Dear Fellow Tibetans and Friends in the US and Canada,
I join you in solidarity in our commemorations of the 47th Anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day. Let us honor and pay our humble tribute to all the courageous men and women of Tibet who have lost their lives or have been imprisoned for the cause of our people.
Let us remember too that millions of our fellow Tibetans continue to suffer in Tibet even after 47 years from that fateful day and 57 years since the invasion by China. Despite China’s claims our fellow Tibetans continue to be denied basic freedoms and human rights that we enjoy here in exile. Living under such difficult circumstances, many in Tibet look to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and us Tibetans living in the free world as their only hope and to speak out for them. We have a moral obligation to act on their behalf and to bring an end to their suffering. I believe our primary goal is to help restore basic freedoms and human rights for the Tibetan people. I call on all of you to take on additional responsibility both individually and collectively to help realize this goal.
Most of you have heard or seen the Statements by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Kalon Tripa on this day. His Holiness remains committed to the Middle Way approach of not seeking independence or separation from China, but seeking genuine political autonomy for all Tibetans within the framework of the Constitution of China. His Holiness has also asked us to support the current atmosphere for dialogue. The statements about the latest 5th round of dialogue make it clear that there are still major differences in the positions being held by both sides and even in the approach to solving these issues, however, His Holiness has stated that we remain committed to solving our differences through more contacts and dialogues.
For those of you who may be unaware, we have officially deferred the policy decision making to His Holiness the Dalai Lama regarding solving the Tibetan issue with China. This was a result of the opinion poll held in 1996 and the resolutions made thereafter in Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies to support whatever decisions His Holiness’ makes in the interest of the Tibetan people. I urge all of us to fully understand the political solution proposed by His Holiness and our Tibetan Government-in-Exile and its implications, as well as the reasons behind it.
I would encourage all of you to go through both statements and conduct discussions in your communities about what responsibilities and roles we as the people have in achieving a negotiated settlement of the Tibetan issue. His Holiness has stated time and again that ultimately the Tibetan people must be involved and decide about the future of Tibet. Let us make sure we are fully prepared to make crucial decisions.
We must be united in our efforts and our goal. I personally believe we must support His Holiness’ proposal due to the grave situation inside Tibet and the need to resolve the Tibet issue immediately before more harm is done to our people and our identity.
I will be attending the final session of the Assembly from March 16 to 29 in Dharamsala. I encourage all of you to participate in the upcoming General Elections for Chitue and Nomination of Kalon Tripa on March 18.
I join you in our prayers and wishes for the long life of His Holiness and fulfillment of His wishes.
North America Chitue