CHAIRMAN’S NOTE November – December 2018

We are saddened to learn the passing away of great son of Tibet Mr Lodi Gyari, on 29th October 2018. He devoted his life to Tibet and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I had the privilege of meeting him at many of the International conferences around the world that I attended and he was an inspiration to us all. We will surely miss him at these gatherings. Please read the tribute paid to him by the International Campaign for Tibet, which high-lights all his achievements. Our heartfelt sympathy goes to his family. “May his soul find a rebirth soon”

Once again I am saddened to report that another young Tibetan by the name of Dhopo set himself on fire on 4th November 2018 in Ngapa County in Amdo, saying “May the Dalai Lama live long! May we soon behold his golden countenance!” before he died. Yet again his sacrifice made very little news and the world in general did not give much thought to the suffering of the Tibetan people in Tibet under the unbearable policy practised by the communist government of China. When will the political leaders of the world speak out for the Tibetan people and act on China poor human Rights issue? There is an old quote which reads “Evil will only triumph when good men do nothing” How true.

In October 2018 I wrote to Rt Hon Winston Peters, the Foreign Minister urge him that the New Zealand Government uphold its strong principles and values by pressing China on the situation in Tibet during the forthcoming, third round, Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN Human Rights Council in November 2018.

I wrote: “Since China’s second Review there has been a significant deterioration in the human rights situation in Tibet and it is currently ranked as the second most oppressed territory in the world, after Syria. Tibetans are discriminated against and denied a wide range of rights, including freedom of religion, expression, association, assembly, and movement. China exercises tight control over the passage of both information and people within Tibet, and their access in and out of Tibet, in a bid to limit international exposure of these human rights violations.

“Over the past four and a half years China has failed to implement even the simplest of provisions to protect Tibetans’ human rights, including the accepted recommendations committed to during both UPR cycles, and has instead enacted policies that further impinge upon the rights of Tibetans and entirely undermines its engagement with the international human rights system.

“China is now using its position at the UN Human Rights Council to limit constructive dialogue by dampening down the ability of other States to scrutinise its human rights violations. One such example is the recent resolution on ‘mutually beneficial cooperation’ tabled by China in March 2018. The resolution, which was passed, seeks to weaken the international human rights frameworks by indirectly excusing human rights abuses and diluting international monitoring. A wide range of legal experts have raised alarm at the resolution including Miloon Kothari, former UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, who believes that it offers an “escape route for governments who prefer an absence of scrutiny for their questionable practices, and go to great lengths at home and abroad to avoid it”.

“Therefore we urge that the New Zealand Government to make sure that our representative in the UN voice the concern of what is going on in Tibet and issue a strong statements on the above two issue we raised.”

A copy of the request was posted to the Prime Minister and opposition spokesperson for Foreign Affairs.

I am glad to inform you all the New Zealand representative in UN did bring up the issue of Tibet during the conference, where she stated that the New Zealand Government long- standing position on Tibet is to support dialogue between the government of China and representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to find a mutual agreeable solution between Tibet and China.

Let us remember His Holiness the Panchen Lama on10th December, HUMAN RIGHTS DAY,

Thank you for your support over the year and I wish you all Merry Christmas. May 2019 bring you and your family all the joy and happiness in life. Enjoy your summer holidays.

Best wishes and Tashi Delek

Thuten Kesang
National Chairman