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Exile Group Condemns Inner Mongolia Celebrations

July 26, 2007



Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR) officials held a press conference in Beijing to celebrate the 60th anniversary of IMAR (Xinhua photo)



IMAR Governer Yang Jing answered questions by the Reuter reporter on human rights issues of ethnic Mongolians (Xinhua photo)



BEIJING, July 26 (Reuters) - The 60 years since China set up the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region have been marked by environmental destruction, persecution and cultural assimilation and are not worth celebrating, an exiled group said on Thursday.

Inner Mongolia -- called Southern Mongolia by some dissidents -- was China's first autonomous region at a provincial level and is supposed to enjoy a high level of self government, much like Tibet and Xinjiang in the far west.

Inner Mongolia's governor, Yang Jing, said this week that the last 60 years had been ones of "ethnic unity and prosperity".

"For the Mongols, it is 60 years of human tragedy, environmental destruction, social crisis and psychological trauma," said Enghebatu Togochog, president of the New York-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Centre.

"The Chinese came in and got everything while the Mongols lost everything including their basic human rights, fundamental freedom, culture, tradition, lifestyle, and the natural habitat where they maintained their distinct way of life for thousands of years," he said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

"This celebration is not only a justification of China's colonial occupation in Southern Mongolia but also (shows) the determination of China's continuing suppression against the Mongols," Togochog said.

Decades of migration by the dominant Han have made Chinese Mongolians a minority in their own land, officially comprising less than 20 percent of the almost 24 million population of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region.

The government says it protects and promotes the rights and culture of the Mongolians.

But Beijing, sensitive about ethnic unrest in strategic border areas like Inner Mongolia and Tibet, keeps a tight rein on minorities.

Less is known about human rights issues in Inner Mongolia, as the Mongolians do not have well-known overseas advocates like Tibet's Dalai Lama or Rebiya Kadeer, the Nobel Peace Prize nominee called the "mother of the Uighur people".




From Yeke-juu League to Ordos Municipality: settler colonialism and alter/native urbanization in Inner Mongolia

Close to Eden (Urga): France, Soviet Union, directed by Nikita Mikhilkov

Beyond Great WallsBeyond Great Walls: Environment, Identity, and Development on the Chinese Grasslands of Inner Mongolia

The Mongols at China's EdgeThe Mongols at China's Edge: History and the Politics of National Unity

China's Pastoral RegionChina's Pastoral Region: Sheep and Wool, Minority Nationalities, Rangeland Degradation and Sustainable Development

Changing Inner MongoliaChanging Inner Mongolia: Pastoral Mongolian Society and the Chinese State (Oxford Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology)

Grasslands and Grassland Science in Northern ChinaGrasslands and Grassland Science in Northern China: A Report of the Committee on Scholarly Communication With the People's Republic of China

The Ordos Plateau of ChinaThe Ordos Plateau of China: An Endangered Environment (Unu Studies on Critical Environmental Regions)
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