The below article was published by ZeeNews India, Photo credit Zee News
An exile government setup by Uyghurs from East Turkistan greeted India on its 74th Independence Day on Saturday (August 15) and said that the decades of prolonged Chinese occupation and genocide in East Turkistan has taught us that without independence there is no way to guarantee or ensure even our most basic human rights, freedoms, and our very survival.
The territory of East Turkistan is administered by China as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Salih Hudayar was elected as the Prime Minister of the East Turkistan Government-in-Exile on November 11, 2019 and he fled to the United States with his family where they became political refugees. He is the founder of the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement (ETNAM).
“On behalf of the people of Occupied East Turkistan, India’s northern neighbor, we wish India and its people a Happy Independence Day.Many people might ask why Independence is so important. Independence means freedom from the control, influence and oppression of others. An independent nation has the power to elect, govern, and make its own laws and decisions freely. Having independence is the most essential thing for a country and its people to develop and prosper.” said Prime Minister Salih Hudayar, East Turkistan Government in Exile (ETGE).
A statement issued by ETGE also added that Independence is the only thing that can truly ensure the freedom and survival of a nation. In the case of East Turkistan, we lost our independence on December 22, 1949 as a result of Chinese invasion. For the past 70 years, our country and our people have been subject to colonization, Chinese occupation, and genocide.
In its statement ETGE said that the decades of prolonged Chinese occupation and genocide in East Turkistan has taught us that without independence there is no way to guarantee or ensure even our most basic human rights, freedoms, and our very survival. Thus, like the great Indian Independence leader Mahatma Gandhi stated, “the attainment of national independence is for us a search for truth” and it is the fundamental to ensuring our very survival.
Since becoming a member of the East Turkistan Government-in-Exile, Salih Hudayar has continued advocating for democracy, political independence. He has also been active in promoting non-violent resistance to Chinese occupation among the Uyghur and East Turkistani diaspora.