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`Self-Determination' vs. Individual Human Rights

Thank you for the front-page article "Struggles Grow for `Self-Determination'," Oct. 21. Individual human rights abuses are often the result of denying a people their collective right to self-determination. Tibetans, East Timorese, Kurds, Uighurs, and other peoples will be subjected to arbitrary detention, summary execution, and torture so long as the international community ignores this fundamental right.

People of the Baltics, Azerbaijan, and Georgia struggle to find viable solutions for displaced populations in their countries. Yet, as they grapple with these potentially explosive solutions, the world watches silently as millions of Chinese settlers stream into Tibet.

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Population transfer expands into full-blown colonialism as the influx of Chinese into Tibet works to undermine Tibetan culture by the sheer weight of numbers. Drawn by incentives to move to this newly created "special economic zone," Chinese settlers will in most instances be unaware of the intended result of their government's practice. Likewise, Western investors will not ask the right questions before plunking their money down. The world community should be asking what is really going on in Tibet.

Population transfer, termed by the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization in 1992 as a crime against humanity, is an attempt to silence the legitimate cry of the Tibetan people for return of their homeland. But if history is an indicator, even this incendiary practice will not dissuade the Tibetans from continuing their 40-year-old struggle for self-determination in the face of a most formidable oppressor. J. Maier, K. Morris San Francisco, Intl. Committee of Lawyers for Tibet Worldwide economic cooperation

I want to commend you for the excellent editorial "Against the Grain," Oct. 28. We certainly do hope that some kind of "let's get the job done " feeling will emerge from the European Community of the GATT talks.

It is hard, however, at the present time to see how the EC can shake its indecisiveness over difficult issues and make responsible (although occasionally unpopular) decisions. With the world economic situation being what it is, failure of the EC to make the Uruguay Round work is inexcusable. Considering that economic cooperation around the world is at a low point, coming to grips with and resolving the Uruguay Round for the benefit of all would be a spectacular development. Harry L. Freeman, Chevy Chase, Md. Fifty years with John Gould

John Gould's Home Forum page article "Eyah, It's Been 50 Years," Oct. 23, inspires me to remind the now famous contributor of his modesty in omitting to acknowledge his international reputation. On this side of the herring pond, we have long enjoyed Mr. Gould's articles.

I also mention that in his brief listing of good tidings in 1942, he omitted one important event of good news. The tide of war has also turned for us. The year 1942 saw the first real victory of the Allies in the successful battle of Alamein. Since the beginning of World War II in 1939, we had experienced disaster after after disaster in Europe, Africa, and the Far East and heavy civilian casualties from nightly bombing of many of our cities.

I hope that in his next 50 years of Monitor contributions, our friend John Gould will remember his international admirers and help to foster the cooperation between former enemies in what is too often reported as a divided world. More and more it is recognized that we are becoming one world. John F. W. Cole, Bristol, England

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