Venerable Professor Samdhong Rinpocheji, honourable Karma Chophelji, Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, Kalon Tempa Tsering la, respected Mr. Lodi Gyari, Special Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Bakshiji, Vijay Krantiji, respected monks and dear delegates, who have come from all parts of the world, while welcoming you all here, I would like first to remember the hundreds of brave Tibetans who laid down their lives in all the three regions of Tibet in the uprisings of March this year and those thousands of more people who endure the Chinese brutality during the week of these tragic events. Their sacrifices will ever remain etched in our hearts and will continue to sustain the Tibetan movement till the ultimate goal is reached.

Let us all rise in our seats and observe a minute of silence to pay homage to them. Thank you.

As we all believe in nonviolence, compassion and love towards humanity, we also pay our homage to the innocent victims of the ongoing attacks by the terrorists in Mumbai. Friends, as Mr.Vijay Kranti has mentioned, we meet here at a extremely critical and perhaps decisive moment in the history of Tibet. It is time, where despite best efforts of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his government in exile, the last round with the Chinese government has ended in a failure due to the arrogance of the Chinese rulers. The talks had failed despite very reasonable approach adopted by the Tibetan authorities in exile. Perhaps it was for the first time that a memorandum was submitted to the Chinese authorities at their own behest to lay down the controls of genuine autonomy. I must tell you it is wonderful document not only for the Tibetan but also for the rest of the world because it places the Tibetan cause in the name of humanity and sees in it the future of humanity in the 21st century. That’s why we are all obligated to support this.

But unfortunately the Chinese have not seen the logic in it, the reasons behind it and their attitude let to the failure of this and it seems that we have reached almost the end of the tunnel. This meeting as His Holiness said at his press conference after the Special Meeting of the Tibetans which was held in Dharamsala, when he was asked by a journalist, “What’s next?”, he said the international Support Groups of the Tibetan cause will decide in Delhi. What should be done next and I will speak about that.

Now that lays upon us a great responsibility, to suggest direction, positive action, that needs to be taken from now onwards. As His Holiness has said in his message today, this itself is a great challenge. We are going through challenging times and I think we have to answer this challenge with resoluteness, sincerity and determination to see the Tibetan question settled as soon as possible. We are entering 50th year or completing 50 years of Tibetans living in exile. I think this is the time that we have to decide what is the future of Tibet. And that’s why I think this meeting of yours is going to be decisive.

I would like to tell the Chinese that the uprisings of March are a grim warning to them and a warning to the rest of the world too. The Chinese authorities have, in fact, begged for the peaceful conditions in order to get the Olympics accomplished. They made a bonanza of promises which every body suspected were not genuine. They have proved to be phony. The deceitfulness of the Chinese leadership has become once again clear and as a journalist I can tell you one of the promises was to grant freedom to the press before, during and even after the Olympics. And I have some figure before me released by the International Federation of Journalists which says that there have been more than 350 occassions of interference by the Chinese authorities in the coverage of the Olympics itself and the restriction continues. In fact the restriction they have imposed even on the reporting of a very mundane and very small matters like polluted Chinese milk being distributed and when some of the journalists reported this, they were either thrown out of China or they were sent to jail. A few days ago, one of the Chinese journalists was sent to jail because he had dared to report something which was considered to be seditious.

Regarding human rights, the situation continues to be the same. In fact the situation is becoming much grimmer. The Olympic Games have made Chinese bolder and more arrogant. This arrogance is reflected in the last round of talks that His Holiness’ representatives, Mr Lodi Gyari and others had with Chinese. I think this is a big challenge that we have to accept and then we have to find a way out. As Mr.Vijay Kranti has also done, I would remind them, the supporters of the Tibetan cause in the western world, the European parliament, the European governments, had even gone to the extent of issuing an ultimatum, saying by particular dates, the Chinese must enter into negotiations and also to solve the problem of Tibet. Otherwise, they would recognize the government of Tibet in exile. They seem to have forgotten this. I think a reminder should go from this meeting to all those governments to remind them of their obligations to their own promises.

I think the government of India also needs to wake up. There have been enough warnings given to the government of India, that if the Tibetan question is not solved in time, the Chinese would be not only in the borders of India but within India and that is what Chinese are trying to do by telling us that Arunachal Pradesh belongs to them and telling us many other things, bringing their railway lines upto the borders of not only India but also within a country that seems to be hostile to us or getting hostile to us. I think Indian Government has to now show that it really cares for Tibet and care for itself for its own country. For this reason His Holiness the Dalai Lama says that the government of India seems to be little too cautious. Caution is good in diplomacy. It is required but over- cautiousness means destroying the cause and we seem to be destroying the cause of Tibet and as well as the cause of India. This is an international gathering but India being a front line state so far as Tibet is concerned, I think we have greater obligation. The people of Tibet, I can assure you, people of India, barring a few and they are very few, everybody in India is behind the cause of Tibet. The support from India will continue and His Holiness expects us to continue our support. We assure you and all Tibetans that the support of all Tibet support groups throughout the world will not only continue but we will go from here with the message that this need to be intensified until some solution is found. Now is the time and I think if we fail, we will be failing not only Tibetans but failing ourselves and failing humanity.

With these few words, I want to say that we have Professor Rinpoche to tell us all about what happened at Dharamsala. I would not like to mention anything about it but to us it is very clear that if anybody represents Tibet, it is His Holiness the Dalai Lama and it is the Tibetan Government in Exile. They have the right to speak for all Tibetans and when we say all Tibetans it means all regions of Tibet and one Tibet, united Tibet and we are all behind it. I welcome you all for coming all the way to attend this meeting and I am sure our three-days’ conference will end with a very positive message and a very clear plan of action.

Thank you very much.