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SMHRIC Statement (1) to the United Nations Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues 8th Session

May 28, 2009
New York


Southern Mongolian representatives at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII) 8th Session



Good afternoon!

My name is Enghebatu Togochog, and I represent the indigenous Mongolian people in China.

Thank you Madam Chair for giving me this opportunity to talk about the issues the indigenous Mongolian people are facing in China.

Here I would like to bring to your attention two specific cases:

The first is the case of Mr.Naranbilig, the indigenous Mongolian community leader in China. Mr. Naranbilig was a grantee of the Voluntary Fund last year and invited by the Permanent Forum to attend the 7th Session. Unfortunately, he was not able to attend it, because he was arrested by the Chinese authorities and placed under 1 year house arrest following a 20-day detention just for attempting to attend the 7th Session and protecting the rights of indigenous Mongolian people in China. He was charged with the crime of “attempting to collaborate the foreign hostile enemies and engaging in espionage”.

We are sorry to inform the Permanent Forum and the Voluntary Fund that your approval letter and invitation to Mr. Naranbilig to attend the 7th Session were never delivered to him, instead they were confiscated by the Chinese authorities. Now, he is forbidden to travel anywhere, and his passport has been confiscated by the Chinese authorities.

The second case I would like to talk about is China’s state-sponsored projects of “Ecological Migration” and “Total Ban over Livestock Grazing”. The so-called “Ecological Migration” has been carried out since 2001 by the Chinese Government to forcibly displace the entire population of mobile indigenous Mongols from their ancestral grazing lands to agricultural and urban areas under the slogans of “recovering grassland eco-system”, and “improving the living standard of the indigenous Mongols”. The second project “Total Ban over Livestock Grazing” has forced the indigenous Mongols to either eliminate their livestock or raise them in fences. Under this policy, grazing livestock on the grasslands is considered a crime that is subjected to harsh punishment and heavy fines.

Madam Chair, China has voted for the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples without considering its 55 indigenous peoples as “indigenous”. As you know, China is not a country of rule of law, and the Government of China has continually ignored its citizens’ basic human rights and fundamental freedom that are guaranteed by the Universal Human Rights Declaration. Given this circumstance, my question to the Permanent Forum is:

What mechanism does the Permanent Forum have to ensure and monitor the effective implementation of the Declaration in countries like China who voted for the Declaration but do not recognize the existence of indigenous peoples within their borders?

Thank you.

Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center

Tel: 001-718-786-9236






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

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