On February 19th, one day before the closing ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022, ICHRRF (International Commission for Human Rights and Religious Freedom) hosted an online symposium featuring presentations by representatives of various international groups facing cultural, political and ethnic persecution at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party regime. Prominent representatives of the Tibetan, Uyghur and Ladakhi (Gilgit-Baltistan part) communities delivered succinct comments on the contemporary challenges they face and possible ways forward.
The Olympics are supposed to be celebrated in a spirit of a shared human heritage and peaceful coexistence among the comity of nations. In that light, the long-running behavior of the People’s Republic of China, its ruling Communist Party and the PLA is a matter of concern on several counts. Most democracies have diplomatically boycotted the Beijing Winter Olympics owing to the CCP's abysmal record of human rights violations at home as well as territorial aggression against its neighbors. This educational event allowed the public to interactively inform themselves and to ask questions about the suffering of large groups of people living under occupation under the CCP regime.
The speakers included Prof. Ved Nanda (professor of Law at the University of Denver), Ms Thinlay Chukki (Tibetan exile and Harvard-educated lawyer and advocate for Tibetan rights), Ms Rushan Abbas (exiled Uyghur and founder of Campaign for Uyghurs), Mr. Senge Sering (Pakistani exile and founder of the Gilgit-Baltistan Institute in Washington, DC), and Mr. Sonam Tsering (general secretary of the Tibetan Youth Congress in exile). Prof. Nwawang Legshe appealed for cooperation among the persecuted communities. All these speakers roundly condemned the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the corporate sponsors for placing monetary and other considerations above Human Rights in awarding China the venue for this global event. They compared this with the Berlin Olympics of 1936 under the Nazi Germany and warned nations that respect Human Rights that the rise of China is only accelerating the audacity and scale of its aggression against its colonized minorities as well as all of its neighbors. Both Tibetan and Uyghur speakers urged conscientious citizens and lawmakers of democratic nations to divest from China and penalize multinational corporations who continue to sponsor and connive with the CCP regime. The speaker from Gilgit-Baltistan also pointed out the rogue states that are collaborating with China in its relentless colonization and exploitative drive across the world.
After considering the remarks of the esteemed speakers, ICHRRF expressed solidarity with those who advocate for the Human Rights of all minorities and occupied and colonized nations under Chinese rule. ICHRRF urged the governments as well as multinational corporations to consider the human rights record of the nations they invest heavily in, lest they empower the despotic forces that will take the world down the dark path of totalitarianism.
A recording of the event can be viewed on ICHRRF’s YouTube channel here.