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Dalai Lama’s nephew bugles global action against China for violations in Xinjiang

Khedroob Thondup is Taiwan-based Tibetan writer and author. He is also the Dalai Lama's nephew

Activists have called for global action against China after the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in a report that Beijing has committed “serious human rights violations” against the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang that lies to the north west of China. The report said that China has indulged in torture, ill-treatment, rape, forced sterilisations and disappearances of the Muslim minority.

Talking about the release of the UN report, Taiwan-based Tibetan writer and author Khedroob Thondup told India Narrative that human rights should be taken as an international problem. “No country can say that it is an internal problem. The world should not take China at face value. The UN report on Uyghurs is significant because UN human rights commissioner Michelle Bachelet was under immense pressure from China. Though the report is late, she is brave enough to release the report”.

In a revelation, Thondup says: “The US State Department wanted Bachelet to also include the human rights situation in Tibet in her report. Because of the immense pressure from China, it was not possible for her to do”.

Thondup also criticised the Muslim countries for not supporting their own brethren in Xinjiang. “It is a terrible thing for the Islamic countries to not support the Ughyur minority. China has now changed the demography of the region by populating Han Chinese by upto 50 per cent. There is absolute suppression of the Ughyurs, exactly like what is happening in Tibet”, says Thondup.

Acharya Yeshi, former speaker of the Tibetan government-in-exile, wants countries to take action against China. Yeshi told India Narrative that the Tibetans are not surprised by this report. “At least 55 minority communities are being repressed in China by the Han Chinese. The world should not even call it Xinjiang as it is East Turkistan”, Yeshi said.

He added that Tibetans have faced torture and have been killed in numerous prisons in Tibet by the Communist Party of China. “We have suffered for 63 years. Thousands of Tibetans are still in prison, so we are not surprised by this critical report on Xinjiang”, Yeshi said.

He added that bringing out a report by the UN is not a big deal. “The UN has no powers. I think the way forward is that the UN should pressure the government in China and force it to bring about internal changes”, Yeshi said, adding that even the Muslim countries should raise their voice against the oppression in Xinjiang.

The UN OHCHR released the much-awaited report on Wednesday after Bachelet’s highly publicised and acrimonious visit to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in May. Besides the torture and human rights violations, the report also talks about re-education camps and arbitrary detentions of the Muslim minority.

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