Mon, Nov 27, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Letter: UN talks as genocide goes on

By Lee Long-hwa

As China moves to complete its 50-year program to eradicate the Tibetan people, it has become clear that the UN is guilty of allowing genocide to occur there. Never has there been a more persistent and ludicrous example of the UN's utter failure to do anything other than talk.

The Tibet we see today comes courtesy of the endless debate the UN started in 1959 over whether Tibet had anything to fear from the Chinese.

Typical of the impotence and uselessness of the UN, the obvious answer to the question -- 50 years later -- is "yes, and it's too late, stupid."

How many deaths will it take until the UN knows that too many people have died? In the Middle East, the deaths of Palestinians merits a proclamation by the UN's Human Rights Commissioner against Israel.

Yet the death toll in Tibet far exceeds 1 million, and the careful, patient and determined plan of the Chinese government to exterminate the Tibetans has been mostly successful. How, so soon after the Nazi Holocaust, was it possible for Chinese communists to repeat its extermination?

As recently as June this year, China rejected any claims of genocide in Tibet.

"The claims of so-called genocide in Tibet are sheer libel, sheer fabrication," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao (劉建超) said at a news briefing ("Beijing slams Spain for interference," June 7, page 6).

So long as sycophantic nations -- with their dreams of endless lines of Chinese customers -- see China through rose-colored glasses and are unwilling to face the truth, there will be no aid for Tibet, if there is any aid left that will help.

The UN has stood by and smiled at the Dalai Lama and revered him while China destroyed Tibet with impunity. And nations around the world congratulated the Chinese on building a railway to Tibet to complete the final stages of its genocide.

Genocide is what is happening in Tibet. The Chinese have murdered lamas, displaced hundreds of thousands of Tibetans, occupied their land and worked to eradicate the Tibetan culture and religion.

I quote from the report in 1959 by the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva: "Any systematic violation of human rights in any part of the world should, it is submitted, be a matter for discussion by the United Nations."

While the UN may discuss Tibet from time to time, it has done nothing more.

Most people will agree that in the sphere of human rights, some rights are fundamental. The rights of the Tibetans that have been ruthlessly violated are fundamental -- even the right to life itself. With violations of this gravity, it is not a question of human rights being modified to meet the requirements of local conditions. It is a question of conduct that should not be tolerated by the civilized world.

And yet the UN has done nothing. Every diplomat, UN ambassador and representative who has spent time in the UN is guilty of allowing China to commit genocide in Tibet. Even UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan did nothing but smile at China for 10 years.

To fail to protect the rights of hundreds of thousands is a sin. To fail to save a nation, its people, language and culture is morally reprehensible and the height of cowardice and utter failure.

This leads many like myself to question the very existence of the UN. If it cannot prevent the destruction of Tibet, what possible purpose does it serve at all?

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