April 6, 2008

Statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to All Tibetans
Sunday, 6 April 2008, 11:30 a.m.

While extending my warm greetings to all the Tibetans in Tibet, I would like to share some of my thoughts.

  1. Since
    March 10 this year, we have witnessed protests and demonstrations in
    almost all parts of Tibet, even in a few cities in Mainland China by
    students, which are the outburst of long pent-up physical and mental
    anguish of the Tibetans and the feeling of deep resentment against the
    suppression of the rights of Tibetan people, lack of religious freedom
    and for trying to distort the truth at every occasion, such as saying
    that Tibetans look towards the Chinese Communist Party as the “Living
    Buddha”, is an ultra leftist statement and smacks of Han chauvinism. I
    am very much saddened and concerned by the use of arms to suppress the
    peaceful demonstrations of Tibetan people’s aspirations that have
    resulted in unrest in Tibet, causing many deaths, and much more
    causalities, detention, and injury. Such suppression and suffering are
    very unfortunate and tragic which will reduce any compassionate person
    to tears. I, however, feel helpless in the face of these tragic
  2. I pray for all the Tibetans as well as Chinese who have lost their lives during the current crisis.
  3. The
    recent protests all over Tibet have not only contradicted but also
    shattered the People Republic of China’s propaganda that except for a
    few “reactionaries”, the majority of Tibetans enjoy a prosperous and
    contented life. These protests have made it very clear that Tibetans in
    the three provinces of Tibet, U-tsang, Kham and Amdo, harbor the same
    aspirations and hopes. These protests have also conveyed to the world
    that the Tibet issue can no longer be neglected. These protests
    highlight the need to find a way to resolve the issue through “finding
    truth from facts”. The courage and determination of those Tibetans who
    have, for the greater interests of Tibetan people, demonstrated their
    deep anguish and hopes by risking everything is very commendable as the
    world community has acknowledged and supported the spirit of these
  4. I deeply appreciate the acts of many Tibetan
    government employees and Communist Party cadres who have, without
    losing their Tibetan identity, shown grit and sense of what is right
    during the present crisis. In future, I would appeal to the Tibetan
    Party cadres and government employees not to look always for their
    personal benefit, but to work for safeguarding the larger interests of
    Tibet by reporting the real sentiments of the Tibetan people to their
    superiors in the Party and try to give unbiased guidance to the Tibetan
  5. Presidents, Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers,
    Nobel Laureates, Parliamentarians, and concerned citizens from every
    part of the world have been sending clear and strong messages to the
    Chinese leadership to stop the present ongoing harsh crackdown against
    the Tibetan people. They have all been encouraging the Chinese
    government to follow a path where a mutually beneficial solution could
    be reached. We should create an opportunity for their efforts to bring
    out positive results. I know you are being provoked at every level but
    it is important to stick to our non-violent practice.
  6. The Chinese authorities have been making false
    allegations against myself and the Central Tibetan Administration for
    instigating and orchestrating the recent events in Tibet. These
    allegations are totally untrue. I have made repeated appeals for an
    independent and respected international body to conduct a thorough
    investigation into the matter. I am sure this independent body will
    uncover the truth. If the People’s Republic of China has any basis and
    proof of evidence to back their allegations, they need to disclose
    these to the world. Just making allegations is not enough.
  7. For the future of Tibet, I have decided to find
    a solution within the framework of the People’s Republic of China.
    Since 1974, I have sincerely remained steadfast to the mutually
    beneficial Middle-Way Approach. The whole world knows this. The
    Middle-Way Approach means that all Tibetans must be governed by similar
    administration that enjoys meaningful National Regional Autonomy and
    all the provisions in it, self-rule and full decision-making, except
    for matters concerning foreign relations and national defense. However,
    I have said it from the beginning that the Tibetans in Tibet have the
    right to make the final decision for the future of Tibet.
  8. The hosting of the Olympic games this year is a
    matter of great pride to the 1.2 billion Chinese people. I have from
    the very beginning supported the holding of these Games in Beijing. My
    position on this remains unchanged. I feel the Tibetans should not
    cause any hindrance to the Games. It is the legitimate right of every
    Tibetan to struggle for their freedoms and rights. On the other hand,
    it will be futile and not helpful to anyone if we do something that
    will create hatred in the minds of the Chinese people. On the contrary,
    we need to foster trust and respect in our hearts in order to create a
    harmonious society, as this cannot be built on the basis of force and
  9. Our struggle is with a few in the leadership of
    the People’s Republic of China and not with the Chinese people.
    Therefore we should never cause misunderstanding or do something that
    will hurt the Chinese people. Even during this difficult situation,
    many Chinese intellectuals, writers and lawyers in Mainland China and
    other parts of the world have sympathized and shown us their solidarity
    by issuing statements, writing articles and offering pledges of support
    that is overwhelming. I have recently issued an appeal to the Chinese
    people all over the world on 28th March, which I hope you will hear and
  10. If the present situation in Tibet continues, I
    am very much concerned that the Chinese government will unleash more
    force and increase the suppression of Tibetan people. Because of my
    moral obligation and responsibility to the Tibetan people, I have
    repeatedly asked the concerned leadership of the PRC to immediately
    stop their suppression in all parts of Tibet and withdraw its armed
    police and troops. If this brings result, I would also advise the
    Tibetans to stop all the current protests.
  11. I want to urge my fellow Tibetans who live in
    freedom outside Tibet to be extra vigilant as they voice their feelings
    on the developments in Tibet. We should not engage in any action that
    could be even remotely interpreted as violent. Even under the most
    provocative of situations we must not allow our most precious and
    deeply held values to be compromised. I firmly believe that we will
    achieve success through our non-violent path. We must be wise to
    understand where the unprecedented affection and support for our cause
    stems from.
  12. As Tibet is currently virtually closed and no
    international media is allowed there, I doubt my message will reach the
    Tibetans in Tibet. But I hope through media and by word of mouth, it
    will be passed on to the majority of you.
  13. Finally, I want to reiterate and appeal once
    again to Tibetans to practice non-violence and not waver from this
    path, however serious the situation might be.

The Dalai Lama


April 6, 2008

(N.B. Translated from the Tibetan original)

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