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TNC Condemns China's ‘Lhasa Consensus”

posted Sep 2, 2014, 5:40 PM by The Tibetan Political Review

By the Tibetan National Congress

August 21st, 2014

Tibetan National Congress (TNC) is deeply concerned about the participation of at least 100 foreign politicians and dignitaries in a recent propaganda event by China. China said that the attendees at this event signed and agreed to a document (the “Lhasa Consensus”) that attacked His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for presenting a “distorted and incorrect” picture of Tibet and claimed that Tibetans were happy and enjoyed religious freedom. The Lhasa Consensus also claimed Western media were biased in their reports about Tibet.

The 2014 forum on Development in Tibet took place in Lhasa from August 12-13 and was organized by the Chinese Government. China claims that over 100 foreign politicians and dignitaries attended this event, but there was no foreign media coverage. At the end of this conference, China released the Lhasa Consensus and said there was unanimous consensus to this document. However, while attendees were enjoying a conference in Lhasa, at least 10 Tibetans in Kardze, Kham (Ch: Ganzi, Sichuan Province) were shot by Chinese police during a peaceful protest. Of the 25 arrested, least five Tibetans have died due to untreated gunshot injuries, one committed suicide to protest the torture. The foreign attendees to this conference seemed to have been oblivious to this event.

A China Central TV (CCTV) reporting on this conference showed interviews of Pat Breen (Irish Parliament), Peter Wittman (Australian State Council), and Victor Trappl (Director, Confucius Institute, Vienna). Other participants included: Sir Bob Parker, former mayor of Christchurch, New Zealand; Robert John Parker, Chairman of Huaxin International Ltd from New Zealand; Kondo Shoichi, Secretary General of the Nonpartisan Sino-Japan Friendship Parliamentarians’ Union and former Japanese Senior Vice Minister of the Environment; N. Ram, Chairman and Publisher of the Hindu Group of Newspapers; and Kulasri Kariyawasam, Secretary of the Sri Lanka China Social and Cultural Cooperation.

Sir Bob Parker later disassociated himself from the Lhasa Consensus. In response to a question about whether he was aware of the content of the Lhasa Consensus, Sir Bob Parker responded: “Not at all. I’m aware that the statement was made but I certainly haven’t signed up to it. I think a number of people who were there were a little surprised to hear about that statement. Certainly the conference that I’ve been attending has been focused on sustainable development and there were no real political themes running through it at all.” Reportedly, Pat Breen (Irish Parliament) has refused to sign the Lhasa Consensus.

However, not all Western attendees were as forthcoming about their involvement. UK Labour politician Lord Davidson reportedly said: “It’s very clear that the investment that has been put into Tibet has raised the standards of living of people here quite remarkably. I was hearing about the doubling, more or less, of the longevity of the population. These are remarkable accomplishments achieved in a very short time.” But Lord Davidson refused to answer any media questions about his participation in this Tibet conference, according to the BBC. For more information about the Lhasa Conference see reports by Radio Free Asia and International Campaign for Tibet.

“While Western and other foreign dignitaries were enjoying a conference in Lhasa and talking about how much China has developed Tibet, Chinese police were shooting and killing unarmed Tibetans,” said Jigme Ugen, President of TNC. “The Lhasa Consensus claims Tibetans are happy, enjoy religious freedom and economic development, and that news about Tibet has been distorted by His Holiness and a biased Western media. But the shooting deaths of unarmed Tibetan protestors prove the false nature of the so-called Lhasa Consensus and China’s claims about Tibet.”

The UN, United States, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have all documented the severe human rights violations in Tibet. The Lhasa Consensus said: “Seeing is believing. Participants express the aspiration to introduce the real Tibet to the world.” Yet, China refuses to allow UN human rights investigators into Tibetan areas and bans foreign journalists from Tibet without special permission accompanied by government minders. “If China wants to introduce the real Tibet to the world, then why do they refuse to allow foreign journalists and independent human rights investigators into Tibetan areas? The lack of free access shows that China’s claims about Tibet ring hollow” said Jigme Ugen.

TNC makes the following recommendations:

TNC calls upon all foreign attendees to the 2014 Tibet Development Forum to publicly explain why they participated and whether or not they actually endorsed or signed the Lhasa Consensus. They should disavow the Lhasa Consensus and speak about the real human rights situation in Tibet;

TNC calls upon the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to thoroughly investigate the August 2014 shootings in Kardze (Ch: Ganzi TAP, Sichuan Province) and to visit Tibetans areas in order to fully assess the human rights situation for Tibetans;

TNC calls upon the Chinese Government to open up Tibet to free access by the UN, foreign journalists and human rights investigators;

TNC also calls upon democratic governments around the world to host or participate (without Chinese interference) in a multilateral conference on Tibet that explores all subjects concerning Tibet, including human rights, economic development, environment, nomad re-settlement, cultural/social issues, and self-determination.