Protect Tibet’s Culture and Environment, His Holiness says at Int’l Tibet Support Group Meeting


November 17, 2012 3:01 pm

His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Special International Tibet Support Group meeting in Dharamshala on 17 November 2012.

DHARAMSHALA: Speaking to the participants of the Special International Tibet Support Group Meeting today, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said, Tibet’s unique culture and fragile environment should be preserved.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama also noted that trends of democracy and freedom is sweeping the world today. Therefore, no matter how powerful China is, they have to embrace this trend of freedom and justice.

Below is the transcript of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s speech at the Special Tibet Support Groups Meeting.

Tibet is passing through a difficult period. In such a period, you as part of the international community, have come here to express your deep concern and support. Our supporters are not pro-Tibet but rather pro justice and pro- non violence.

The Tibetan struggle has been a struggle of non-violence. Globally, there are number of communities that are experiencing difficulties but unfortunately in many cases, although their cause is noble, they use violent methods to solve their problem.

Therefore, your support for us is encouragement for us and on a practical level, the non-violent support should succeed, otherwise people may say that non-violence is useless.

Sometimes people use violence to draw a mutually beneficial solution. It is totally wrong. Violence comes from anger. When you lack self-confidence, you use gun. So on a global level, strictly non-violent methods should succeed. A number of Chinese democratic activists also express their solidarity towards our movement.

The Tibetan issue can be differentiated into three main aspects:

1) Ecological:

Lot of damage has been caused to Tibet’s environment through deforestation, exploitation of natural resources. One of my Indian friend said, due to Tibet’s high altitude and dry climate, if Tibet’s ecology is damaged, it will take much longer to recover. Geographically, Tibet is the roof of the world, so naturally it’s a cold place with lots of snows. So it is also the source of major rivers in Asia, with more than 1 billion people depending on these rivers.

The effect of Tibetan plateau on global warming is as much as the South and North Pole. I heard instructions were given to protect Tibet’s delicate environment during the time of Chinese premier Zhu Rongji, but these instructions were not implemented fully at the local level due to corruption.

2) Tibetan culture:

Since the Nalanda tradition of Tibetan Buddhism reached Tibet, different aspects of knowledge developed in Tibet. The unique Nalanda tradition stresses on maximum transformation of the heart and not just prayers and rituals. Experiment and research, Buddha himself has said.

Tibetan Buddhist culture is a culture of peace and non-violence. The preservation of Tibetan culture is very much needed because it is a tradition of peace, love and compassion. But it is being completely destroyed. Through Tibetan culture, we can make some contribution to create a happier and peaceful world through inner peace and a calm mind.

Tibetan Buddhism is very sophisticated. It is not just prayers and rituals. Just practising rituals without knowing the meaning is a waste of time.

India is the most populated democratic country and China the most populated totalitarian country. India and China’s relationship should be based on genuine peace and mutual trust and co-operation. Both countries have immense benefit. Deploying large number of troops by the Chinese along the border will automatically create fear and suspicion.

The world’s trend is towards openness and more democracy, more freedom and rule of law. So no matter how powerful the Chinese government, they cannot escape the world trend and they have to follow that trend. The new leadership in China will realise that reality.  As Deng Xiaoping said, seeking truth from facts, so the fact is like that. They have to adopt a policy based on reality. Unrealistic policy will not solve the problems.

Current situation in Tibet:

I have nothing to say on the political aspect of the issue of Tibet. I am retired and whatever the elected Tibetan leadership says about Tibet is absolutely correct.

Things are quite serious in Tibet. There is a problem and the problem is neither good for the Tibetans nor the Chinese. Use of force will never bring a satisfactory solution to the problem.

The Tibetan civilization is very sophisticated. Some Chinese say that the Tibetans are very backward but that is not true. One Chinese archaeologist told me once that Tibetan civilization has its own root.

Now, the spirit and unity of the younger generation of Tibetans inside Tibet are stronger than my generation.