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Statement to the United Nations First Session on the Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues by the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center



United Nations, New York: May 23, 2002


Dear Mr. Chairperson, distinguished members and honorable participants,

My name is Enhebatu Togochog and I am an indigenous Mongolian from the Chinese Communist Party controlled Southern Mongolia. I am pleased to make a statement on behalf of the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center ( SMHRIC ).

Southern Mongolia, better known as Inner Mongolia, the native land of 4.5 million indigenous Mongolian people, has been occupied by the Chinese Communist Party since 1947. During the half century’s series of massacre, crack-down, cultural assimilation and Han Chinese immigration policies by the Chinese Communist Party, indigenous Mongols in this area have experienced their darkest history: at least 700,000 indigenous Mongols were killed, maimed, tortured, sent to jail, arrested and detained; 3,000 Buddhist temples were completely destroyed by the CCP during the Cultural Revolution; since 1980’s, a series of indigenous Mongolian student’s peaceful movements have been harshly cracked down and hundreds of thousands of indigenous Mongolian dissidents have been arrested and sent to long term jail; ethnic Mongolians’ native land and natural resources have forever been occupied by the Han Chinese; large-scale of Han Chinese immigrations to the area not only made indigenous Mongols as minority in their own land but also gave a total destruction to the Inner Mongolian ecological system.

Southern Mongolian grassland was known as one of the most well-preserved natural grassland in the world. However, after the intensifying cultivation and random exploitation by the Han Chinese, 81% of the whole territory in Inner Mongolia became desert and soil erosion areas, and most of the grassland are vanished from the earth. While the sandstorm from Southern Mongolian desert is blotting out the sky and the land in Beijing, the Central Government has adopted a new policy against indigenous Mongolian herders in Southern Mongolia under the pretext of “giving rest to the grassland and recovering the eco-system”. This policy is called “ Environmental Immigration” ( Sheng Tai Yi Min in Chinese ), aiming at a total relocation against the entire population of indigenous Mongolian herders from their native land to the overwhelmingly Han Chinese populated agricultural and urban areas. According to the Chinese official news, since 2000, at least 160,000 indigenous Mongolian herders have been forcefully relocated from their pasture land and their traditional nomadic life-style has forever been altered.

Various first-hand information from Inner Mongolia show that the so-called “ Environmental Immigration” is not only a cultural genocide but also a gross human rights violation against indigenous Mongolian people. Thousands of millions of Mongolian herders have lost their houses, livestock, lands and been treated brutally by the authorities during the relocation process. The Mongols in the region are now experiencing a “ Trail of Tears” as the Native Americans had experienced centuries ago!

Mr. Chairman, I urge the Permanent Forum to pay a close attention to this ongoing mass forced displacement against indigenous Mongolian people in Southern Mongolia. I also would like to ask the Permanent Forum and other human rights bodies to give an effective pressure on the Chinese government to stop this human rights gross violation in Southern Mongolia.

Thank you!

Enhebatu Togochog




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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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