Right of minority people to self-determination under international law: The case of Tibet (2003 -2013)
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The research sort to address the right of minorities to self-determination under International Law (IL) focusing on Tibet and, based on a hypothetical framework of the current United Nations systems which are far from effectively guaranteeing the rights of minority people to self-determination. Tibet claims that it was an independent country prior 1950 and the independence was said to be eroded by the use of force by China. This claim was reviewed by the author using historical and modern principles as the methodology in a bid to establish the legality of Chinese occupation. The right to self-determination has revolved from being a political principle to a fundamental right within the context of international law. Since the adoption of Resolution 2625 in 1970 there has been a general and broader understanding of the right to self-determination and people who suffered under alien subjugation and exploitation recovered some hope. The author examined the requirements to enjoy the right to self-determination, the concept of ‘People’ under international law, the role of United Nations in guaranteeing the right and conditions under which the rights are granted to minorities who seek secession. The author made conclusions that; Tibet was an independent state and it deserves to be accorded the status of a self government; it constitutes to be called people under international law and had all requirements of statehood. The people of Tibet led by His Holiness Dalai Lama has been under allied subjugation and suffered violations of human rights for a long period, against United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions, therefore the State of Tibet should be free from governance interference from People‘s Republic of China. The research outcome has positively been identical with the hypothesis as it has been proved that the United Nations is far away to guarantee both internal and external rights to self-determination. The author made several recommendations which are not limited to:China should unequivocally condemn the act of aggression, repression, forced assimilation; violence towards the minorities in its territory, these groups must be granted full rights to both internal and external self-determination depending on the legitimate cause under international law. The United Nations should facilitate and guarantee the right to self-determination to the Tibetan people by reminding China of their role in respecting the dignity, culture, religious belonging and language of Tibet as guided by international law. The United Nations should facilitate a Referendum in Tibet in order to gather the views of the citizens, whether they need to be part of China or take their historical status of an independent state. The United Nations can also take the route of establishing a Court of Arbitration (CA) to establish the issues of self-determination. The study used both qualitative and quantitative methodologies.