Statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the Fourteenth Anniversary of the Tibetan
National Uprising Day, 10 March 1973
This year marks the 2100th anniversary of the founding of the Tibetan
Royal Dynasty by Nyatri Tsenpo. The year also marks the fourteenth
anniversary of the Tibetan peoples struggle against foreign
domination. On this occasion when we remember and commemorate these two
glorious anniversaries, I send my greetings to all Tibetans, both in
and outside Tibet.
I would like to deal briefly with the history of these 2100 years. The
earliest Tibetan kings in dynastic succession were the seven Tris, the
two Thengs, the six Legs, the eight Dhes and the five Tsens. During the
reigns of these twenty-eight kings, Tibet made steady progress in
handicrafts and education. In the reign of the twenty-eighth king, Lha
Thothori Nyentsen, Buddhism was first planted in Tibet. During the
reigns of Songtsen Gampo, the thirty-third king, Trisong Detsen, the
thirty-seventh King, and Tri Ralpachen, the fortieth, who are
collectively known as the Three Great Religious Kings, Tibet emerged as
a powerful state. In the field of religion, many Buddhist scriptural
texts were translated into Tibetan. Religious and civil codes were
promulgated and Tibetan social behaviour was made decent and civilised.
Politically, land was equally distributed to people and in summer and
winter peoples representatives held regular meetings. All this made
the Tibetan social structure, then prevailing, democratic and modern.
The fame of Tibet spread throughout Asia.
The forty-first King, Langdarma, suppressed the Buddhist faith and in
his time Buddhism received a severe setback. The two sons of Langdharma
made rival claims to the throne of Tibet and western Tibet was divided
between them. Consequently, the whole of Tibet was reduced to many
petty principalities and the former strength of Tibet, both military
and political, greatly decreased. The frontier provinces of Tibet
seceded from Tibet and religion and policies suffered degeneration and
Subsequently, since the time Chogyal Phagpa of Sakya, the successive
dynastic reigns of Sakya, Pha-drupa, Rinpungpa and Tsangpa, made the
strength of Tibetan politics firmer and the hold of religion deeper,
unlike during the period of Tibetan disintegration. However, the
standard they attained never reached that of the one which prevailed
during the reigns of the Three Great Religious Kings of Tibet. Moreover
Tibet was internally continually rocked by disunity.
In the reign of the Fifth Dalai Lama, the political influence of the
Tibetan government grew and the Tibetan people enjoyed happiness and
prosperity. However, in 1949 the Chinese communists invaded Tibet and
since then we all know the extent of happiness which we Tibetan people
As such, if we look back at Tibetan history, we will realise that
during the time of the Three Great Religious Kings of Tibet the country
did not only enjoy immense military strength but was culturally rich.
Also, as we have seen, after Langdharma, Tibet disintegrated into many
petty principalities and because of Tibetan weakness the country also
suffered politically. Even in our times because of the fact that Tibet
did not have a strong central government it was easy for the Chinese
communists to invade Tibet and the subsequent suffering which has been
inflicted upon the Tibetan people is something which can be proved.
Mere propaganda is unnecessary here. As such the Tibetans must at all
times remember these and remain united, and determined to achieve their
rights and freedom.
After the period of Tibetan disintegration and during the time of the
Sakyapas the influence of the Mongol rulers of China was first felt in
Tibet. After this, during the time of the Manchu emperors China began
interfering in the affairs of Tibet. However at that time the Han
Chinese themselves were under the domination of at first the Mongols
and then the Manchus. The Yuan dynasty of the Mongols came to an end.
The Manchus themselves were overthrown by the Chinese revolution of
1911, after which a republican government was established in China. At
the same time, after the overthrow of the Manchus, Tibet declared its
independence. However, some countries because of their territorial
ambitions, concluded several treaties which stated that Tibet was under
the suzerainty of China. That these treaties contain neither truth nor
they tell the objective reality can clearly be seen from the way
earlier and later treaties were made. The violent aggression of the
Chinese into Tibet and the way they forced the Tibetans to sign the
17-point Agreement was emphatically and clearly publicised by the
Tibetans to the whole world. Besides, looking at any period of Tibetan
history, we know that Tibet existed as an independent nation.
Especially here I would like to touch on the real conditions in Tibet
today. After being “liberated” from the “three big feudal lords” the
Tibetans were made the “masters” of the country. Through such pleasing
propaganda the Chinese are publicising that the progress achieved in
Tibet under their rule is unprecedented and all the Tibetan people are
The aim of the struggle of the Tibetans outside Tibet is the attainment
of the happiness of the Tibetan people. If the Tibetans in Tibet are
truly happy under Chinese rule then there is no reason for us here in
exile to argue otherwise. Fourteen years have passed since the 10 March
Uprising of 1959. It is needless for me to point to the Tibetans, since
they have experienced all these, that our unique culture is being
deliberately undermined, that the Tibetans in Tibet are denied the
basic rights of religious worship, free expression and movement. The
basic need of every human being is adequate food, clothing and shelter.
But even here, the Tibetans in Tibet face difficulties. Because of
scarce food, many of the elder Tibetans fall sick and die. Every day
most Tibetans live in fear, suffering and hardship and do not get a
moment of rest and relaxation. Even to the young Tibetans, whom the
Chinese have reared and educated, they, the Chinese, do not give jobs
corresponding to the type of education which the youths have received.
Evoking the ideal of “voluntary work”, the Chinese drive the Tibetans
like a herd of cattle to work in the fields, in road-building and
construction. In short, the Tibetans in Tibet are not treated like
human beings. Because the Tibetan people, like all other peoples in the
world, are endowed with the capacity to differentiate good from bad,
all of them, young, old and middle-age, despite their minor individual
differences, will never trust and put their faith in foreign
aggressors. All of them will want their country to be ruled by their
own people. This is the reason why we are continuing to struggle for
the rights and freedom of the Tibetan people.
As such, considering the history of Tibet and the present aspirations
of the Tibetan people, the present pitiable condition will never be
continued to be borne by them for long. There are many changes which
have occurred and are occurring in the international political scene
and I hope that the Chinese leaders will discard their present
narrow-minded policy and listen to reason and see the reality that is
lying all around them. There will be a satisfactory conclusion, and
there will inevitably be one, for the just cause of the rights and
freedom of the Tibetan people. Without working hard at something there
will never be a good, positive result. This is only natural.
Consequently, all Tibetans must continue to work towards their cause
with one mind, and utmost dedication.
The Dalai Lama
March 10, 1973