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Section C: Enforcing The Tibetans' Right To Self-Determination Will Enhance International Values Of Peace And Security And Promote Human Rights And Fundamental Freedoms

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1. The Right Of Self-Determination Should Be Enforced As Against A Claim Of Territorial Integrity When Doing So Will Advance The Fundamental Values Of The International Community
2. Affording the Tibetans the Broadest Latitude in Exercising Their Right of Self-Determination Would Effectuate the Fundamental Values of the International Community

1. The Right Of Self-Determination Should Be Enforced As Against A Claim Of Territorial Integrity When Doing So Will Advance The Fundamental Values Of The International Community

'The right of self-determination is not absolute. Where it conflicts with other rights or principles recognized by international law, a process of balancing these rights and their underlying values must take place. This is particularly true in situations where the right of self-determination conflicts with the principle of national unity and territorial integrity.' Thus, despite some contrary scholarly opinion, the right of self-determination is not a rule of jus cogens, a peremptory norm of international law from which no derogation is permitted under any circumstances. Rather, its exercise must be effected in accord with the other fundamental values of the international community.

2. Affording The Tibetans The Broadest Latitude In Exercising Their Right Of Self-Determination Would Effectuate The Fundamental Values Of The International Community

In the case of Tibet, fundamental international values require that the Tibetans be permitted to exercise their right of self-determination, even if they might choose independence. Given the current situation in Tibet under occupation by the PRC and the likely outcome of permitting Tibetans to choose independence from the PRC, this is the only conclusion that is consistent with basic international values.

The basic values of the international community are set forth in Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations as the Purposes of that body:

The Purposes of the United Nations are:

1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;

2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;

3. To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and

4. To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

a. Affording the Tibetans the broadest latitude in exercising their right of self-determination would enhance international peace and security TC "a. Affording the Tibetans the broadest latitude in exercising their right of self-determination would enhance international peace and security" \f C \l "4" 

The ongoing denial of the Tibetans' right of self-determination by the PRC threatens international peace and security. 'The [People's Liberation Army], which suppressed Tibetan revolts in 1956-59 and 1968-69 and enforced martial law in Lhasa in 1989, remains a high-profile force which is an essential guarantor of China's continuing control over Tibet. Estimates of the number of PLA troops stationed on the Tibetan Plateau vary from about 150,000 to 500,000. Whatever the exact figure, the numbers are substantial, and even casual observers notice the number of troops stationed in and around Lhasa and other Tibetan towns compared to cities elsewhere in the PRC. Some have described Lhasa as a garrison town.''

India also maintains a large military presence on the borders of the Tibetan Plateau; indeed, according to the PRC's own documents, India has had as many as 240,000 troops there in recent years. Before the PLA moved into Tibet in 1950, China and India did not have a common border; since then, however, the border tension between the two countries has been constant, breaking out into actual war -- for the first time in Sino-Indian history -- in 1962 and into many limited confrontations after that. Moreover, India's recent successful tests of nuclear weapons, along with Pakistan's apparent ability to create nuclear weapons, makes Tibet the juncture of, and potential buffer between, three nuclear powers.

Demilitarizing an international hot spot would obviously tend to 'maintain international peace and security' and conduce 'friendly relations among nations. Thus, it cannot reasonably be disputed that '[a] restoration of good relations between the world's two most populous countries would be greatly facilitated if they were separated -- they were throughout history -- by a large and friendly buffer region.' Moreover, it has been pointed out that demilitarizing the Himalayas would not only reduce tensions between China and India, lessening the threat of international armed conflict, but also enable both of those nations to direct their resources toward improving the lives of their citizens and increase the ability of their Southeast Asian neighbors to do likewise. 'If Tibet should become a zone of peace and be free from Chinese troops and nuclear weapons, there would be no reason for India to maintain a large army on the Himalayan heights. This would immediately enable both India and China to reduce their military expenditure and use the money thus saved for economic development. A totally demilitarized Tibet and an India living in peace and friendship [with China] could trigger changes in South Asia that will end tensions in the region and pave the way for a better life for its people.'

Moreover, an independent or self-governing Tibet would be extremely unlikely to act aggressively toward its neighbors or any other nation. Allowing the Tibetans to exercise their right of self-determination would therefore pose no significant threat to the peace. Because 'in his struggle for the liberation of Tibet[, he] consistently has opposed the use of violence[ and] has instead advocated peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect,' the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. This has remained the position of the Government-In-Exile and of the Tibetan people with few exceptions. Also, although the Tibetans accepted foreign support for violent campaigns during a guerrilla war of almost 20 years, that war is almost twenty years past. There is no evidence that an independent or self-governing Tibet would have any violent tendencies; therefore, no threat to the peace would result.

Averting threats to peace and maintaining international security and friendly international relations is arguably the single most fundamental value of the international community. It is the first of the constitutive purposes of the United Nations, and it underlies the U.N. Charter's assertion of the principle of self-determination. It is the first matter discussed in the Preamble to the Declaration on Principles, and it is expressly incorporated in that Declaration's treatment of four of the seven enumerated 'basic principles of international law.' Denying the Tibetans' right of self-determination undermines that fundamental principle, whereas permitting Tibet to establish its own independent or self-governing demilitarized state would advance it. The principle of international peace and security, therefore, favors Tibetan self-determination.

b. Affording the Tibetans the broadest latitude in exercising their right of self-determination would promote respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms TC "b. Affording The Tibetans The Broadest Latitude In Exercising Their Right Of Self-Determination Would Promote Respect For Human Rights And Fundamental Freedoms" \f C \l "4" 

The case of Tibet is, in at least some ways, at the extremes of international law. Unlike some other peoples whose right of self-determination has been denied, the Tibetans' very survival as a people is at stake. The PRC is attempting the destruction or assimilation of the Tibetans as a people through acts of genocide, population transfer, political repression, discriminatory practices, and destruction of the Tibetans' fragile environment.

The PRC has shown contempt for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Tibetan people. It has openly intensified its campaign against the practice of Buddhism, eliminated opportunities for Tibetan language, history and culture to survive, increased the pace of population transfer, accelerated political arrests, increased the rate of torture and arbitrary executions of political prisoners, extended brutal birth control policies, and pillaged more aggressively Tibet's natural resources. It has done so despite international attention and condemnation.

The Tibetans, on the other hand, have demonstrated their willingness to respect human rights by adopting an interim constitution in which international legal norms concerning human rights figure prominently. Tibet 'renounces war as an instrument of offensive policy and force shall not be used against the liberty of other peoples [or] as a means of resolving international controversies and [Tibet] will hereby adhere to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.'

Moreover, it is 'the duty of the Government of Tibet to adhere strictly to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,' and the Tibetan Constitution includes numerous provisions which mirror those of basic instruments of international law. That Constitution guarantees the right to life and prohibits slavery and forced labor, prohibits inhumane treatment and arbitrary detention, and guarantees equality before the law.

The Constitution of Tibet guarantees freedoms of conscience and religion; speech, expression, and peaceable assembly; choice of employment and association in unions; and movement and change of residence. It also guarantees numerous rights of criminal defendants, the right to participate in government through suffrage and by holding office, and the right to hold property. Perhaps most importantly, it guarantees the availability of an effective remedy for violations of the rights secured by it.

The constitutional reforms currently underway with respect to the interim constitution for a free Tibet and already partially implemented in Dharamsala by the Government-In-Exile in the Charter of the Tibetans in Exile, represent the further democratic evolution of Tibet. The Cabinet (Kashag) is now popularly elected, whereas it was formerly appointed by the Dalai Lama; the legislature now oversees the actions of the executive; and an independent judiciary is emerging.

The actual conduct of the Tibetan Government-In-Exile amply demonstrates that government's willingness to observe these constitutional guarantees in practice. From its beginnings in elections held among the refugees in 1960 (before the Tibetan Constitution had even been promulgated), that government has outgrown its early practice of having legislators serves as executive officers and has begun holding primary elections. The Tibetan Youth Congress developed and holds a substantial share of governmental positions. In short, 'the Tibetans in exile have furnished proof that they are able to take their fates into their own hands. They are the best-organized exile nation in the world. They have combined their traditional values with modern education in such a way that they benefit from both. Politically, the exile government is a functioning democratic government.'

All of the available evidence therefore supports only one conclusion: that only the fullest exercise of the Tibetans' right to self-determination can halt the present systematic campaign of human rights abuses against the Tibetan people.

(On to III.D, The Tibetans' Demand For 'Genuine Self-Rule' Does Not Conflict With The PRC's Claim Of Territorial Integrity -->)

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