Representative Thinlay Chukki while speaking on behalf of the Society for Threatened Peoples during the ongoing 52nd UN Human Rights Council Session was repeatedly interrupted by the Chinese delegation on 15 March 2023.
Speaking at the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights, Representative Thinlay Chukki thanked the special rapporteur for the report on cultural rights of the migrants and brought to the attention of the Rapporteur the situation of Tibetan nomads in Tibet. Immediately the Chinese delegation raised a point of order and interrupted the statement. Calling the speaker “separatist” involved in “anti-China separatist” activities, the Chinese delegation stated that “allowing her to conduct in separatist activities severely violates the process and principles of the UN Charter” and requested the vice-president of the Council to stop the speaker from delivering her statement.
After considering the matter, Vice-President of the Human Rights Council noted that there have not been any violations of the rules and allowed the speaker to resume the dialogue. On resumption of the statement, the Chinese delegation once again interrupted the speaker noting that “this Representative severely undermines the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China” and called for “immediate stop.”
On the other hand, the US delegation called the attention of the Vice-President to allow the speaker to take the floor and not to interrupt without listening to the content of the statement.
The Vice-President, after due consideration of the UN procedures and principles, allowed the speaker to resume the statement.
In the statement Representative Thinlay Chukki noted that “Several Tibetan schools catering to the children of the Tibetan nomads have been closed and are being forced to attend colonial style residential schools.” Representative also highlighted the UN experts’ concerns on nearly one million Tibetan children being forcibly assimilated and the concluding observations of the the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural rights which called on the Chinese government to abolish the coerced residential school system.
In conclusion the Representative requested the Special rapporteur for “clear guidelines and recommendations to the Chinese government to protect the cultural rights of Tibetans particularly of Tibetan nomads who are forcibly relocated from their traditional lands with cultural heritage.”
Click here to see the video.