DHARAMSHALA: Presence of a senior German parliamentarian in Dharamsala today gave a special political significance to the Tibetan national uprising this year. The parliamentarian joined the 56th Tibetan national uprising day as a gesture of strong support and concern for the Tibetan cause, urging the international community to strengthen their support for the non-violent struggle of Tibetans to achieve genuine autonomy in their homeland. A group of Chinese supporters from the US, Australia, Taiwan and Japan also took part in the function.
“Today is really a special day for every Tibetan and a special day for human rights worldwide. We have gathered here in Dharamsala to mark the 56th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising. This uprising is an important chapter in Tibetan and indeed in the world history. This day has become a symbol of self determination and right to a homeland. So being with you here today is very special, emotional and touching moment for me,” said Ms Claudia Roth, member of Green Party and Vice-President of German parliament (Bundestag), in her address to tens of thousands of Tibetans on the occasion.
Ms Claudia, who visited Dharamsala on the invitation of Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay, said the world thank Tibetans for their 56 years of non-violence resistance. “Thank you for your strength, commitment, courage and an endless patience in their struggle for freedom. Because Tibetans have a become a voice of hope and understanding throughout the world. Thank you Lobsang Sangay for inviting me as the friend of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people.”
“10 March is a day of immense significance as it is a warning from history to commemorate the past and a day of being mindful of our responsibility for the present and a day of remembrance for a better future. Today is a day against forgetting and I am worried that the Tibetan people’s struggle which has justice on its side might be forgotten by the world community. So today is a day against silence and indifference,” she said.
My message to the international community is that don’t forget the Tibetans as forgetting kills, she said, quoting Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel that to forget the victims is to kill them second time. We won’t forget dear friends.
At the time of so many wars and dreadful crises, the Tibetans and the international community have a leader who has throughout the world has come through a symbol of peace and reconciliation and his vision for a world without violence, oppression, hatred and exclusion.
She said the world must stand together to support Tibetans to send a strong signal to safeguard universal human rights. “The Chinese government’s treatment of Tibetans is not compatible with the fundamental human rights and democracy. Tibetans are being forcefully denied their rights to self-determination, physical integrity and live and freedom to practice their religion and culture.”
She attributed repressive policies pursued by the Chinese government in Tibet to suppress the language, culture, forced resettlement of Tibetans nomads, systematic control of monasteries are a provocation which worsens tension and further embitters the Tibetan people. All these forms of repression are unbearable for Tibetans.
She urged the Chinese government to release all the Tibetan political prisoners. “My message to the Chinese leadership to find a way reaching an agreement with the Tibetans and other ethnic minorities to end the repression and release all the political prisoners from your jails. This will send a message of peace and understanding and raise China’s status as a emerging power, instead of pursuing oppressive policies reminiscent of the 18th century.”
“Our message is let the Tibetan people in Tibet live in freedom and give them power to decide their own destiny and give Tibetan culture the opportunity to thrive and flourish,” Ms Claudia said.
She said Tibet’s environment is of vital importance for Asian and global ecosystem and known as the world’s third pole. “Rampant building of dams in Tibet threatens the way of life and culture in Tibetan rural areas. The Chinese can learn from Tibetans for their own survival. The Tibetans can only respond to Chinese might with intelligence, honesty and a sense of realism and an iron will to gain their freedom. That is why the cause adopted by the Central Tibetan Administration and the Dalai Lama to achieve genuine autonomy through dialogue and non violence is the approach that we must support out of a sense of conviction and realism.
“The Middle Way approach pursued by the Tibetans is a genuine exercise and a diplomatic balancing act. It is underpinned by the Dalai Lama’s philosophy that all conflicts can be resolved through sincere dialogue if conducted in a spirit of openness and willingness to move towards reconciliation,” she added.
“It is up to China to make use of the Tibetans’ openness and willingness for dialogue in order to move towards a peaceful partnership based on solution for the Tibet question.”
Speaking on the tragic self-immolation protest by over 136 Tibetans, the German official expressed deep concern that the situation in Tibet will become more aggravated if a solution is not found to the long standing grievances of the Tibetan people. “But we don’t want to see an escalation of problems in Tibet as Tibetans will suffer more repression.”