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Tibetan Rights and Dignity

To illustrate how little has changed in four years, other than conditions becoming worse, the 2008 Nader/Gonzalez campaign is posting these policy positions on various injustices, necessities, and redirections that were prepared initially for the 2004 Nader/Camejo campaign. Such a short historical context should give our supporters and viewers an even greater sense of urgency to stop the corporate interests' and the corporate governments' autocratic control -- and the resulting deterioration -- of our society and country.

The plight of the Tibetan people is one of the great human rights tragedies of the Twentieth Century. The Chinese government has brutally oppressed the people of Tibet and engaged in a conscious campaign to wipe out traditional Tibetan culture.

Unfortunately, the political reality does not currently allow for an independent Tibet state, but the people of Tibet must be given autonomy over their domestic affairs. In addition, the horrific human rights abuses and widespread limitations on free speech, assembly, and movement must end.

Tibet existed as an independent, sovereign nation for hundreds of years prior to the Chinese occupation in 1950. For centuries, Tibet held a strategic position at the nexus of historical powers India, Mongolia, and China. Tibet had complex linguistic, economic, political, and cultural interactions with each of the surrounding nations, but there is a clear consensus among historians that Tibet was for many years an independent nation-state.

The International Committee of Jurists declared in 1960 that "acts of genocide were committed" by the Chinese against the Tibetan people. Only a handful of the over 6,000 monasteries in Tibet have escaped Chinese occupation unscathed. Thousands of Tibetans have been killed, raped, or tortured by Chinese forces in the half century since the onset of occupation. Tibet’s natural resources have been unsustainably ravaged for use in the population centers of Eastern China. Millions of Han Chinese have been brought to Tibet in part in an attempt to dilute the influence of Tibetans in their own land.

The Dalai Lama, the political and spiritual leader of Tibet, has led a noble attempt to resist the attempt to wipe out Tibetan culture, and his constant calls for just treatment of his people have been an example for social movements across the world. His demand for sane treatment of the Tibetans must be mirrored by global community and heard by the Chinese government. Unfortunately, bowing to the financial interests of predatory transnational corporations, the United States has given up its best bargaining chip by ending the annual review of China’s human rights record.

The affronts to human dignity must end. The Chinese Government must:

There needs to be a concerted effort to have:

The plight of the Tibetans is a true travesty. In contrast to their oppressors, the Tibetan people have set an extraordinary example in their organized non-violent resistance to tyranny. The United States and the world community would do well to follow their example.