European Parliament Resolution on the Situation in Tibet

Resolution A3-0369/92

The European Parliament,

- having regard to the motions for resolutions:

(a) by Mrs. Muscardini and others on human rights and EEC economic activity in China (B3-0460/90) (b) by Mrs Aglietta and Mr Langer on the situation in Tibet (B3-1375/90) (c) by Mr Coates and others on the situation in Tibet (B3-1557/90),

- having regard to its resolution of 15 October 1987, 16 March 1989, 15 March 1990 and 13 February 1992,

- expressing its concern, mindful of Resolution 1991/10 of 23 August 1991 of the United Nations Sub-commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, at violations of fundamental human rights and freedoms that threaten the distinct cultural, religious and national identity of the Tibetan people,

- having regard to the UN Secretary-General's note on 'The situation in Tibet' (E/CN 41992/37) presented to the 48th Session of the Commission on Human Rights,

- having regard to draft resolution L.49 of 27 February 1992 on 'The situation in Tibet' introduced by Portugal on behalf of the Member States and co-sponsored by Austria, Costa Rica, Finland, Iceland, Leichtenstein, Norway, Panama and Switzerland, expressing concern at the human rights violations and calling upon the Government of China to 'ensure the full observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Tibetans',

- having regard to the information acquired during the hearing on human rights in Tibet held by the European Parliament on 24 and 25 April 1990,

- having regard to the experience of the European Parliament's delegation during its stay in Lhasa from 20 to 23 September 1991 and especially to the fact that the freedom of movement of the individual members of the delegation was restricted and that they were prevented from obtaining information outside the official programme for the visit, discussions with individual members of the Tibetan population and religious dignitaries being consistently prevented by the presence of security forces in large numbers,

- having regard to the report of the chairman of the Delegation for Relations with the People's Republic of China of 4 November 1991 on the delegation's visit to the People's Republic of China from 20 to 23 September 1991,

- having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Security (A3-0369/92),

A. recognizing that the Tibetans are a people according to international law,

B. noting that self-determination, a fundamental principle enshrined in Articles 1(2) and 55 of the United Nations Charter, is affirmed as a right of peoples in Article 1 of the United Nations Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights:

'All peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of this right, they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.'

C. recalling, however, that in his determination to secure the human rights of Tibetans by peaceful means, the Dalai Lama has made clear that he does not insist that Tibet should become totally independent;

D. noting with deep anxiety the continued denial of the Tibetan people's right to self-determination, in spite of the fact that according to the relevant international law, a broad range of possibilities are available to pave the way for the attainment of this right,

E. considering insufficient the legal autonomy currently granted to the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) by the Chinese government, and regretting that even this limited autonomy exists only in law but not in fact and that the economy is managed and local natural resources are exploited with insufficient regard to the needs and priorities of the Tibetan people,

F. noting with concern that traditional Tibet has been arbitrarily divided into five parts and that a large part of the former territory and population of Tibet has been incorporated into adjacent provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai,

G. deploring the continued violation of the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the Tibetans, including both civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights,

H. particularly concerned by the encouragement given to the resettlement of Chinese in Tibet, which marginalizes the Tibetan culture and threatens the identity of the Tibetans as a distinctive people and their ability to participate effectively in any political process both currently and if Tibet were to become democratic in the future,

I. distressed by the continued violations by China of its international obligations, as evidenced by the prevalence of mass executions, political detention and torture,

J. extremely concerned by the continued military occupation of Tibet by Chinese troops and armed police and the reported deployment of Chinese nuclear missiles, which pose a threat to peace and stability in this region and, in development projects,

K. deploring the destruction wrought on the natural environment of Tibet by a mistaken agricultural policy, a politcally motivated immigration policy and the ruthless exploitation of the country's natural resources, which contravenes the UN Declaration of the Rights of Peoples to Sovereignty over Natural Resources and has resulted in major deforestation around the upper reaches of Asia's greatest rivers, with catastrophic implications for the future of the region,

L. particularly concerned by the attacks on Tibetan culture, such as discrimination against the Tibetan language in government and in the education system, and the strict supervision of monasteries and religious observance, in open disregard of long-standing Tibetan traditions and customs despite nominal autonomy,

M. noting with concern the discriminatory nature of the health and education system in Tibet, which places in jeopardy the future of an entire people,

N. noting that most of the Tibetan population lives outside the TAR: while the TAR has 2.2 million inhabitants according to official figures of the Chinese authorities, a further 2.5 - 4 million Tibetans live outside the TAR in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures of Hainan, Haibei, Huanghan, Gannan, Golok, Yushu, Nhapa (Aba), Garze and Dechen and in the 'Mongolian, Tibetan, Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture of Haixi'; the fate of these people must also be taken into account as the Tibetan people strive to gain independence,

O. convinced that the traditional wisdom and culture of the Tibetan nation and its spiritual leadership will find a gentle and peaceful way to assert and attain their rights,

1. Condemns the human rights violations inflicted on the Tibetan people and calls on the People's Republic of China to respect human rights as defined in international law;

2. Demands the release of all political prisoners and a halt to torture and intimidation in Tibet, and urges the Chinese Government to invite a neutral and impartial institution such as the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit all detention facilities and prisoners;

3. Calls for an immediate halt to the environmental degradation anc economic exploitation perpetrated by the Chinese in Tibet, and insists that the management of natural resources and the economy be entrusted to local Tibetan authorities;

4. Appeals for an end to discrimination against Tibetans in health and education services, further efforts to improve the health and education levels of the Tibetan population and genuine improvement of the health and education facilities available to the Tibetan population;

5. Calls for the immediate reversal of policies that encourage the mass transfer of Chinese to Tibet in violation of the Tibetan people's right to self-determination which implies the right for the Tibetan people to decide democratically on levels and patterns of immigration and the promotion of Tibetan as the language of government and education in Tibet;

6. Recommends that, in the highly senstive area of birth control policy, a sensible, culturally and socially acceptable settlement be found, taking into account the convictions of the Tibetan population and the country's special situation;

7. Advocates the termination of all measures restricting the Tibetan's freedom of movement within the TAR even after the lifting of martial law (e.g. the occasional blockading of individual cities or areas); notes in particular that the freedom of monks to travel is restricted, the aim obviously being to prevent contacts between monasteries;

8. Welcomes the recent visits to Tibet permitted for Australian, Swiss, Austrian and other delegations, but regrets the selective and conditional nature of access to Tibet, particularly the refusal of permission to the rapporteur of the European Parliament's Political Affairs Committee to visit Tibet in his official capacity; deplores interference in the composition of delegations and the limits imposed on the freedom of movement of delegation members and on what foreign delegation members may observe while in Tibet; condemns in particular the persecution of Tibetans who talk to delegation members without permission or supply information to foreign delegation members which deviates from that prescribed by the Chinese authorities;

9. Abhors the censorship of communications and the limitations imposed on journalists, including denial of entry and expulsion, and the confiscation of documents and films from Western travellers and journalists;

10. Declares its solidarity with the numerous Tibetans serving long prison sentences for expressing or publishing their political opinions;

11. Welcomes the recent openness of the Chinese Government in supplying information about the numbers of politcal prisoners (those held for 'counterrevolutionary offenses') in Drapchi prison and hopes figures will be published for other categories of prisoners, e.g. prisoners being 'held for investigation' in Public Security Bureau detention and interrogation camps such as Gutsa and New Seitu and also political prisoners in 'reform and re-education through labour' camps at Sangyip and Powo Tramu and other unacknowledged prison camps;

12. Demands the full involvement of Tibetans, with international observation in the reconstruction of all culturally sensitive sites, particularly the Potala palace, which should be made a UNESCO 'World Heritage Site';

13. Regrets that the various constructive initiatives of the Dalai Lama's government in exile have not been acknowledged as a basis for serious negotiations; considers that a willingness to reconsider the Dalai Lama's five-point plan of 1987 might offer a renewed prospect of a peaceful and acceptable solution of the Tibetan question, and appeals to the Chinese Government to reconsider its refusal of the Dalai Lama's October 1991 request to visit Tibet and in a positive spirit to invite him to visit Tibet in 1993;

14. Urges the resumption of negotiations between the Tibetan government in exile and the Chinese authorities;

15. Urges that genuine self-determination be considered in these negotiations and, as a first step and sign of goodwill, recommends the incorporation of all Tibetan territories into a single administrative and political unit;

16. Is aware that Tibet will not find its way to democracy by its own efforts and that, on the termination of its one-sided dependence on the People's Republic of China, economic support measures will be needed to enable the country to use its natural resources independently and to bring its economic and politcal isolation to an end;

17. Calls upon the Commission to make the granting of assistance to China conditional on the observance of basic human rights and freedoms, particularly in Tibet, and to report on the situation in Tibet annually;

18. Urges the Commission to ensure in its relations with China that an appropriate percentage of funds, projects and scholarships is allocated to Tibet;

19. Insists that EEC-funded or supported projects in Tibet must genuinely serve the interests of the Tibetan people and involve a majority of Tibetans at all levels and that, where this cannot be achieved immediately, provision must be made for Tibetans to be trained in order to replace the Chinese mamagers, experts and technicians sent to the country;

20. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commision, the governments of the Member States, the Government of the People's Republic of China, the Dalai Lama and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

127 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 06511.