My greetings and prayers for the members of the 13th Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies (ATPD) who have gathered in Dharamsala to attend the third session.
I pray for the success of all the endeavors of the Chairperson and the Vice- chairperson of the ATPD, who have been elected during this session.
Since this is your budget session, I call on each of you to use your aptitude toward formulating a budget and system for its management that are in tune with our present situation and ultimate goal.
As far as the issue of Tibet is concerned, I continue to remain committed to my Middle Path approach of finding a solution that is in the mutual interests of China and Tibetans. As I stated in this year’s 10 March statement, I see this as the most appropriate approach. And, I do hope we will be able to start dialogue with the Chinese leadership.
At the same time, I call on all of you to contribute your knowledge and wisdom to the fullest extent and hold frank discussions to further the welfare of Tibetan exile community. I call on you to formulate a sound policy for the material and spiritual development of our people through the improvement of our educational and health care systems. In this context, I call on you to pay special attention to caring and providing education for the disabled and other less fortunate members of the community.
I call on you to discuss the ways and means of strengthening unity among the Tibetans belonging to different regions and religious denominations. Similarly, I call on you to discuss the ways and means of preserving our moral values.
Ever since the founding of the Gaden Phodrang Government in Tibet some 360 years ago, we Tibetans have maintained our culture of non-violence and compassion. In view of the international situation and our own requirements, we in exile have grafted the values of democracy and modernity onto our traditional system. This is, of course, a matter of pride and joy for us. We now need to make efforts to achieve democratic self-rule in Tibet.
With my prayers for the success of this session’s proceedings!
The Dalai Lama 22 March 2002