Public Statement of the Kashag
The Kashag would like to issue this statement to the Tibetans – both
lay and ecclesiastical – living here in Dharamsala, and through all of
you, to the larger Tibetan population in and outside Tibet.
1) The recent peaceful uprising in Tibet is not only powerful, but
also great and of historical significance. It symbolises the Tibetan
people’s indomitable courage and inner strength.
2) The uprising is not just confined to Lhasa and its
neighbouring areas. It has spread to all regions where Tibetans reside,
including the three traditional provinces of Tibet: U-tsang, Amdo and
Kham. What does this indicate? Firstly, it clearly shows that all
Tibetans have the same aspirations and are united under the great
leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Secondly, it has brought
before the world the reality inside Tibet by exposing the Chinese
propaganda that “apart from the few upper strata followers of the
reactionary Dalai, all Tibetans in Tibet are loyal to the ideology and
polity of the People’s Republic of China (PRC)” and that “Tibet has
entered into a period of great stability, with its people being fully
satisfied with the economic and social progress it has achieved”.
3) It further shows that His Holiness’ viewpoint that all
Tibetans, including those living in the three traditional provinces of
Tibet, should be brought under a single autonomous governance is in
tune with the reality.
4) The leaders of the People’s Republic of China have said that
they will wage a “life and death” struggle against, or resolutely
crush, the on-going demonstrations in Tibet. This statement has brought
to the fore the internal matter that the Chinese leaders view the
Tibetans as enemies, rather than being a part of the big family of the
5) The recent heroic uprising, which has spread to virtually
all parts of Tibet, is larger in scale than all the uprisings that have
taken place during the past 49 years. Whether we look at it from the
perspective of an international issue or a domestic issue, these
demonstrations have brought our struggle to a point where a decision
has to be made concerning the survival of the Tibetan people. Moreover
the principal force behind these activities are the fourth generation
Tibetans – those Tibetans who are born after the Chinese assumed rule
over our country. These are a clear indication that our movement will
continue for generations.
6) The recent incidents have made it amply clear how much
determination and sincerity the Tibetan people have and the great
sacrifices they made. While expressing our immense pride in and
appreciation for this, the Kashag would like to state that it does not
have the faintest doubt that their sacrifices will be etched on the
annals of the Tibetan people in golden ink.
7) Needless to mention that the Tibetan exiles should recognise the
great courage displayed by our brethren in Tibet and initiate
solidarity actions, which will go a long way in promoting the short-
and long-term benefits of the cause of the Tibetan people. Therefore a
high-level committee has been set up under the leadership of the
Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE), which has – instead of letting the
Tibetans to carry out individual activities – tried to combine all the
initiatives of the Tibetan Diasporic community to give it a collective
force. This is, in the history of the Tibetan Diaspora, a new approach
to deal with a crisis situation. We are hopeful that the Tibetan NGOs,
autonomous bodies and welfare organisations, as well as the local
people will all follow the direction of this committee.
8) Since the repression began in Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai
Lama has continued to make his best efforts, despite his slight
indisposition, to reach out to as many people as possible. As well as
writing to many like-minded (political) world leaders, fellow Nobel
laureates and other eminent persons, His Holiness has given frequent
interviews to the media and appealed to the governments and peoples
across the globe. In addition to this, His Holiness has advised us to
recite the prayers of Dolma and Sher-nying, as well as the Tadrin
mantra to avert the present crisis situation and to work towards the
enhancement of the Tibetan people’s collective merit. Moreover, His
Holiness has graciously presided over the prayer congregation held at
the main temple of the Thekchen Choeling monastery for the Tibetans in
As for the Tibetan administration, we have been performing our
duties properly by providing timely information to the governmental and
non-governmental organisations as well as the Tibet support groups and
requesting them for their support through the offices of Tibet abroad.
Apart from expressing our heart-felt thanks to high-ranking leaders of
many eastern and western countries, including the US and the EU
countries; the United Nations Secretary General; political parties;
social service organisations; Tibet support groups and the spiritual
heads of various religious denominations for issuing their statements
of support, the Kashag has also been emphatically urging them to
continue to give their effective support to us until the eventual
resolution of the issue of Tibet.
9) Currently, our urgent appeal to the international community comprises of the following main items:
a) Stop immediately the repression taking place all over Tibet, as well as the killings and beatings accompanying it;
b) Release immediately all those arrested and imprisoned during such instances of protest demonstrations;
c) All those injured should be provided medical care. Lift the
imposition of restrictions on all travellers who are held up in
different places and adequate food supplies should be provided to them;
d) An independent international fact-find delegation and
impartial reporters should be allowed to go all over Tibet without any
To channel our collective energies to put forward these demands is the need of the hour.
10) The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has planted a large
number of spies within the Tibetan communities in and outside Tibet,
who have been undertaking massive campaigns to drive a wedge between
the Tibetan people, between the Tibetans and Chinese and between the
Tibetans and the people of the respective host countries they live in.
Thus the other side is hoping to destroy the unity, or oneness, of the
Tibetan people and the effectiveness of their movement. Being mindful
of these mischievous lots, all Tibetans should exercise utmost caution.
The bases of the Tibetan exiles’ movement are the respective
host countries we live in. India, in particular, is the residence of
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the seat of the Central Tibetan
Administration (CTA). Therefore whenever we initiate any activity big
or small, we must be careful in seeing to it that our actions do not go
against the laws of the respective host countries, or cause undue
embarrassment and discomfort to the people living in these countries.
Besides we must realise that it is our strength, rather than weakness,
to keep the means we employ within the rubric of the principle of
non-violence. Since the Chinese side has misrepresented the recent
incidents as a clash between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples and
between different religions, we should not be tardy in providing timely
and proper responses to these misinformation.
11) Apart from undertaking political activities, all Tibetans
should also make efforts from the religious side to enhance their
collective merit by engaging themselves in good-karmic deeds. We
should, in particular, follow the advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
by reciting the prayers of Dolma, Sher-nying, Yig-drug and Gurui
Thug-dam Ne-kul and dedicate the merits gained for the immediate ending
of the repression in Tibet; for the rebirth of all those who have lost
their lives in the “taming ground” of Avalokitesvara, the Snowland of
Tibet and be able to serve the Tibetan people; for the speedy recovery
of all those injured people; and for the eventual resolution of the
Tibet issue so that the Tibetans in and outside Tibet can join together
in a celebration of their reunion.
12) It is difficult to predict where the present crisis
situation inside Tibet will lead to in the future. It is possible that
we may have to initiate campaigns for a long time inside and outside
Tibet. It is also possible that we may have to come out with a
considerable number of relief activities. Therefore, as stated in the
Kashag’s appeal on the last birthday celebration of His Holiness the
Dalai Lama, all Tibetan exiles – be it rich or poor – should observe
austerity as much as possible by shunning extravagance of any kind,
including unbridled consumerism, and set aside a portion of their
income for community activities.
13) Finally, an extremely important matter is that there is no
greater prospects for the Tibetan people than what His Holiness has,
relying on his profound wisdom, advised to us. In a crisis situation
like this, we should be able to whole-heartedly follow the guidance
provided by him. On the contrary, if we pretend to have a better
approach than what His Holiness has already shown to us and thus
undermine the unity of the small number of Tibetan exiles, then this
will only make our enemies happy and disappoint our friends.
The Kashag is greatly disappointed by some of the recently
initiated campaigns. Even though we hope that there is nothing wrong in
the sincerity of those who initiated these campaigns, but the way they
were conducted seems to indicate the organiser’s deliberate attempts to
bring bad name and difficulties to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This,
we consider, is not at all helpful to the cause of Tibet.
Issued by the Kashag on 22 March 2008
N.B. Translated from the Tibetan