Source: Japan Forward
Dr Arya of Tibet praises the unprecedented solidarity of the Tokyo human rights march. After all, “together” is the only way to win the fight for democracy.
This year’s commemoration of International Human Rights Day in Tokyo saw a large gathering from different countries, communities, and their supporters, to highlight human rights violations and religious persecutions in the respective countries. Kameda Taro, the moderator of the event, noted that Human Rights Day, which the Tibetans in Tokyo once observed, was later joined by Uyghurs and Southern Mongolians and their supporters. However, today it has taken an international hue, with more than ten communities and their supporters participating in the event.
This is unprecedented! What prompted such a gathering? This paper will examine what this gathering and protest mean. It will study human rights and who are the people behind the human rights violations. And it will consider what must be done to protect the world from these human rights violators. The report follows:
Dr Arya speaks at an anniversary event on March 10, 2022, in memory of the Tibetan uprising.
Human Rights and Their Implementation
The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, on December 10, 1948, recognized “the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world.” It declared that all people are born free and equal in dignity and rights under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Moreover, it established that these fundamental human rights are protected under the United Nations Charter.
Seventy-four years have passed since then. Are we anywhere better? Have we achieved what the founders of the declaration dreamed of and envisioned for us?
The declaration has helped raise awareness and understanding of human rights and its significance. But it has remained more on paper than implemented in the field in many countries. The reason for this sorry state is the continued priority that the leaders of the free world have accorded to their national interest for trade and economy. That priority results in accommodating and appeasing the authoritarian rule.
A Polarized World
Although the cold war mentality has gone, the world has polarized into democracy and authoritarian rule. Earlier, it was monarchies. In those days, the land and the people belonged to the royal family who ruled. Then, the people rose, and republics were established with democracy and communism as the guiding principles. Today, we see both democracy and communism bypassing the people and heading toward authoritarianism and dictatorships, respectively. Russia’s Putin, China’s Xi, North Korea’s Kim, Syria’s Assad, Lukashenko of Belarus, and Cambodia’s Hun Sen are the best examples of this trend.
The time has come for the people to rise once again to overthrow totalitarian regimes and save democracy and the rule of law.
Human rights are indispensable international and universal values. People have realized that human rights violations are not only a problem of one country and its people. They are a problem of humanity and the international community. And we all need to join hands together to strongly protest against human rights violations and oppression around the world.
This sentiment is clearly reflected in the 2022 commemoration of Human Rights Day in Tokyo.
Activists of the Tibetan Youth Congress shout slogans outside the venue where Indian foreign minister S. Jaishankar held a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, during a protest against later’s visit in New Delhi, Friday, March 25, 2022. (© AP by Manish Swarup)
Tokyo International Human Rights Day
On December 10, more than a hundred people gathered at Hibiya Koen Library Hall and protested the gross human rights violations in their homeland. The Myanmar community representatives in Japan made an emotional appeal seeking attention to the sufferings of people in Myanmar under the military junta. In addition, the Cambodian Rescue Mission representative talked about the lack of freedom since 1985 under the dictator Hun Sen.
Stand with Ukraine Japan representatives updated the situation in Ukraine and talked about the illegal occupation by the Russian army. A former Iranian diplomat spoke on how the current regime has been suppressing the dissents. He requested the international community to sanction the Iranian government. A Belarus representative, while speaking on the worsening human rights situation in the country, expressed solidarity with the Ukrainians.
Likewise, representatives of Tibet, Uyghurs, and Southern Mongolia spoke on the gross violation of human rights taking place in their regions. Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Federation, and the Democratic People’s Front of China shared their fears and uncertainty under Xi Jinping’s third term in China.