Statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the Fifteenth Anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day, 10 March 1974
Six million Tibetans lost the right to determine their destiny, tens of
thousands fled homes and many more lost their lives in an era when
scores of nations regained their freedom after a long period of
colonial slavery. March 10 means all this and much more to us.
Eighty-five thousand exiles are on this side of the mighty Himalayas
and six million on the other, but the spirit of March 10 binds us as
one proud nation.
What is the spirit of March 10? We say it is the cause of Tibet. But
what is the cause of Tibet? Is it a struggle against a race, a nation
and an ideology? Or is it an unreasonable struggle waged by a minority
in exile for their own interests? It is none of these.
The cause of Tibet is the cause of the Tibetan people; it is the cause
of six million people. It is the struggle of a people to determine
their own identity. Until they are satisfied, the struggle for Tibet
I believe in justice and truth, without which there would be no basis
for human hope. I also believe in the right of every nation to struggle
for its freedom, including Tibet and its neighbouring states that have
fallen victims to Chinese aggression.
Although there are signs of liberalisation in Lhasa itself and some
border areas, this has in no way alleviated the suffering of the vast
majority of the people. Refugees still report that the overall
situation in Tibet continues to be very grave. Under such
circumstances, is it any wonder that the younger generation see a
contradiction between the “socialist paradise” of factories, roads,
airfields, and the simultaneous starvation of their countrymen? These
imposing monuments of “progress” have no meaning to the common Tibetan.
They only serve to highlight the dissatisfaction among the
Marxist-educated younger generation of Tibetans.
So long as the people of Tibet are in such dire hardships and
discontented with their lot, we have a duty to speak and act on their
behalf. It is an onerous duty but one which we will push through with a
determination equal toif not more thanwhat our brethren are
displaying in Tibet.
The future of Tibet is not a gloomy one. The international situation is
extremely fluid; great changes are taking place all over the world. A
change will definitely take place in Tibet also. Moreover, truth and
justice are on our side. We have hope and we have the necessary
determinationthese are what ultimately count.
The Dalai Lama
March 10, 1974