News and Views on Tibet

Tibetan Parliament’s statement on the 23rd Anniversary of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Nobel Prize Win

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December 10, 2012 Today is the 23rd anniversary of the uniquely important day on which His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the supreme saviour of all Tibetans – both those left behind in Tibet and the others living in exile – the guiding light who illuminates their paths with sound advices about the dos and don’ts of life, and a champion of world peace, was presented the globally acclaimed Nobel Peace Prize. On such a day, when His Holiness, ignoring the barriers of time realms, continues to provide an unfathomable expanse of source of well being to all sentient beings inhabiting across the universe through his hidden body, speech and mind deeds, I, with a feeling of joy, obeisance and gladness and on behalf of all Tibetans bar none and the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, and with a heartfelt sense of gratitude and prostrations performed countless times with body, speech and mind worship, offer congratulations and greetings.

Today is also a day on which not just the people of the Land of Snows – which needs no mentioning – but also all the people in this world who love democracy, freedom and peace can justly immerse themselves in glory happiness of the highest order in manners alike. In this respect, His Holiness has ensured the revival as well as the survival and sustenance of the religious traditions and culture of Tibet as well as its ethical values which are founded on the ideology of cause and effect and method of non-violence based on the Buddhist philosophy. By doing so, His Holiness has, in this world beset with Five Kinds of Degenerations, led the people of Tibet to the path of peace and non-violence and aspired to convert their land into a zone of peace, inspired by a profound concern; these could hardly be repaid. In particular, He enunciated the mutually beneficial, ideal policy of the middle way, which is highly liberal in its scope and vast in its potential, in his efforts to resolve the Sino-Tibetan dispute by peaceful means in a stupendous deed of nobility. By pointing out that all beings are equal in desiring happiness and abhorring its opposite and proposing that everyone act to exchange one’s own happiness with the others’ sorrow in the spirit of a Bodhisattva, He suggested that people throughout the world embrace a sense of universal responsibility in order to protect the global environment and in an effort to resolve conflicts. He made efforts to bring peace, compassion and a sense of caring in governance in this world which is the common desire of all sentient beings and which will ensure the well being of oneself and the happiness of others. And he also made efforts to raise the ethical standards of the human society in this world through enhanced inter-religious friendship and harmony. Through continuous, and still continuing, efforts such as these, His Holiness the Dalai Lama routinely provides beneficial guidance akin to a river stream, carrying out inestimably great deeds of accomplishments. Because of all these, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been praised by all categories of intelligent people and they conferred on him many hundreds of awards. More importantly, on this World Human Rights Day of 10 December 1989, He was presented with the globally, exceptionally acclaimed Nobel Peace Prize, ushering him in as a great champion of world peace. The award made Him an outstanding ornament which made this world even more beautiful and we feel inestimable gratitude for this gesture.

Likewise, many prominent public figures as well as tens of millions of ordinary people across the world greatly admire and respect His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s awesome, noble deeds whose greatness and relevance transcend the barriers of times. They wholeheartedly endorse and act on His profound words of wisdom and remain in continued service for the universal benefit of humanity. Apart from that, of course, they also continue to lend support to the just cause of Tibet on repeated occasions. Hence, along with observing this day of momentous and victorious occasion, we must practice genuine altruism and ethnical moral principles for the benefit of others, inspired by the power of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s compassionate and affectionate Bodhisattva deeds which emphasizes that in the human society it is not external material progress alone but also internal happiness and contentment that we must strive to accomplish. It is by such means that we all should strive to achieve the realization of peace and harmony among oneself and others, as well as among and within families, peoples, societies, and nations. In particular, as repeatedly advised by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the youth of today about the 21st century being a century of dialogue and peace and their role in bringing this about, every Tibetan people should keep these profound and noble words in the depth of their hearts and work to revive or, as the case may be, carry forward the treasured ethical Tibetan moral habit of altruism. By such means, they should adhere to the existing policy of the middle way and the ideology of non-violence and on that fundamental basis work for the benefit of the basic Tibetan cause with unity, sense of shared community through both good and bad times, nurturing and preservation of culture, study and use of one’s own language, and so on. It goes to the very essence of our purpose that there be relentless efforts with regard to all these matters.

Today is not only an occasion to observe the World Human Rights Day, it is also the 64th anniversary of the United Nations’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On this occasion, I, on behalf of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, would like to make an appeal to the new leaders of China who assumed office during the recent the transfer of power. It is, of course, beyond dispute that Tibet and China have been two neighbouring countries with a long history going back to ancient times. However, the Communist Party of China, after it began to rule China, invaded and occupied the whole of Tibet. It then set out to achieve an evil design to obliterate the very identity of the Tibetan people. In the course of implementing this objective, it seized ownership of the entire Tibetan land and subjected the Tibetan people to violent persecution. Such misguided and erroneous policies continue to be implemented to this day. Because of it, the Tibetan people, unable to live under policies that grossly trampled upon their basic human rights, found themselves to be left with no option but to carry out all types of peaceful protests. Although the old communist leaders of China kept harping all the time about “seeking truth from facts”, they, instead of trying to address the real and obvious problems in Tibet, did not view the situation there as a government would its constituent subjects and citizens. Rather, they, without treating Tibetans as fellow fraternal nationals by any manner of acknowledgement, blackened them with the label of national separatists and subjected them to a violent campaign called Strike Hard in total violation of basic human rights. The result of this has been that the Tibetan protests not only did not come to an end but also included, till date, 95 self-immolations by both lay and religious ordained Tibetans. These included 28 Tibetans who with extremely passionate show of non-violent protests immolated themselves in the last month of November alone. However, the leaders of China keep lying to the outside world by maintaining that the situation in Tibet continues to be harmonious and stable. And in order only to hide the truth about the real situation there, they have banned foreign and independent journalists from visiting Tibet. Hence, there is not only a lack of media freedom but also the online channels of communication like the internet and mobile phone, used by everyone across the world today, are subjected to tight controls. Thus, the people of Tibet remain deprived of every aspect of their fundamental human right of free speech. This has been compounded by further repression by which in every part of Tibet Chinese troops have arrested many totally innocent Tibetan people and punished them with death or prison sentences, disappearances, and so on. I would like to appeal to the new Chinese leaders to put an immediate end to all these still ongoing, totally repressive and inhuman practices.

Apart from the self-immolation peaceful protests, there was, on the 9th of last month, a demonstration by Tibetan students in Rebgong County. There was also a rally by Tibetan students in Tsolho Chabcha County on the 26th of the same month. Such protest campaigns, accompanied by raising of slogans, still continue. The reason for such continuing protests is that over the last 63 years of its occupation rule, the Communist Party of China has been continuing to carry out a policy based on an ideology of racial and class discrimination against the Tibetan people; they coveted the Tibetan land but did not want its people and hence continued – and still continues – on them a policy of violent persecution. If the Chinese leaders still keep ignoring the aspirations of the Tibetan people by continuing to adhere to their existing hardline approach, rather than changing their policies for the better, it is not impossible that the situation across the whole of Tibet will worsen considerably in comparison with the current state of affairs there. The responsibility for that will be entirely on the government of China. Likewise, because the government of China has not responded in any way to any of the items of the announcements made by the Tibetan Parliament in Exile during their press conference on 7 November 2012, the Central Tibetan Administration is left with no option but to continue issuing further announcements and appeals to the international community and to carry out even more extensive courses of campaign actions. For these too, the responsibility should be borne entirely by the government of China.

Because of these developments it is high time for the leaders of the Communist Party of China to undertake at the very earliest, an earth-shaking, giant leap of reformative transformation in the so-called People’s Republic of China which is, as of now, totally bereft of any respect for human rights and political freedom. To begin this process it should release all the lay and religiously ordained Tibetans, including the Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, who are all innocent but have been jailed for political reasons, as well as all the innocent people in China, such as democracy activist Mr. Liu Xiaobo, who have also been jailed for political reasons.

In view of the tragic situation in Tibet, the Tibetan Parliament in Exile launched and led on 6 July this year a major Flame of Truth torch relay which covered more than 30 countries across five continents. Along with it, a petition was also launched on the urgent need to address the tragic situation in Tibet to be presented to the United National Secretary General. This petition garnered support signatures from 351,000 people in more than 90 countries. On the World Human Rights Day today, these two campaigns will be concluded with the presentation of a Flame of Truth torch, and copies of the petition and the signatures to office of the United Nations Secretary General at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, USA; at the United Nations Human Rights Centre in Geneva, Switzerland; and at the UN Information Centre in New Delhi, India. Along with it, I strongly appeal to the United Nations to pay serious attention to the issue of Tibet in general and especially to the tragic situation in Tibet today and address in an effective way our concerns and demands expressed in the petition. And as already announced by the Kashag of the Central Tibetan Administration, an as large-scale a campaign as possible of an Global Solidarity with Tibet Campaign is being launched today by the entire Tibetan people to bring timely focus on the tragic situation in Tibet today.

It was decided during the Sixth World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet that an International Solidarity Day for Tibet should be observed annually on 17 May, the day on which the government of China kidnapped and disappeared the 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Niyma. Both the Kashag and the Tibetan Parliament in Exile have already decided upon this date and I appeal to everyone to make collective efforts to mark the day on a large scale across the world and in such manner as to be effective and resulted oriented.

On the manner of implementing the recommendations for campaign actions finalized in the report of the Second Special General Meeting of the Tibetan People held in accordance with the provisions of Article 59 of the Charter of Tibetans in Exile from 25 to 28 September 2012, the Kashag and the Tibetan Parliament in Exile have held both their own separate and joint meetings on several occasions and held detailed discussions. Decisions reached in those meeting have already been announced and I appeal to everyone – both the concerned Central Tibetan Administration bodies and others – to work with diligence and without laxity to implement them successfully.

It is impossible for us here to tolerate the ever worsening tragedy in Tibet where there is a real danger of the violent Chinese repression substantially worsening even further in the face of the relentless stream of self-immolations by Tibetans protesting peacefully against the inhuman polices of the government of China. In view of this, the Tibetan Parliament in Exile has planned to carry out a major campaign action lasting for about a month from 1 January 2013. Under it three groups from the Tibetan public, led by six members each of the Tibetan parliament in Exile, will undertake missions through states in South, North and northeast India. Each mission group will meet with leaders, journalists, and the public in the major centres of each state, give introductory talks to them about the very tragic situation in Tibet today, and make efforts to garner support for the Tibetan issue. Other campaign actions are also being listed and I call on all Tibetans to lend their cooperation.

As per a recommendation in the report of the Second Special General Meeting of the Tibetan People, for four days, starting from Wednesday, the 30th of January 2013, for the purposes of mourning for and expressing condolences to the families and close relatives of the Tibetan people who have sacrificed their lives for the cause of the Tibetan religion, polity and people, and for the purposes of showing our solidarity with them, a major campaign action will be carried out in India’s capital New Delhi. The campaign will be led jointly by the Kashag and the Tibetan Parliament in Exile and all the Tibetans – both officials of the Central Tibetan Administration and the Tibetan public – will carry it out, all in one go. Details with regard to this campaign action will be announced on successive occasions. All Tibetans, wherever they are living, should make it a point to take part in the campaign action without any excuses about not having been informed or not having known about it. As already announced before, every campaign action being carried out by the Central Tibetan Administration are to be without violence, in compliance with the laws of the host country and in a dignified manner. This being the case, everyone should pay attention to not transgressing these positions.

On behalf of Tibetans both in Tibet and in exile, I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the nations, lawmaking bodies, leaders and peoples across the world who have till now paid great attention to and shown concern on the tragic situation in Tibet and extended support and help. Tibetans living in other countries across the world too should keep in mind the gratitude they owe to the governments and peoples of their host countries and make continuous efforts to achieve even closer friendship and harmony there. In particular, I appeal to everyone to carry out whatever His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the supremely religious among all the religious people, says and on that basis work without wavering and from beginning to end for the common benefit of the entirety of the cause of Tibet’s freedom struggle.

Finally, I pray that His Holiness the Dalai Lama live for a hundred aeons, that all his wishes with fulfilled spontaneously, and that the just cause of Tibet definitely triumph at the earliest.

By the Tibetan Parliament in Exile
10 December 2012

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