Tibetan voice gagged at the Durban Review Conference

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) expresses its utter disappointment over the de facto expulsion of TCHRD from the United Nations Review Conference on Racism (DRC) being held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 20 -24 April 2009. The Centre is appalled by the decision of its non-accreditation to the DRC by the preparatory committee on procedural ground. TCHRD is one of the several non-governmental organisations whose accreditation was overstepped upon by the preparatory committee due to a procedural matter on 17 April 2009. Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) objected to the Centre’s accreditation. The TCHRD believes that objecting to participation of recognized and registered NGOs like TCHRD to the DRC, with the politicization of the process, is a highly discriminatory move by the government of the PRC.

Racism is endemic in the Tibetan areas of present day China. The State is sponsoring racism in Tibet through its population transfer policy. Over the years hundreds of thousands of Chinese settlers have been recklessly brought into the Tibetan areas because of which racism has become a major issue. However, the State overlooks the issue and sweeps it under the carpet in its propaganda machinery. China in its reply to the TCHRD letter states that “violent criminal activities premeditated by separatist group in Lhasa in March 2008 resulting in the death of 18 innocent persons and injuries to hundreds of persons”. The statement is biased and in itself highlights the state-practice of racist attitude and policy since there has also been deaths of at least 135 Tibetans according to our independent documentation while the other sources cite death of 210 peaceful Tibetan protesters as a direct result of China’s “people’s war” military crackdown launched on the Tibetan Plateau since 10 March 2008.

TCHRD received its accreditation to the World Conference Against Racism (WCR) in Durban in 2001 when the General Assembly voted the Centre’s accreditation to the World Conference. The Centre’s accreditation would have been automatic until PRC raised its second objection and requested 14 days to review TCHRD’s latest response when the Prepcom actually had only three working days. Due to the failure to resolve the issue behind closed doors, the Prepcom on 17 April 2009 took a decision “not to take action” on the accreditation of several NGOs which included TCHRD. The European Union which did not act to overturn the decision described the situation as the “de facto explusion” of TCHRD and this view was even shared by Australia.

There have been two rounds of formal exchanges (see the links below) between the TCHRD and the government of the PRC regarding the Centre’s accreditation to the DRC. TCHRD believes that the PRC should face the reality and constructively work towards eliminating racism in Tibet rather than blocking the voices of the oppressed raised through NGOs like TCHRD. The Centre request all the governments and the NGOs participating in the DRC to tackle the root cause of racism and to expose the states who practice and encourages racism through its various designs. Victory over complete elimination of racism in the world will be a giant stride for humanity

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