Hong Kong, Sept.7 (ANI): While the other countries of the world fight their own demons in the media glare, China is one place where political problems are successfully kept under wraps.
A prime example of the Chinese expertise in maintaining secrecy is the blatant atrocities committed on ethnic Uyghur’s – Muslims of Turkish ancestry-in Xinjiang province, who have remained for many centuries in a state of conflict with the Han community, the main ethnic group in China.
Chinese courts have been sending Uyghur Sunni Muslims to prison for unspecified terms on charges of terrorism and other civil crimes.
The “crimes” listed out included – inciting communal hatred, harbouring criminals; bigamy; drug trafficking; destruction of evidence and belonging to a terrorist organisation etc.
The jail terms extend up to 10 years in some cases. Courts of all counties and cities in the Kashgar region are regularly pressed into service to deliver sentences. Even though ethnicity was not declared, the names were distinctly Uyghur.
In a particularly barbaric method of court procedures, on May, 28, 2014, 55 people, once again of Uyghur Muslim origin, were tried in a stadium in front of a crowd of several thousands. They were made to wear prominent orange coloured vests and stand in trucks with their heads bowed while being surrounded by military guards.
The charges included terrorism, separatism and murder for which three were given death sentence, while the others got different degrees of prison terms.
China is blatantly attempting to impose restrictions in the practice of the Muslim religion by the ethnic population. There have been instances where the government has issued a diktat to students and civil servants in Xinjiang to avoid fasting during Ramadan. This act has drawn international revulsion.
The beauty of the situation is that what is today passed off as western China, predominantly the Xinjiang province, has historically not been a part of the erstwhile Chinese Empire.
It was the People’s Liberation Army of the Communist regime that forcibly annexed the region in 1949.
The Uyghur’s are now called rebels.
Once occupied, China set about a well planned agenda to change the demographic pattern of the region by settling a large chunk of Han Chinese over there. It is only natural that Uyghur’s look upon the Han as outsiders who have forcibly occupied their land and are now blatantly colonising the resource rich region with active connivance of all tools of state power.
The Han population, on its part, is resentful of the Uyghur, but quite happy with the billions of dollars of investment that is being made to industrialise the region.
The arguments on both sides cannot wish away the root cause for a conflict that has been created by the Communist regime.
It is very difficult to accept the manner in which China forcibly occupied the Xinjiang region, as also Tibet, while the world looked along silently. Now, the regions are being used by the Communist regime to further its strategic and economic agenda.
Exiled Uyghur groups and human rights organisations across the world cannot be faulted for putting the blame of the unrest in the Xinjiang province on the repressive politics being followed by the Chinese regime.
Despite having committed this gross violation on the people, the Chinese Government today describes the protest over there as separatism and more agonizingly – “terrorism.” Now a stage has come when even the religious practices of the people are being curtailed.
China must realise that it cannot fool the world by insisting that the people of Xinjiang are being led on a wayward path by some evil Mullahs. It cannot pass off the violence as terrorism and punish people en-mass to create an aura of fear through blatant state sponsored terrorism.
Having taken over the region, China’s purpose would be best served by doing everything possible to facilitate its smooth integration. This is possible only if reconciliation is used as a tool rather than brute force. (ANI)