(TibetanReview.net, May11, 2014) The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR) on May 8 asked China pointed questions on three issues concerning its eviction of Tibetan nomads from their ancestral land. During its eight-hour review of performance on these issues, the committee questioned China on the forced resettlement of over 1.7 million Tibetan nomads, its violation of the Tibetan people’s right to non-discrimination, and the need for Tibetans to be able to fully exercise their cultural and religious rights.
China, however, claimed that the forced eviction policies were carried out with 100% consultation of the local Tibetan people. It also made it clear that the land inherited through generations over millennia now no longer belonged to the Tibetan nomads as ownership had passed on to the Chinese state since the latter annexed Tibet after the founding of the PRC in 1949.
Given the fact that Tibetan nomads cannot present their side of the story to the ESCR, since China would never allow them to do so and severely punish those who somehow manage to do so, the UN’s capacity to take China to task on these issues remain severely handicapped.
On Jan 26 this year, China’s online Tibet news service eng.tibet.cn, citing the country’s official Xinhua news agency, reported that a resettlement project for 2.3 million farmers and herders in the Tibet Autonomous Region, initiated in 2006, had been wrapped by the end of 2013.
Also, voanews.com Jan 24, citing the official Tibet TV website, reported that under Qinghai province’s five-year plan too, 90 percent of the Tibetan nomads living there would have been relocated similarly by the end of this year.