Dharamshala: Secretary Karma Choeying from the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR), Central Tibetan Administration, addressed the “International Uyghur Forum: Global Parliamentarian Convention” on building alliances through exploring cross-movement solidarity at Japan parliament building in Tokyo on 31 October 2023.
The two-day forum (30-31 October) was jointly organised by the Japan-Uyghur Parliamentary Caucus (JUPC) and the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) to facilitate cooperation among proactive parliamentarians, politicians, human rights advocates, civil society representatives, and scholars who are actively engaged in addressing human rights violations under the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Tibetan Parliamentarian Dorjee Tsetan, Representative Dr Tsewang Gyalpo Arya (Office of Tibet-Japan), and Dr Lobsang Yangtso from the International Tibet Network attended the conference alongside Secretary Karma Choeying.
In his keynote speech, Secretary Karma Choeying raised his concerns over the systematic extermination and sinicization of cultural heritages and ethnic identities of the subjugated groups under the Chinese communist regime, including Tibetans and Uyghurs. He said, “Over the last seven decades, the situation in Tibet has been deteriorating to the extent that it is now facing imminent threat of cultural genocide and total annihilation of Tibet identity”, which he considered is caused by the unresolved nature of the Tibet-China conflict that needs urgent intervention for peaceful resolution.
While mentioning Tibet as the least-free country per the Freedom House ranking, the Secretary elaborated his talk on China’s forced enrolment of over one million Tibetan children into the infamous state-sponsored colonial-style boarding schools to assimilate Tibetans into majority Han culture. According to him, it is a “serious human rights violation aimed at systematically eliminating the distinct Tibetan identity in younger generation and uprooting the identity of Tibetans as a distinct people.”
Likewise, the mass DNA sample collection by Chinese officials from the Tibetans, including kindergarten children, as an intrusive securitisation measure is also brought up to picture how the authoritarian government instils fear and wrests control of all aspects of the public and private life of the Tibetan people and to rationalise why 157 Tibetan self-immolated.
Given the PRC’s imposition of similar harsh policies in East Turkestan and other regions under its occupation and its attempt to reorder the rule-based world order to suit its interest, the CTA’s representative to the forum stressed Chinese Communist regime as “an apparent threat to the global economic and political stability.” Hence, he called on free and democratic nations to “look at Tibetans, Uyghurs, Southern Mongolians, Hong Kongers and Taiwanese not as an object of empathy but rather as partners in the effort to bring positive change to China.”
Furthermore, Secretary Karma Choeying put forward a suggestion to conduct more interactions between Uyghurs and Tibetans at various levels such as at the level of core leadership, between civil societies and activists and between people to have a coordinated approach at various international multilateral forums to objectively highlight common cases and counter false Chinese narratives to legitimise its rule in the occupied territories. He also acknowledged CTA organising similar strategy meetings amongst Tibetans, Uyghurs, Southern Mongolians, Hong Kongers, Manchurians and Taiwanese at regional level in America, Europe and Australasia in the near future.