Dearest Tibetan Friends,

It is with profound sorrow due to illness I am unable to be with you today. Part of my sorrow stems from the fact that rather than embarrass the government of Belgium, His Holiness has decided to stay away.

When His Holiness invited me to address this conference I felt humbled and honoured. For years, in almost every speech I have given I have included the fact that Tibet must be liberated and returned to it?s rightful ruler the Dalai Lama whom we all know will govern his people with commitment to common sense and compassion.

Tibet is an independent country under illegal occupation. This is a fact recognized by many including the U.S. Congress and Parliament in Australia. The Tibetan people according to recent prestigious international law conferences have the right to self-determination.

Since the Chinese communist regime invaded Tibet in 1949 there has been a steady flow of death and destruction. When in March 1959 the Tibetan people, against all odds, rose up to fight their invaders His Holiness the Dalai Lama did everything he could to prevent confrontation between Tibetans and the mighty Peoples Liberation Army. Only hours after he had to flee his beloved country the compound where he had been staying was shelled killing thousands of Tibetan people who in their love and devotion to His Holiness had surrounded his palace to protect him.

Between March 1959 and October 1960 over 87,000 Tibetans were brutally murdered by the Peoples Liberation Army. How terrifying unjust.

I have entitled this statement ‘Injustice’ because, as those of us who fight for peace in our word know only too well, without justice there can be no peace.

Injustice rears its ugly head all over the world today. In my own country , Ireland, the injustice of our invaders, the British, is well documented. In the 850 years since the British landed on Ireland’s shores, million have died. And hundreds of thousands have been wounded. In the Great Famine between 1845 and 1849, as England watched, over a million Irish people perished. The pain inflicted on the Irish Nation will always be remembers. It is recounted from generation to generation. In one of our beautiful folk songs one line says it all, “The people shall remembers them and call them blessed.”

The Tibetan people, while His Holiness ruled his land lived in peace and harmony practicing the teachings of Buddhism, the central theme of which is compassion. Now they live in fear and dread while the Chinese government tries to remove their culture.

Well I have news for those leaders in China who perpetrate suffering on the Tibetan people. “You will never succeed; you will never truly be able to own Tibet for you are not welcome in that land.” I also have a question for the Chinese government. Why do you want Tibet? Surely with 9,600,000 squares kilometers of land you have a splendid sufficiency. At the moment, your economy is booming. Many nations in the world are buying your goods. Perhaps those nations are unaware that you are one of the worst human rights violators in the world. The list of those violations is endless.

Re-education or concentration camps where thousands of people who protest or disagree with your policies are sent to be brutalized and brainwashed.

Millions of new-born baby girls are murdered because of your one child per family law, preferably a male child; prisoners shot through the head, their organs reaped to supply kidneys, livers, hearts, etc. to the highest bidder.

These human rights violations are well documented.

The governments of the Democratic world are aware of these injustices. Yet, they continue to do business with China. We should all hang our heads in shame for allowing this to happen.

At the United Nations disagreeing with China caused outrage from Beijing. At the 2000 Millennium gathering of the world’s religious leaders His Holiness was not present. The leader of the Tibetan Buddhist people around the world was not invited. Why? Because China objected. I addressed that venerable group and mentioned the fact His Holiness was not there. The U.N. should hang its head in shame for giving in to such bullying. It is time to hold the Chinese government responsible for what is happening to her people and what it is doing to Tibet.

Stand proud and strong, Tibetan people, for right not might is on your side. And when the governments of the so-called democratic and free world decide not to kowtow to the bullying of China’s tyrannical leadership, Tibet and the people His Holiness loves so dearly may have their dream come true; the dream of a free, prosperous and peaceful Tibet.