August 30, 2008

Statement of the Kashag on the Occasion of Worldwide Fasting and Prayer Service on 30 August 2008

Today on 30 August 2008, the last day of the sixth month of
Earth-Mouse Year in Tibetan Calender, Tibetan Solidarity Committee
appealed the Tibetans, Tibet supporters and peace loving people all
over the world to observe a symbolic fasting and prayer service for 12
hours. We are immensely fortunate and grateful that His Holiness the
Dalai Lama has consented to take part in person here, but due to a
slight indisposition this could not happen. However, His Holiness is
observing the fasting and prayer from Mumbai today and we convey our
immense gratitude and respect to him.

The Kashag of the central Tibetan Administration would like to
heartily thank all the Tibetans, Tibet supporters and those believing
in non-violence who are taking part to observe this symbolic fasting
and prayer service.

This activity is not a protest led by hatred, rancour and anger
but by the teachings of the Lord Buddha in all the vehicles to refrain
from harming others and do everything to benefit others with love and
compassion, which is the essence of spiritual practice. Mahatma Gandhi
has shown us with his practical demonstration that this is only for
spiritual practice but it can very well apply to the politics for the
benefits of society and nations. Our effort of today symbolizes that
this method is effectively relevant in the post-modern world also.

Due to the consistent effort and guidance of His Holiness the
Dalai Lama to pursue non-violent methods to resolve the Tibetan issue,
it has been many years that most of the Tibetan movements remained free
from gross physical violence. This garnered immense support from around
the world for the just cause of Tibet. Our pursuit of non-violence has
not only enabled us to keep alive the Tibetan issue but also compelled
the People’s Republic of China to respond to our policy of
rapprochement irrespective of their sincerity. However, on account of
some Tibetans being not able to completely give up violence in vocal
expressions and thoughts, all our efforts till today instead of
achieving a genuine result, is stuck in a vicious circle. If all the
Tibetans have a genuine aspiration to resolve the just cause of the
Tibetan issue, we have to strengthen our commitment and reinforce the
power of non-violence. It is hard to achieve any results in resolving
the Tibetan cause unless anger of the Tibetans subsides. Therefore, we
take this opportunity to strongly appeal to all the Tibetans and
particularly to the monks and nuns to get rid of any visible hatred and
anger, and make every effort to develop undiluted thought leading to
the cultivation of non-violence and thereby all our physical and vocal
expressions become non-violent.

By observing this symbolic fasting and prayer service if we
Tibetans are able to make way to advance a step further in pursuit of
our non-violent movement, it is worth observing. Otherwise, if it turns
into an opportunity that arouses feelings of hatred and anger, it is
then, as the saying goes, “sending ransom to the west when the demon
lies in the east”.

On this special occasion, we hope that the observation of
fasting and prayer by numerous people around the world will help the
Tibetans to do away their bad karmic action and enhance meritorious
virtues. This virtue may help Tibetans to get rid of their anger and
hatred towards all sentient beings, especially the PRC authorities who
oppress and torture the Tibetans and instead could help us to respond
to them with love and compassion. Our sincere practice of non-violence
will ultimately help change the mind of the PRC authorities to more
compassionate. We hope and pray that all will firmly believe in
non-violence. We strongly appeal to all the Tibetans to put concerted
non-violent efforts to bring natural end to the torture and persecution
in Tibet.

We pay our condolence and homage to those who lost their lives
and those who are imprisoned ,tortured and beaten in the recent
uprisings in Tibet. We pray that the lives sacrificed by the Tibetans
become worthwhile and end the torture to the innocent Tibetans .We also
pray and sympathise for the victims of the earthquakes in Sichuan and
the one in South-western Tibet recently and the disaster caused by
flood in some other part as well.

We end with the prayers for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s long life and may the just cause of Tibet prevail.

The Kashag
30 August 2008

–N.B Translated from the Tibetan original

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