Large quantities of arms have been seized in border areas between Eastern Turkestan with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and The Mongolian republic.
The Xinjiang Daily, in an article published on February 5, said that in recent years arms trafficking between Eastern Turkestan's border areas with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan. Tajikistan and The Mongolian Republic have increased. The paper said that since 1993 Chinese security forces had exposed 17 arms trafficking incidents in borders areas, and hundred of weapons of various types together with large quantities of ammunition had been seized.
Although Chinese Communist authorities did not disclose who the weapon smugglers were, for years they have been accusing Uighurs living abroad of smuggling propaganda materials, weapons and ammunition. According to Eastern Turkestanis at home, Chinese Communist authorities were attempting to spread false information in order to discredit the peaceful struggle of the Eastern Turkestani peoples for self-determination.
NUMBER OF EASTERN TURKESTANI PILGRIMS FALLS
Chinese authorities this year allowed only 1,000 Muslims from Eastern Turkestan to perform the Hajj in Mecca. Eastern Turkestan, which has a Muslim population of almost ten million, last year sent around 1,500 pilgrims and more than 2,000 the year before that.
Yusuf Isa, Deputy Chairman of the Eastern Turkestan Regional Government, said in a speech published on March 8 in the Xinjiang Daily that, "following the instructions of the Bureau of Religious Affairs under the State Council, only 1,000 Muslims from Xinjiang will be allowed to perform Hajj' in 1995."
Sources in Eastern Turkestan say that these 1,000 Muslims were selected from among tens of thousands of applications after careful screening. Selection was made among people who had shown "love" for the Communist Party, a "patriotic' attitude and support of the "unity of the Great Motherland."
Compared with the 20 to 30 "reliable" Muslims sent for propaganda reasons to perform the Hajj between 1950 and 1980, this year's figure is certainly high, but before the Chinese Communist occupation of Eastern Turkestan in 1949, tens of thousands of Muslims performed the Hajj annually.
During the 1980s Chinese Communist authorities, recognizing Islam as a useful tool for promoting political ends, began allowing more Muslims to perform the Hajj.
Since the independence of the five Central AsIan republics of Western Turkestan, Chinese Communist authorities have not only moved to curtail the number of Eastern Turkestani Muslims performing the Hajj, but have also initiated a new campaign to prohibit the building of new Mosques, and to curtail private religious teaching, training of clerics and publishing religious books. At present, there is a great shortage of Mosques, priests and religious books in Eastern Turkestan.
COERCIVE BIRTH CONTROL CONTINUES
Chinese Communist authorities in Eastern Turkestan are continuing their coercive birth control policy in all its harshness.
A letter received from Tohla county, near the city of Aksu in Eastern Turkestan, reported that Chinese authorities were carrying out their coercive birth control policy in an inhuman way. The letter said that for years coercive birth control had been the main task of the Chinese Communist authorities in this county which has a population of 8,533. By the end of June 1994, accord to the letter, 1,191 women had been forced to implant contraceptive rings into their wombs, and 171 had been forced to go through sterilization operations. The letter said that nowadays a women could not decide for herself at what period she wanted to become pregnant, but rather Chinese Communist authorities made the decision for them. If a woman became pregnant after this period, she was punished severely and forced to submit to an abortion. For example, it said, three women in this county who had become pregnant beyond the period fixed by the Chinese authorities, was required to pay a heavy penalty in addition to submitting to a forced abortion.
ISA YUSUF ALPTEKIN TOURS ANATOLIA
Isa Yusuf Alptekin, the leader of the Eastern Turkestani people, has been invited by city governments in several Anatolian provinces to give a series of conference on the plight of the Eastern Turkestani people under Chinese Communist rule.
In a conference organized by the government of the southeast Turkish city of Kahramanmarash on May 28 Alptekin thanked the citizens of Kahramanmarash for their invitation and said that the Chinese Communist leaders were attempting to assimilate Turkic Uighurs, Kazakhs and Kyrgyz of Eastern Turkestan and to eliminate their culture and belief in order to transform the country into a Chinese province. He said that the Turkic peoples of Eastern Turkestan who were faced with the danger of gradual assimilation were closely related to the people of Turkey. The people of Turkey, he said, had a responsibility to their ethnic brothers under Chinese Communist rule.
In a speech AsIan Yildirim, Governor of Kahramanmarash said, "As a young student I had the pleasure to attend some of your lectures. We have learned patriotism from you. I am very honored to meet you here personally. We are delighted to have you here."
UIGHUR PAINTER SHOWS WORK
Paintings by Ablett, a well known Uighur painter from Eastern Turkestan were exhibited in Munich, Germany, between May 5 and June 5.
Art lovers had an opportunity to see some wonderful Uighur paintings Among the almost 60 paintings exhibited were scenes from Eastern Turkestan, the daily life of its people, portraits of well known Uighur heroines, and abstract pictures reminiscent of ancient Uighur wall paintings miniatures and frescoes.
Ablett, in opening remarks at the exhibition, said that Uighur painting which had a long historical tradition, had fallen into sharp decline under Chinese Communist rule as had other areas of Uighur culture. He said that during the peak of the Cultural revolution thousands of Uighur paintings were destroyed as "remnants of the past." According to Ablett, Uighur painters were forced to conform to "Socialist Reality." Those who opposed were persecuted he said. He added that at present Uighur artists were subjected to the same pressures, and that he had been forced to leave his motherland in order to continue his work in a free and democratic country.
Ablett was born in Lopur, Eastern Turkestan in 1945 and is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Urumchi and the University for Theater and Art in Beijing. This was his second exhibition in Munich. The first exhibition was in 1993.
SEMINAR ON CHINA'S CULTURAL IDEOLOGY
A seminar on China's Cultural Ideology and its affect in Eastern Turkestan, Tibet and Inner Mongolia, was held May 26-28 at Gustav-Heinemann-Bildungsstatte, Malente, in Germany. The seminar was organized by Helmut Steckel, chairman of the Federation of the Tibet Initiative in Germany.
Dr Thomas Hoppe, a Sinologist at the Institute of Central AsIan Studies, in Hamburg, Tsewang Norbu, Chairman of the Tibetan Union in Germany, Shobgtsood Temsiltu, Chairman of the Inner Mongolian League for Human Rights and Erkin AIptekin, chairman of the Eastern Turkestani Union in Europe were featured speakers at the seminar.
AIptekin told the seminar that after occupying Eastern Turkestan, the feudal, Nationalist and Communist Chinese regimes had pursued a policy of systematically sinocizing the Uighurs, the most populous indigenous people of that country, eliminating their culture and exterminating their beliefs. He said that this policy rested on the three main principles: divide and rule, assimilate and 'Da Han Chu-i" meaning the creation of "Greater Chinese Nation." After giving detailed examples of measures taken by the feudal, Nationalist and Chinese Communist authorities in Eastern Turkestan, Alptekin said that the similar policies of various Chinese regimes in Eastern Turkestan was due to the extremely chauvinistic nature of the Chinese authorities.
ERKIN ALPTEKIN ATTENDS SEMINAR ON SELF-DETERMINATION
The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at the Tufts University in Boston invited Erkin Alptekin to attend a two-week Summer Institute in June on Ethnic Conflict Prevention and Self-Determination.
Almost 25 participants, primarily non-U.S. governmental and non-governmental activists, along with a number of academics directly involved in actual or potential ethically based conflicts attended the seminar.
The Institute is designed to provide an opportunity for participants already engaged in ethnic conflicts situation to acquire a broader understanding of the global and comparative context in which nationalist and other ethnic claims occur and to discuss the situation in which they are involved with other knowledgeable participants who might be able to offer advice on means of analyzing and understanding these conflicts.
DALAI LAMA RECEIVED BY GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER
On May 4 German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel received His Holiness The Dalai Lama. The meeting, the first between the Dalai Lama and a German Foreign Minister, brought a swift diplomatic response from China Ye Quing, Deputy Chairman of China's Planning Commission, canceled a meeting with Kinkel at the last minute.
Kinkel, who shook hands with the Dalai Lama in the presence of photographers, declined to let the Noble Peace Prize winner lay a traditional white silk shawl, which the Dalai Lama offers to all those who receive him, around his shoulders. Last year the Dalai Lama met with several senior German politicians, including parliamentary speaker Rita Suessmuth, but the German government avoided all official contact with him just weeks before a high-profile visit by Chinese premier Li Peng.
Erkin AIptekin met briefly with His Holiness in Cologne on June 6, while attending a conference given by the Dalai Lama on the Universality of Human Rights. The conference at the Schauspielhaus in Cologne was organized by Heinrich-Boel-Foundation. Alptekin also attended a reception given by the Mayor of Cologne in the honor of the Dalai Lama.
ETUE ATTENDS PROTEST MARCH IN BONN
Members of the Eastern Turkestani Union in Europe attended a demonstration in Bonn-Bad Godesberg on June 4 to commemorate the 6th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing, organized by the Federation For a Democratic China.
Several hundred people, including Uighurs, Tibetans and Inner Mongols attended the demonstration. Uighur demonstrators carried slogans such as "Respect for human rights in Eastern Turkestan, Tibet and Inner Mongolia". "Political, cultural and religious freedom for Eastern Turkestanis, Tibetans and Inner Mongols", and "Freedom for Eastern Turkestan. Tibet and Inner Mongolia". They demanded the immediate release of all political prisoners, an end to population transfers, nuclear testing and coercive birth control in Eastern Turkestan, and the right of self-determination for the peoples of Eastern Turkestan.
Six years ago on June 4 Chinese tanks marched into Tiananmen Square to crash the peaceful pro-democracy demonstration by students. Several hundred people were killed, many were wounded and several were forced to flee.
Orkesh DevIet (Wu Er Kaixi), an ethnic Uighur student leader, was among those who sought asylum m the United States after die bloody incident m Tiananmen.
The Chinese authorities have launched a pre-emptive strike against several dissidents and intensified its surveillance of several others ahead of the June anniversary. Several activists in Beijing were detained.
U.S. STUDENTS SUPPORT EASTERN TURKESTAN
In a letter to Erkin Alptekin, John Hocevar, initiator of the Students For a Free Tibet movement in the United States, has promised support for the independence movement of the Eastern Turkestani people.
Students For a Free Tibet is a coalition of student groups working on behalf of human rights and independence for Tibet. They are supported by the U.S. Tibet Committee and the International Campaign for Tibet, although they are independent of those organizations. While the organization has only recently been established, it is already in touch with students at approximately 60 schools in the United States.
Students For a Free Tibet will help the Eastern Turkestan Union in Europe to propagate their cause in the U S, distribute materials, and publish a manual on Eastern Turkestan.
CHINA ACCUSED OF REMOVING ORGANS FROM EXECUTED
Two Chinese refugees, - a former political prisoner and a former political official - testified at United States Senate Hearings on May 4, 1995, that the Chinese government removed organs from executed prisoners and sold them for use in medical transplants in state-owned hospitals. The recipients of the organs, they said, were usually top Chinese officials or foreigners from Hong Kong, Japan, Britain and America who needed either kidney or cornea transplants and could afford to pay in foreign currency.
Many of the transplants occurred within 10 hours of a prisoner's death, the witnesses said. While the organ removals were done under a cover of secrecy, the executions themselves were quite public.
GROUP STEPS UP PRESSURE ON CHINA
Hoping to intensify pressure on China's leadership at a time of transition, a group of prominent intellectuals has called on the government to reassess its handling of the June 1989 democracy movement.
Forty-five Chinese intellectuals, including one of the nation's top nuclear physicist, signed a petition calling on China's leadership to reevaluate the "counterrevolutionary" verdict on the protests, which were crushed by troops. The petition, which was issued on May 15, 1995, also asked the Chinese leadership to show more tolerance toward those with independent views.
The demands were timed to raise the stakes in the transition from Deng Xiaoping, China's ailing patriarch, to a new generation leaders.
The Chinese nuclear test on May 15, 1995, which came just four days after more than 170 nations agreed to extend the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, brought world-wide press reaction.
In the U S The Baltimore Sun on May 16 wrote: "... Xinjiang, also known as Eastern Turkestan, is 60 per cent Muslim, with the largest group being Uighur, an ethnic group closely related to the Turks. China conquered the region in the 18th century and in the 1950s forced millions of Chinese to migrate to the province to solidify control. The military presence in Xinjiang is large and Lop Nor, a dry lake bed, is China's main nuclear test site. Monday's test was China's first since October and as 42nd since first detonating a nuclear bomb in 1964 ...Besides international protests, the tests have met widespread opposition in Xinjiang where China already has to contend with deep resentment against Chinese rule. Demonstrations have taken place outside the Lop Nor testing sites and the issue is used by Uighur nationalists agitating for independence. Uighurs say they fear the tests are contaminating their land, while authorities routinely call such fears groundless, Chinese news reports say the country had a serious accident in 1969, when the environment was contaminated".
The Times of London noted on May 16 that,.." Both Japan and Australia protested yesterday after Beijing announced that it had set off its 42nd bomb. As the only country hit by atomic bombs, Japan has protested to China each time it has conducted nuclear tests. Foreign officials in Tokyo were particularly angry because this test was carried out only days after Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama visited China and urged his counterpart Li Peng to halt all nuclear tests..."
Germany's Sueddeutche Zeitung said on May 16 that, "...Widespread nuclear disarmament was supposed to be part of the 'New World Order' heralded at the end of the Cold War. But like so many aspects of that new order, it has proved to be a dream. NATO member countries have been engaged in disarmament, but China's test just four days after agreement on NPT demonstrates that there are still many who do not subscribe to the 'New World' dream.
Belgium's La Libre Belgique on May 17 wrote, China's continued nuclear tests is a provocation against the Uighurs, the indigenous peoples of Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. Throughout the world there are more than 10 million Uighurs. There is no nation in the world who has staged so many uprisings to regain their lost independence. Millions of Uighurs perished. Now they are carrying out their struggle through non-violent methods. But if the Chinese nuclear testing is going to be continued it would be a great mistake to think that the Uighurs, who are faced with the danger of a total sinozation, will continue to remain silent. Their silence is like the silence of storm about to break out, because the nuclear tests at Lop Nor are endangering the very life of the Uighurs. The problems of the Uighurs who share the same mountains with Tibet is less known in Western countries. The United States is planing to open Radio Free Asia. But an Uighur language service is not planned. It is time that the international community gave a serious ear to the grievances of the Uighurs."
Erkin AIptekin, Chairman of the Eastern Turkestani Union in Europe, has a new address: Gieshugelerstr. 63 97218 Gerbrunn, Germany Tel: 0931/706691 Fax: 0931/708751
The aim of the Eastern Turkestan Information Bulletin is to disseminate objective current information on the people, culture and civilization of Eastern Turkestan and to provide a forum for discussion on a wide range of topics and complex issues. ETIB is published bi-monthly by the Eastern Turkestani Union in Europe(ETUE), established January 11, 1991 in Munich, Germany. Neither ETIB nor ETUE claim or accept responsibility for views otherwise identified within our pages. We hope that those using information from our publication in published works will be courteous enough to cite its source. All inquiries and contributions should be addressed to Eastern Turkestan Information Bulletin, Asgar Can, Editor, St. Blasien Str. 2, D-80809 Munich, Germany.