UNPO at the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
On July 31, 2001, UNPO General Secretary Erkin Alptekin, together
with Mr Nagwang Chopel, representing Tibet, and Ms Sharon Hom of the NGO, Human
Rights In China, gave an extensive briefing at the meeting of the UN Committee
on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination held in Geneva, Switzerland.
Ms Hom provided the Committee background information on human rights abuses in China, with special reference to the "Da Han Chu-I", meaning "China's Big Chauvinist Policies" practised in Eastern Turkestan.
This marks the first time that an ethnic Chinese officially
spoke out against the Chinese sponsored human rights abuses in Eastern Turkestan.
Ms Hom also shared her experiences during a recent field trip to this region.
Mr Chopel, after refuting China's claims listed in its White Paper on Tibet,
said that government discriminatory policies impacted on all walks of life in
Tibet. Mr Alptekin provided similar information on the situation in Eastern
Turkestan, remarking that despite the richness of their civilization, the Uighurs
are still treated by the Chinese government as "yeman", meaning "barbarian
or backward people".
In his presentation, Mr Alptekin discussed deliberate and far-reaching discrimination in public representation, employment opportunities, population growth, health care, education, literature and economic opportunity. Concluding, Mr Alptekin said hopelessness can lead to endless violence and a devastating cycle from which escape becomes extremely difficult for all parties involved. The UN Committee was kindly urged to provide serious attention to the ongoing gross human rights abuses taking place in Tibet and Eastern Turkestan.