Order the autumn edition here

Tibet: Obama's lacking struggle

Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama did not pronounce the word «human rights» correctly in Beijing. But I'm not disappointed. That's exactly what I expected.


(PS. This article is machine-translated from Norwegian)

Every Friday some of the world's leading advocates for freedom of expression write for Ny Tid. Our columnists are: Parvin Ardalan (Iran) Nawal El-Saadawi (Egypt) Irshad Manji (Canada), Elena Milashina (Russia), Orzala Nemat (Afghanistan) Marta Roque (Cuba), Blessing Musariri (Zimbabwe) & Tsering Woeser (Tibet).

Tsering Woeser is a poet and essayist from Lhasa in Tibet. In 2003 she wrote the book Notes on Tibet, which was banned by the Chinese government. Read her webpage: http://woeser.middle-way.net

On November 17, for many people all over the world, the most important news was US President Obama's arrival in Beijing. The international focus rested upon his sunny smile, upon him and the deadpan Chinese head of state, Hu Jintao, speaking to the globe's most important media; it also rested upon him finally mentioning that "all men and women possess certain fundamental rights, […] which are universal rights and all people, ethnic and religious minority groups should be able to obtain these fundamental rights." Yes, he even mentioned the Dalai Lama, who, as Zhu Weiqun, an official from the United Front Department of the Party Central Committee, recently said, "always makes China unhappy." The day before, when he spoke to a carefully selected and trained group of Chinese male and female youths, he also mentioned freedom of speech saying that «freedom of speech, freedom of belief, freedom of information and freedom of political participation are everybody's rights. »

But at the exact same time, on this extremely cold winter's day, there were a few minority people, whose voices are not heard and who do not possess the power to change things, who had to find out in a state of shock about what happened to two young Tibetan writers, Kunchok Tsephel and Kunga Tsangyang. Because of their opinion and speech, they were sentenced harshly on Tibetan soil which is tightly controlled, and hence lost all those "fundamental rights, which all men and women possess."

There are a few foreign journalists who have asked me questions like «what did you make of Obama's visit to China? Did he fulfill your expectations? » In my answer I always had to admit that I had already prepared myself. From Hilary Clinton's China visit last year when she avoided any questions concerning human rights up to Obama's arrival in China now, although they claim that the subject of human rights has been of some concern, President Obama in his natural and unaffected demeanor, like a star coming on stage, still seemed to place too little emphasis on them. Thus, although I would not say that I am greatly disappointed about this, I am able even to view all this with a certain degree of indifference because I have expected the situation to be like this. Yet, I did feel moved when, facing the head of state of the world's greatest totalitarian system, President Obama still said that "all men and women possess certain fundamental rights." But I did not understand why he was not able to clearly state what those "certain fundamental rights" really are. Is the term «human rights» that difficult to pronounce? Perhaps President Obama is more poetically inclined and needs to make use of embellished and indirect language to refer to human rights, so if he bluntly spoke out the two words, it would probably sound a bit crude.

Kunchok Tsephel and Kunga Tsayang are two well-known authors who publish in Tibetan. During last year's Tibet incident », they themselves witnessed how their fellow countrymen of their hometown determinedly took to the streets and voiced their opposition. The two writers revealed their aspirations and discussed facts on the internet, which then unexpectedly became the reason for them becoming criminals accused of jeopardizing «state security» and revealing «state secrets». In other words, one could say that the country's action of using its power to suppress the violent behavior of the opposing masses belongs to the category of secret which is often practiced but never spoken of. Whoever dares to reveal the secret, he or she will become the country's enemy and be confronted with harsh and merciless punishment.

Kunchok Tsephel was arrested on February 26 this year and was recently sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment by the local government; Kunga Tsayang was arrested on March 17 this year and was recently sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment by the local government. Moreover, before the judgment was passed, none of their family members knew anything about their whereabouts. In fact, these kinds of situations are very common in Tibet, many families do not know if their relatives have been arrested or had much worse accidents, and they do not even know where to go and look for them. The law has turned into mere scraps of paper and the outcomes of these black-box operations can hardly be called impartial. What really worries people is that judging from the known cases, in the near future there will probably be more and more Tibetans who might be faced with, or have already been faced with, heavy prison sentences because of the lack of impartiality and the black- box operations of the judiciary. This also means that there are and will be more and more Tibetans who have already lost what President Obama called "certain fundamental rights, which all men and women possess."

There is an increasing amount of suppression; this is the reality in Tibet. But to be honest, it is already very difficult for us to believe that those important world leaders, who are unable to speak the two words "human rights", will maintain a firm humanitarian stand.

Beijing, November 19, 2009

The Tibetan writer Kunchok Tsephel (R) was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment on November 12 by the local government; Kunga Tsayang (L) was arrested on March 17 this year and was recently sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment.

Read the column in Chinese:

This is the "I want to" list

文 / 唯 色

11 月 17 日 , 对于 世界 上 的 的 的 , 的 的 的 的 总统 奥巴马 到 北京 北京 了。 注目 注目 注目 注目 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的This is a list of items that you can use in the "Home" menu, or in the "Home" menu, or in the "Home" menu, or in the "Home" menu. This is a list of items that you can search for in this page, such as "I want you" and "I want you to do it", I want you to do it, I want you to do it. "I'm not sure what to do if I'm going to miss a beat.

It's not the same as this one, it's not the same as this one, it's not the same as this one, it's the same thing, it's not the same thing, it's just that, ' It's not a bad thing, it's a bad thing.

It does not contain any information about it, it can be used as a source of information, but it does not contain any information about it, but it does not apply to anyone who is interested in it. It's not a bad thing, it's not a bad thing, it's not a bad thing, it's a bad thing, it's a bad thing, it's a bad thing, it's a bad thing, it's a bad thing, it's a bad thing, it's a bad thing. It's not a bad thing, it's a bad thing, it's a bad thing, it's a bad thing, it's a good thing, it's a good thing, it's a bad thing, it's a bad thing, it's a bad thing. It's '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' ''说出 直截了当 地 说出 "人权" 人权 或许 或许 会 显得 比较。 比较

It does not contain a lot of 央, it does not have a lot of 作家, it has a lot of 西藏 在 事件 西藏 中 , , , 的 家乡 的 家乡 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的This option does not contain any settings, it can be set to “国家 安全 安全 , 了 了 了 国家 国家 国家 也 也 即是说 也 即是说 的 的 反抗 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的 的The "” "option has not been specified yet.

贡却才培于今年2月26日被捕,最近被当地政府判处有期徒刑15年;更嘎仓央于今年3月17日被捕,最近被当地政府判处有期徒刑5年,而在判决之前,他们的家人谁也不知道他们的下落。类似状况实际上在藏地非常普遍,许多家庭根本就不知道自己失踪的亲人是被捕了,还是遇到更大的不测了,甚至不知道应该去哪里寻找他们。法律成了一纸空文,黑箱操作的结果毫无公正可言。令人担忧的是,从已经获悉的情况来看,不久的将来恐将有更多的藏人,亦可能面临或已经面临因司法不公正、黑箱操作而构成的牢狱重刑,这也意味着,将有或者已经有更多的藏人失去奥巴马总统所说的”所有的男女拥有某些根本的权利”。

有增无减 的 镇压, 这才 是 西藏 的 现实. 但 说 实话, 我们 已经 很难 寄望 那些 说不出 人权 两个字 的 世界 政要 们, 秉持 坚定 的 人道 立场 了.

2009-11-19, 北京

Send your comments to: debatt@nytid.no

Give an answer

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn about how your comment data is processed.

- Advertisement -spot_img

You may also likeRelated
Recommended