Statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the Twenty-Second Anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day, 10 March 1981
Today marks the twenty-second anniversary of the Tibetan peoples
struggle for their rights of national freedom, something to be
commemorated not only by our own but also by future generations.
Recognising the nature and prospective of our struggle, we must on this
occasion reinforce the strength of our courage and determination.
During the past twenty odd years, the large masses of Tibetans left in
Tibet have been subjected to sufferings of death, hunger and
exploitation which defies description; while those who were able to
flee were forced to become exiled from their homeland and to live in
foreign countries. We Tibetans of the present generation have had to
experience tremendous miseries and tribulations unparalleled in our
entire past history. Nevertheless, there is no denying the fact that
because of these very factors there will definitely be a realisation of
positive effects in the long run. No matter how great negative trends
such as hypocrisy, deception and arrogant aggression become in the
world today, nevertheless as truth and justice always prevail, the true
cause of our Tibet is becoming ever more clear to the world. Therefore,
with conviction and never becoming discouraged, we should hold firm to
our courage and dedication as in the past.
Although Tibet was not advanced in terms of scientific, technological
or material progress, yet it is a nation rich in culture and having a
history of more than two thousand years. By the power of this rich
cultural heritage, the Tibetans are naturally a happy and well-adjusted
people, thus forming a distinct society in the family of man. These are
qualities praised and regarded as worthy of emulation by sensible
people the world over.
Until the conditions ripen for all the people in this world to become
one great united fraternal family, each society should have the right
to preserve and develop its unique traditional heritage and culture
along with modern science and technology. Therefore, at present, one of
our principal concerns in the struggle for the right of six million
people of Tibet should be the vigilant preservation and continuation of
all those excellent aspects of our distinct cultural heritage that are
of value to our society, without letting them decline. This is most
The Chinese policy towards Tibet in the past has been like the Tibetan
proverb, “Before your eyes they show you brown sugar, but in your mouth
they give you sealing wax.” While outwardly spreading courageous
exaggerations which are clear, sweet-sounding, impressive and seemingly
convincing, but which falsify the facts, they in actual practice have
only been subjecting the Tibetans to torture and oppression. In the
face of that, the Tibetans had justified cause to strive to free
themselves from the bondage of their sufferings, because all people
have the right to free themselves from their own suffering. If in
actual fact the distinctly Tibetan way of life were being kept fully
intact and the people were happier now than under the former
conditions, then there would be no point to argue.
In recent times the Chinese have realised that their past
self-defeating policies of deception, exaggeration and empty propaganda
have been of more harm than benefit and have now adopted a new policy
of “seeking truth from facts” and are trying to implement what they
preach. Their admission of their past mistakes, without trying to cover
them up, is praiseworthy. However, since the thirty odd years of actual
experience the Tibetan people have had under the domination of the
Chinese has not been a short time, it is definitely going to take some
time to develop confidence and conviction in a new lenient line. This
is a natural way of thinking of sensible people.
Finally, anger cannot be vanquished by anger, and past history has
disappeared into the past. What is more relevant is that in the future
there actually must be real peace and happiness through developing a
friendly and meaningful relation between China and Tibet. For this to
be realised, it is important for both sides to work hard to have
tolerant understanding and be open-minded.
With prayers for the peace, happiness and welfare of all.
The Dalai Lama
March 10, 1981