His Holiness addressing the 4th World Parliamentarians' Convention on Tibet in Edinburgh
Edinburgh: The two-day visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Scottish capital concluded here on the evening of 19 November, with an address to the 4th World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet that was co-hosted by the Scottish Cross Party Parliamentary Group on Tibet and the UK All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet.
Expressing his appreciation to all the members of parliament from across the world and other
Participants, His Holiness said that although some Chinese government officials may consider the convention as “anti-Chinese’, in reality it is not at all anti-Chinese or anti-China.
He emphasised that the Tibetan struggle is neither anti-Chinese nor anti-China and the moment the Chinese leadership show genuine understanding and a willingness to resolve the Tibet issue, there will be no need of outside support for the just Tibetan cause.
His Holiness said that China’s recent attitude toward the fragile ecology of Tibet and the news to rehabilitate the late Chinese leader Hu Yaobang were positive developments.
“I admire Hu Yaobang’s courage. In 1982 he visited Tibet and reduced the number of Han Chinese settlers in Tibet,” His Holiness said adding that all man-made problems are created because of ignorance and lack of proper knowledge and information.
His Holiness also spoke about how the Tibetan people are implementing democratic principles of governance in exile and hoped that the present Chinese leader Hu Jintao will adopt a more realistic approach to resolve the Tibet issue.
The 4th World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet’s 'Edinburgh Declaration' thanked “the people of Scotland and the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Tibet and the UK All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet as well as the City of Edinburgh for their hospitality in hosting this convention.”
Among other points, it “called on all governments and parliaments to monitor closely China’s behavior in Tibet and developments regarding negotiations with His Holiness and his representatives, and to place and keep Tibet firmly on the agenda of bilateral and multilateral discussions with China.”
Earlier, His Holiness visited the Scottish Parliament where he was welcomed by Mr. Chris Ballance, Convener of the Scottish Cross Party Parliamentary Group on Tibet and other members of the Cross Party Tibet Group.
Mr. Ballance said that Tibet has a significant place in the world and this is why it was important that Tibet be made a Zone of Peace as envisioned by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
In the morning of 19 November, His Holiness spoke on the subject of 'Ethics for the New Millennium' at the Usher Hall, tickets for which were sold out a long time back according to the officials of the Edinburgh Interfaith Association, which with the backing of the Edinburgh City Council had organised the public event.
Prof. Sheila MacLean, a distinguished academic of international standing and repute also spoke and shared the platform with His Holiness. The conversation was chaired by the Rt. Revd Richard Holloway, who is a writer/broadcaster and Chairman of the Scottish Arts Council.
His Holiness told the capacity filled audience that the best solution to solve a problem is through dialogue in a spirit of mutual respect and good motivation. He said that the application of non-violent method does not have any negative side effect.
“It is common sense that war is bad. In order to achieve genuine world peace we need to develop inner disarmament as well as external disarmament,” said His Holiness, who in his book, “Ancient Wisdom, Modern World – Ethics for the New Millennium” further elaborates by saying, “Peace is not something which exists independently of us. But nor does war. It is true that certain individuals – political leaders, policy makers, army generals – do have particularly grave responsibilities in respect for peace. However, these people do not come from nowhere. Like us, they were nourished by their mother’s milk and affection. They are members of our own human family and have been nurtured within the society, which we as individuals have helped create. Peace in the world thus depends on peace in the hearts of individuals. This in turn depends on all of us practicing ethics by disciplining our response to negative thoughts and emotions, and developing basic spiritual qualities.”
Like the last visit to Edinburgh in June 2004, this visit of His Holiness to the Scottish capital also generated a lot of public goodwill and media attention for Tibet and the Tibetan Nobel Peace Laureate’s message of peace and tolerance. At all the programme venues the atmosphere looked colorfully vibrant and festive with Tibetans, Edinburghians and others lining up the street to greet His Holiness.