Human suffering IS abundant.
Natural disasters some believe are God’s or Allah’s judgement on those afflicted or maybe karma. Most don’t consider the blame – their heart strings are pulled by the suffering, the forces of a malevolent Earth robbing the innocence of the victims and ourselves. These unexpected and seemingly random events are sometimes blamed on people, yet we all know that the Earth’s forces are only under control in the most benign of circumstances.
On the other hand, the suffering inflicted by human on humans is completely within our power to stop. I sincerely believe that our honor, the inherent spirit of humanity is sullied, no, our worth as a species drops several notches if we do not actively work to end this suffering.
For those safely tucked into their bubble where everything is snug and cozy and blissfully unaware of the inhumane treatment accorded some of our human brethren- stop reading. There is no desire on my part to let the cold hard reality eliminate the peace and happiness that you are experiencing.
On the other hand, if you do have a conscience and care about not just human rights, but also the alleviation of suffering then I urge you to become informed about the great suffering in Inner Asia.
At the end of May 2012, the Chinese government announced their “Final Solution” for people living the pastoral lifestyle – they are to be removed from the land where they have lived in harmony for thousands of years and resettled in newly built apartment blocks. Although the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is a signatory to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which states that “indigenous peoples shall not be forcefully removed from their lands,” Chinese government authorities have established an end-date for the nomads under their control. Citing ‘protection of the grasslands’ is one reason that they have stated, but they fail to understand that the degradation of the grasslands only started after they took over. How could the people who have lived in harmony with the grasslands for thousands of years be responsible? The real reason for their expulsion from the land is the exploitation of considerable mineral wealth beneath the ground. Mongolian herders have reported numerous instances of heavy-handed tactics to remove them and when they seek redress from government authorities they are faced with beatings and/or prison.
It isn’t only the Mongols, but Tibetan nomads and other ethnic minorities from what was once Eastern Turkestan, but now is called ‘Xinjiang” or “New Dominion” by the Chinese government are also facing the same fate.
It isn’t only the nomads that have it rough. Religious practice is tightly controlled with avowed atheists (Chinese Communist Party [CCP] members) placed in charge of every authorized religious edifice and event. Unauthorized religious gatherings are illegal – no matter whether Christian, Muslim, or Buddhist. An entire religious sect has been outlawed because it had so many members that the CCP felt threatened – Falun Dafa or Falun Gong members have been jailed and suffered terrible consequences at the behest of Chinese government authorities.
If you’re not a nomad or particularly religious you are still not out of the woods, Recent policies, laws and regulations have outlawed education except in the Chinese language. Imagine trying to study the Uighur language, or history or culture in a foreign language. A people with a population greater than several European nations and all levels of education is outlawed in their language in their homeland.
Ancient cities such as Kashgar, famed waypoint on the Silk Route, or Lhasa, the ancient capital of Tibet, have been razed and are now undergoing reconstruction as Chinese cities – effectively erasing their history and any connection with 1500 years of non-Chinese culture and traditions.
The most horrific manifestation of the reaction to the cultural genocide are the instances of self-immolation in Tibet. It would be ridiculous to ascribe their actions as the orders from His Holiness the Dalai Lama or any Tibetan in exile. The facts on the ground are such that rather than commit violence against their oppressors – they have been willing to sacrifice themselves and willingly endure intense suffering to maintain their cultural, linguistic, historical identity rather than watch it erased and the memory retained in books or TV programs.
How we treat the weakest among us is how we should be judged as a species. If we dare to allow the sacrifice of our Tibetan brethren to be in vain, we are no better than the thugs that perpetrate the violence against peace-loving peoples. People with traditions and cultures that reach much further back than the tyranny of the Chinese Communist Party face an onslaught of laws, policies designed to eliminate their existence as a people.
Nobody is asking that you get wrapped around the axle and change your life, but a handwritten letter to your legislative representatives would be of immeasurable assistance. Let your Congressional representatives know that the Chinese government’s policies towards minority peoples, including Mongols, Uighurs, Tibetans, Kazakh, etc. are intolerable.
One handwritten letter to tip the balance.
I am writing to express my complete dismay of the manner in which minority people’s rights are observed in the People’s Republic of China.
Policies, laws and regulations enacted by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are instruments of the cultural genocide against the minority peoples of China.
The restrictions on indigenous education that force minority peoples to learn the Han Chinese language and eschew the tongue of their native homeland.
Restrictions on religious observance, especially placing control of religious activities under the control of avowed atheists (CCP members.)
The destruction and/or complete control of cultural icons to reconfigure them to be consistent with CCP propaganda.
The ‘Final Solution’ for those individuals whose ancestors have lived the pastoral lifestyle for centuries.
Please use your great office to to help the millions of people suffering the destruction of their cultural identity have some hope for a brighter future.
Do not let the sacrifices of brave men and women go for naught.