News and Views on Tibet

Dalai Lama Urges China to Respond, NGOs Break Silence

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Dharamshala March 10 – The Dalai Lama today urged China to make clear indications of willingness to talk if it sees any positive outcome from the present contacts. Speaking at his government’s official commemoration of the 47th anniversary of the 1959 national uprising, the Tibetan leader said that China must seriously think about it. “…I would like to tell the People’s Republic of China that if it sees benefit in sincerely pursuing dialogue through the present contact, it must make clear gesture to this effect. I urge the Chinese leadership to give a serious thought to this. A positive atmosphere cannot be created by one side alone. As an ancient Tibetan saying goes, one hand is not enough to create the sound of a clap.”

Reinforcing Kashag’s (Tibetan cabinet) appeal to Tibetans and supporters to help in the efforts to create atmosphere for dialogue, the Dalai Lama said, “I make the same request to Tibet supporters and those sympathetic to the Tibetan people.”

The commemoration function which began with the singing of the Tibetan national anthem was held at the Tsuglakhang courtyard this morning. A minute’s silence was observed to mourn the deaths of Tibetan brethrens under Chinese occupation.

The Dalai Lama said that he had expressed through his envoys who recently went to China his willingness to visit China and Tibet on pilgrimage.

“In addition, my envoys reiterated my wish to visit China on a pilgrimage. As a country with a long history of Buddhism, China has many sacred pilgrim sites. As well as visiting the pilgrim sites, I hope to be able to see for myself the changes and developments in the People’s Republic of China.”

The Dalai Lama said that the Tibetans being one of the larger groups of China’s 55 minority nationalities are distinct in terms of their land, history, language, culture, religion, customs and traditions.

With the efforts for negotiations between Dharamshala and Beijing going on, the official function of 10 March and the demonstration to lower Dharamshala since the past few years has become much softer in terms of expressing dissent against China. No anti China slogans were raised in the recent years as people marched down the winding road past the exile government premises. Mimang Langlu (song of people’s rising), a song that carried a strong expression of anti-China feelings ceased to be sung on March 10 official gatherings. But there still seems to be a lot of misunderstandings among the general public regarding this.

Sumchui Drenlu (10 March Remembrance Song), which was sung today at the official function by the government run Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, had a line that says,”gyamar Tsen jhak! bhoe ne thar droe kyi”(Red Chinese! Get out of Tibet). Whether the exile government which seems particular about usage of vocabulary had missed this or it had to retain the song being commemorative especially of the event is anybody’s guess but it sure leaves a lot many confused.

There were relatively less number of people taking part in the 10 March rally this year with the students of Tibetan Children’s Village returning to their school immediately after the official function but there were people taking part in what seemed to be a confused crowd, some just saying prayers and others singing Mimang Langlu (song of people’s rising, a song that carried a strong expression of anti-China feelings).

A huge group of people apparently led by Tibetan Youth Congress and SFT, shouted anti China slogans and sang as they marched. The officials of the Tibetan Welfare Office, which is responsible to manage the march, tried to calm them down but in vain.

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