China says Tibet is now, and has been part of China since the 12th century.
This sounds an awful lot like Quebec separatist's relationship with Canada, don't it?
The difference, however, is Quebecois are not put in jail for displaying a fleur-de-lis.
Organising support for Quebec seccession will not lead to torture.
Running a political party dedicated to Quebec seccession will not lead to dissappearance.
The Tibetan government in exile argues Tibet is an occupied country since the 1951 invasion by China.
After an failed uprising against the Chinese forces, the Dalai Lama and the rest of the Tibetan government fled to India in 1959.
When the IOC awarded the 2008 Olympics to Beijing, China pledged tranparency, and recognition of human rights as per the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Under the UN Coventant the Tibetans could organize a referendum to determine if the wanted to be part of China, or not.
This sounds an awful lot like Quebec separatist's dream, don't it?
When Beijing won its Olympic bid in 2001, it pledged, among other things, to support human rights.
The IOC has not held Beijing accountable for its lack of progress towards any meaningful human rights reform.
The situation in Lhasa is anything but normal. The authorities continue to fear that Tibetans may try to stage further protests, and Tibetans continue to fear that they can be arrested at any time for any reason. Using Tibet for a propaganda opportunity such as the Olympic torch relay – while sealing it to independent investigators – is both unconscionable and reckless.
Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch.
June 17, 2008
June 17, 2008
The dissappointing part of the 2008 Olympics is the missed opportunity for the IOC to pressure China for meaningful changes to their human rights policy.