In the light of recent news
reports quoting Chinese officials that the issue of Tibet is only about
the person of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, we would like to take this
opportunity to clarify once again that the issue of Tibet concerns the
future of six million Tibetans in Tibet and not His Holiness the Dalai
In fact, when the Chinese Government made a five-point proposal in
1981 which included that “the Dalai Lama will enjoy the same political
status and living conditions as he had before 1959”, His Holiness
categorically made it clear to the Chinese leadership that the issue at
stake was the well-being of six million Tibetans, and he personally had
nothing to ask of the Central Chinese government.
His Holiness has stated right from 1969 onwards that even the
continuation of the institution of the Dalai Lama is for the Tibetan
people to decide.
In 1992 His Holiness declared that once we are able to return
to Tibet with meaningful autonomy, he will not play any role in the
future government of Tibet, let alone seek the Dalai Lama’s traditional
political position in the government. We would also like to make it
clear, especially to our Chinese brothers and sisters that Tibetans,
including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, do not even dream of restoring
the old society that prevailed in Tibet before 1959. As a matter of
fact, democracy was introduced in the exile Tibetan community in 1960
through election of representatives to the Assembly of Tibetan People’s
Deputies (Parliament in exile).
Since 2001 Tibetans in exile have an elected political
leadership and His Holiness considers himself in semi-retirement.
However, he will continue to fulfill his life-long commitment to
promote human values and religious harmony.
Following the resumption of talks with the Chinese government
in 2002, His Holiness’ envoys have also conveyed at every meeting that
the issue is about the well-being of the Tibetan people and not of His
Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Chhime R. Chhoekyapa
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Contact: Mr. Tashi Wangdi: 1-347 563 5976 (USA)
Mr. Lobsang Nyandak: 1-908 821 7284