The Statement of the Kashag on the Fifty-First Anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day


March 3, 2012 10:45 am

The Statement of the Kashag on the Fifty-First Anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day

10 March 2010

Today — 10 March 2010 — marks the 51st anniversary of the Tibetan people’s peaceful uprising against the Chinese authorities. On this momentous day, the Kashag pays homage to the brave men and women of Tibet who have laid down their lives for our spiritual and temporal cause. The Kashag also, in solidarity with those Tibetan compatriots who are presently undergoing torture inside Tibet, extends its best greetings and commiserations to all of them.  

As detailed in the Kashag’s 10 March Statement of the previous year, we have witnessed both positive and negative developments during the last over 50 years. On the one hand, all Tibetans living inside and outside Tibet have endured tremendous hardships and our spirituality, polity and race have suffered irreparable damages. However, on the other hand, Tibetans inside Tibet of all ages have, without losing heart and inner strength, kept alive our struggle for truth all these years. In exile also, we have made great spiritual and political accomplishments, particularly in the fields of the preservation and promotion of Tibetan spirituality and culture. Today, while remembering all these things, the Kashag would especially like to express our deep sense of gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama because all the positive results that we have been able to accomplish during these years is due to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s leadership.

From the last 10 March anniversary until now, the Tibetans in exile and their administration have been organising numerous programmes, or commemorative events, to mark the 50 years of their life in exile and to express their heartfelt “Thank You” to their host countries. As a part of this programme, an informal meeting of the employees of Central Tibetan administration (CTA) was held recently to reflect upon the past experiences and to propose ideas regarding our future plans. A summary of what transpired in this meeting, which has already been brought to the attention of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, includes, among other things, the CTA employees re-pledging themselves to the path of peace and non-violence in carrying forward our struggle for truth until the eventual resolution of the Tibet issue. It is our firm belief that the larger Tibetan population inside and outside Tibet will join in this solemn pledge.

Of abiding concern to us is that no positive developments have taken place in Tibet since a new crisis developed on 10 March 2008. Therefore, the Kashag would like to urge the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to put an immediate halt to their inhuman and unlawful actions, including repression and violations of human rights in Tibet, as well as handing down death and long-term prison sentences to the Tibetan people without due process of law. The Kashag would also like to make an emphatic appeal to them to release all the innocent Tibetan prisoners, including the young Panchen Lama — Gendun Choekyi Nyima. Furthermore, the Kashag would like to appeal to the Tibetans inside Tibet to exercise utmost restraint and caution.

In the on-going dialogue process, we have presented to the concerned officials of the PRC the Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People on 31 October 2008. In this memorandum, we have, besides articulating the fundamental aspirations of the Tibetan people inside and outside Tibet, requested for the full implementation of the National Regional Autonomy provisions as enshrined in the constitution. The Chinese side has, however, sought to distort or misrepresent the requests we have made in it. In order to offer clarifications to these, as well as to make a fresh request of two points, the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited Beijing this year and conducted ninth round of talks with their Chinese counterparts on 30 and 31 January. In this latest round of talks, the envoys, as advised by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, put forward these two points for the Chinese government’s consideration:

1) The ultimate concern of His Holiness is only the welfare of the six-million Tibetan people. Regarding this, the Chinese central government contends that the Tibetan people in Tibet are leading a happy life to their satisfaction and that there is no such issue as the Tibet issue that needs to be resolved. We believe, however, that most of the Tibetans in Tibet face tremendous hardships. There is, among them, a strong feeling of dissatisfaction or discontentment in every respect — be it religion, politics, economy, language, culture or social conditions. In the light of such divergent views between the two sides, there is a need for us to collectively undertake a careful investigation of the situation on the ground so as to understand what the reality is. We would like to, therefore, request the Chinese government to undertake the proposed investigation in a manner that affords all Tibetans the real opportunity to express their true feelings without any fear and doubts in their minds. If, as a result of such an investigation, it is found that most of the Tibetan people do not believe there is a problem in Tibet and that they are completely satisfied with their lot, then this is what His Holiness the Dalai Lama is calling for. There is, then, no need for both sides to argue about the issue of Tibet in the future. Whereas if we find that most of the Tibetans are dissatisfied, then the Chinese central government should also — treading the path of “seeking truth from facts” — acknowledge that there is a problem in Tibet and start discussions to collectively find the ways and means of solving the problem.

2) The allegation that His Holiness the Dalai Lama or his exile organisation has instigated the spontaneous and peaceful uprising that rocked the whole of the Tibetan areas since 10 March 2008 is not true. Hence, this allegation is not acceptable to us. This has been put across to the Chinese leadership during the informal discussion that took place in Shenzhen. As a result, during the seventh round of talks, the Chinese central government accepted the reality by changing its stance from the “Three Stops” to “Four Not-to-Supports”. Of late, however, it has begun to make the same kind of allegations against us. A need has, therefore, arisen for the Chinese central government to clarify now as to whether its viewpoint is same as it was during the seventh round of talks, or has it changed since then. If it has indeed changed, then the Chinese central government should undertake an in-depth investigation — both inside and outside Tibet — to determine scientifically the truth of these accusations. The verdict of such an investigation should be accepted by both the parties concerned. Moreover, we should make amends if we are found to be wrong. If we are not found to be wrong, then the Chinese central government must stop spreading lies, or making such baseless allegations, both domestically and internationally, and issue a clarification to this effect.

The Chinese government didn’t provide any clear answers to these two points and they also failed to exactly communicate our requests in its subsequent press briefings or statements. As for us, we will continue to press ahead with these two requests we made in a sincere and honest manner. If the views held by the Chinese central government — and what they say — have any truth in them, then it should not hesitate to subject these to investigation. All of us can vouch for the fact that once a proper investigation is undertaken, it will help clear things for the future, thus making it easier for all to see the reality.  

During the past nine rounds of talks, the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama have stated categorically to the Chinese government that they have nothing to talk about the personal issue of His Holiness or about the issue of a few people surrounding him. The sole agenda of the dialogue process was to discuss about the welfare of the six-million Tibetan people. In none of these exchanges had they raised the personal issue of His Holiness. We have made this amply clear earlier and we would like to reiterate this today. Therefore, the Chinese government’s saying, through its official statements, that their purpose of engaging in dialogue with us is only to talk about the personal issue of His Holiness and not about the welfare of the Tibetan people is not true. This is simply irrelevant. Although there is no change whatsoever in our determination to engage in dialogue with the PRC until the issue of Tibet is resolved once and for all, the Kashag would like to emphatically state that the agenda of the dialogue process should be only about the welfare of six-million Tibetans and nothing else. Therefore we reiterate that there is nothing to discuss about the personal welfare of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Considering the Tibet problem to be a domestic issue that has to be resolved within the framework of the PRC, we are always engaging with the Chinese central government. However, the Chinese side continues to talk about His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the issue of Tibet and exert enormous pressure in connection with these issues everywhere — be it in their bilateral relations with other countries or in various international forums. It is clear to all of us that this is what actually drives the issue of Tibet towards becoming an internationalised issue.

Our struggle is based on truth and non-violence. We have no doubt that if all Tibetans living inside and outside Tibet put their complete faith in the non-violent path that we have chosen and practise, then the truth of the issue of Tibet will prevail sooner rather than later. Today, there are an increasing number of justice-loving countries, peoples as well as religious and political leaders, showing great concern and support to the issue of Tibet. A significantly large number of Chinese intellectuals from Mainland China and from abroad are now beginning to appreciate and support His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Middle-Way policy. Moreover, the truth about the Chinese government’s wrong policies in Tibet is becoming ever more evident these days. Particularly, the mutually beneficial Middle-Way policy does not envisage victory for oneself and defeat for others. Envied by all the people of the world, it has the strong support of the USA and many other like-minded countries. Tibetan intellectuals inside Tibet, across three regions of Tibet, also admire and support it. Hence, the issue of Tibet has achieved — and is continuing to achieve — great results that have both the short- and long-term benefits. While expressing our immense gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama for formulating such a genuine policy, the Kashag would like to pledge before Your Holiness that we will continue to uphold this policy without any doubt in our minds in the future.

Unimaginable atrocities and cruelty of the past about 60 years have not been able to shake the spirit and determination of the Tibetan people. The Chinese government is now further sharpening its strategy of employing deceit and money to destroy the spirit and unity of the Tibetan people. The Kashag believes that the Tibetan people will not fall prey to these Chinese deceptions. The unity among all the Tibetan people, which has remained intact for a long time now, has been strengthened after the popular uprising of 2008. The Kashag would like to urge all Tibetans to make efforts to further strengthen this bond of unity and to stay clear from the incitements or machinations of the other side to drive a wedge between us Tibetans. The Kashag would like to also urge that we Tibetans should caution by refraining from indulging in internal squabbles over petty matters.

Two important issues that the Tibetans inside Tibet must give a serious thought to are: 1) Tibetan youths should be encouraged to broaden their educational horizon by concentrating on both traditional and modern education and by acquiring professional and specialised skills in their chosen fields of study; and 2) explore all possible ways and means to save the delicate environment of the Tibetan plateau from further degradation. These are non-political issues that have a strong bearing on the short- and long-term benefits of both the Tibetan and Chinese peoples. Therefore, it is very important for both sides to make collective efforts towards these ends. Similarly, everyone should make best efforts to put into practice the advices His Holiness the Dalai Lama give to the people of world in general and to the people of Tibet in particular, the advices of both spiritual and temporal aspect that have huge bearing not just in this life but also in many lives to come.

If the Tibetans, who are currently divided into many administrative units, could be brought under a single autonomous administration, it will be more helpful in devising a uniform policy to bring about all-round development in the fields of education, culture, health, etc. It will, in particular, help protect the unique culture and identity of Tibet. The request to bring all Tibetans under a single administration has now and again been made to the Chinese government since 1951. As such, during the recent Fifth Work Forum on Tibet, delegates from all Tibetan areas were summoned to deliberate upon a uniform development plan for all Tibetans. The Forum has also identified the fact that the Tibetans in general, and the Tibetan farmers and herders in particular, are lagging behind as far as the standard of living is concerned. We must take note of these developments indeed. We await the Chinese government to actually implement a uniform development programme for all the Tibetan-inhabited areas.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama will turn 75 on 6 July 2010. The Kashag plans to celebrate his coming birthday more elaborately than the previous ones with major spiritual activities. Similarly, our exile democracy will complete 50 years on 2 September, this year. Therefore, we are planning to commemorate this day as well. We hope that all Tibetans will bear these upcoming events in mind. Although it is very difficult for the Tibetans inside Tibet to openly come out and celebrate these upcoming events, we believe they will be able to join us Tibetan exiles in their hearts and minds.

To conclude, the Kashag prays for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the spontaneous fulfilment of all his wishes. May the truth of the issue of Tibet prevail soon!

The Kashag

N.B. This has been translated from the original statement issued in Tibetan. If there is any discrepancy between the two, please treat the Tibetan version as authoritative and final.