawn the attention of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development to the destruction of the Tibetan monastery of Larung Gar by the Chinese authorities.
“Considered a source of dissent by the Chinese authorities, a demolition order was launched on July 20, 2016 aimed at reducing the number of Larung Gar residents by half by the end of September 2017,” the question reads.
He wanted to know the concrete actions taken by France to put an end to this repression, which resembled a “cultural genocide” according to the terms used by the Dalai Lama, Senator Raison had said in the written question.
In its reply published on 5 January 2017 and shared to the Tibetan delegation yesterday, the Foreign Ministry said that, “France regularly expresses its concerns with regard to the human rights situation in Tibet, as in the rest of China, publicly and in the framework of its bilateral contacts with the Chinese authorities.”
“It reiterates its commitment to the preservation of the cultural identity and the Tibetan heritage of which the city of Larung Gar is an integral part, and to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, in particular freedom of Religion or belief. France is actively participating in the preparation of EU-China exchanges on these issues. The last session of the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue, held in November 2015, provided an opportunity to recall our concerns. At the 31st session of the UN Human Rights Council in March 2016, the European Union called on China to promote dialogue with different ethnic groups, especially in Tibet,” the response from the Foreign Ministry said.
-Report filed by Bureau du Tibet-