By Tenzin Monlam
Tibetan delegation with UN Human Rights Council President Maza Martelli at United Nations Office in Geneva. Photo-Tibet.net
DHARAMSHALA, FEB 8: The President of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), Joaquin Alexander Maza Martell, has assured of continued support for Tibet during a meeting with a Tibetan delegation.
“With human rights work, do not worry about the circumstances and international contexts, have a pragmatic vision,” said the HRC President while ensuring his office’s priority to protect human rights.
The four-member delegation - Secretaries of Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) and Nyima Lhamo, niece of late Tulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche along with Geneva Office of Tibet, carried out a weeklong campaign to lobby UN permanent missions, HRC members, office of UN Higher Commissioner for Human Rights and UN Special Procedures Mandate Holders.
“The UN advocacy work initiated by DIIR is significant to ensure Tibet remains on the UN Human Rights agenda, especially in the lead up to the 34th UN Human Rights Council Session beginning this month and 3rd cycle of China’s Universal Periodic Review due in November next year,” said Sonam Norbu Dagpo, International Relations Secretary, DIIR.
The delegation during their lobbying raised four important issues pertaining to the worsening situation of human rights in Tibet including ‘crackdown on human rights defenders’ like Tashi Wangchuk who was arrested for advocating Tibetan language rights and the case of demolition of Larung Gar and forceful eviction of monks and nuns.
The UN advocacy group also raised the issue of ‘enforced and involuntary disappearance’ related to the case of disappearance of the 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and ‘heavy monitoring and surveillance’ of Tibetans through grid management system travel restrictions, passport confiscation and discriminatory practices in issuing passports.
“We now have a clear five-year strategic plan to leverage the UN mechanisms to effectively engage with UN Missions, UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies and HRC’s Special Procedures Mechanisms, most importantly, to make China a responsible member of the UN with a sense of ownership and self-accountability,” said Dhardon Sharling, Information Secretary, DIIR.