Today marks the eighteenth anniversary of the conferment of the Nobel Peace Prize on His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the world human rights day and the international Himalayan festival. On this important occasion of the triple celebrations, the Kashag while expressing its immense gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama makes its obeisance to him. The Kashag also extends with a sense of great happiness its warm greetings to the Tibetans in and outside Tibet.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s untiring efforts to accomplish the cause of Tibet in general, and in particular to preserve and promote the unique culture, religion, language, customs and traditions of Tibet as well as to promote world peace, inter-religious harmony and friendship, basic human values, environmental protection and the universal responsibility are so immense that these are beyond imagination and cannot be expressed in words. For all these noble efforts, His Holiness has received more than a hundred awards and honorary degrees from across the world. Moreover, in order to show their unstinted respect and admiration for His Holiness, the impartial people across the globe have made him the apostle of world peace by honouring him with the world’s most prestigious award, the Nobel Prize for Peace, in 1989. Therefore today is a very special moment of jubilation, not just for the people of the Land of Snows but also for the peace- and freedom-loving people of the world.
In order to express our gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Central Tibetan Administration has requested that he allow us to make special (auspicious) offerings to him. His Holiness has graciously accepted it and has informed us that the offering can be made on 3 January 2008 in Drepung Monastery, Mundgod, where he plans to conduct teachings then. As publicly announced earlier, the Kashag would like to once again request all those desirous of making donations for the teaching as well as the offerings so that they could enhance their collective merit to send their contribution through the respective offices of the local Tibetan administrative heads.
Today is also the sixty-first anniversary of the United Nations’ proclamation of its universal declaration on human rights. However regarding the issue of Tibet, since the Chinese government’s armed occupation of our country in the 1950s, the Tibetan people have had to suffer unprecedented human rights violations and repression, as a result of which nearly one-fourth of our population lost their lives and those living too had to experience hell on earth by having to undergo sufferings and torture that were beyond human endurance. In short, Tibet actually witnessed the tragedy of massive human loss as well as religious and cultural genocide. Even today, the situation in Tibet has not improved at all. Although the peace- and freedom-loving people of the international community have, over the years, shown their tremendous concern, interest and support to us Tibetans, the United Nations has not engaged in an effective discussion on the truth of the Tibetan issue and the human rights violations taking place in Tibet. The People’s Republic of China is not only a member country of the United Nations, but is also one of the five permanent members of its Security Council. As such, China should set an example by putting into practice the United Nations’ declaration on human rights. However, China continues to dishonour, or violate, the terms of the declaration.
Considering the present situation inside Tibet, the changes taking place there are so swift that the religion and culture of Tibet which reflects the true identity of the Tibetan people have reached a critical stage of becoming extinct from the face of the earth. Particularly, since the (Gormo-Lhasa) railway line became operational, the pace of converting the land of Tibet into a Chinese one has increased many-fold that the owner of the land, the Tibetan people, are being increasingly reduced into an insignificant minority in their own country.
During the last few months, the Chinese government has issued through its State Administration of Religious Affairs order number 5, containing 14 articles on Management Measures for the Reincarnation of ” Living Buddhas ” in Tibetan Buddhism and imposed heavy sentence of 3-10 years imprisonment on four people in Lithang region, including Runggye Adrak, for peacefully exercising their freedom of speech. It has also brutally beaten and imprisoned seven students between the age of 13-15 from Bhora Township in Sangchu County, Kanlho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, under the pretext that they have committed a political crime by shouting and writing on the black board of their school these slogans: ” Tibet is independent. May His Holiness the Dalai Lama live for thousands of years.” Furthermore, the Chinese government continues to impose a ban on information on the whereabouts of the young Panchen Lama. In short, there has been a tightening of control in the whole of Tibet in general, and particularly in recent months in the Kham and Amdo regions.The basic human rights of the Tibetan people, including their freedoms of speech and religious belief as well as the rights of children are increasingly trampled upon.
The Kashag would like to urge the United Nations Council on Human Rights to be more responsible in effectively taking note of these actions of the Chinese government. At the same time, we would like to reiterate that it is the responsibility of China to seize the opportunity presented by His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s mutually-beneficial Middle-Way policy for resolving the issue of Tibet. While keeping in view the fact that the revival of Sino-Tibetan contacts offer a good opportunity, the People’s Republic of China should bring about a positive change inside Tibet in accordance with the changing times.
As we celebrate the thirteenth anniversary of the start of the international Himalayan festival, the Kashag would like to extend its warm greetings to the union and state governments as well as the people of India on this festive occasion, while at the same time extending its heart-felt gratitude to them.
In conclusion, we pray for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the fulfilment of all his wishes. We also pray that the truth of the issue of Tibet will prevail soon.
The Kashag 10 December 2007
NB.This is the English translation of the original statement in Tibetan. If there is difference between this and the Tibetan version, please treat the latter as authoritative.