On this auspicious occasion of the 69th birthday celebration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Kashag-on behalf of the Tibetan people inside and outside Tibet-would like to pay its deep respect by offering our warm greetings, and pray that His Holiness remain as the core of the wellbeing of all sentient beings for aeons to come. We also request His Holiness to continue to bless us with your protection.
For the Tibetan people as well as the people of the world, today is a very special day because on this very day, we discovered a cure for all sufferings of the humanity and a lamp which leads us to the path of enlightenment. Therefore, we would like to extend our warmest greetings to all humanity, including the Tibetans living inside and outside Tibet. .
His Holiness the Dalai Lama enormous service to the humanity in general, and in particular, bestowing upon the Tibetan people a genuine democratic Tibetan polity; transforming the movement for resolving the issue of Tibet into a total non-violent endeavor; and proposing the Middle Way Approach, according to which if all the Tibetans were to enjoy a genuine autonomous status, Tibet would then remain within the framework of the Peoples Republic of China, is a great guidance deserving appreciation of both the Tibetan and Chinese peoples. The Kashag, therefore, takes this opportunity to express our gratitude by reiterating our solemn pledge to sincerely pursue this policy in accordance with the wishes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama based this Middle Way Approach on Deng Xiaoping statement of 1979 that “Except the independence of Tibet, all other things can be resolved through dialogue”. Since then for more than twenty-four years, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has consistently pursued this policy and made every possible effort to generate trust, and create a conducive atmosphere, between the two sides. It is also known to all that even when Tibet functioned under the 17-Point Agreement in the 1950s, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in accordance with the Agreement, had tried all possible means to peacefully co-exist by developing cordial relations between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples. As the Tibetan people, both inside and outside Tibet, place great hope and trust in His Holiness the Dalai Lama, it is but natural that he is the spokesperson as well as the only leader representing the true aspirations of the Tibetan people. Therefore, to think about the future of the six million Tibetan people is his natural responsibility, a responsibility that he cannot shirk.
Nobody can conceal the fact that there are many unbearable and complex problems in Tibet. This fact is repeatedly expressed both verbally and in writing by many competent Tibetan leaders and the Communist Party members, including the late Panchen Lama. All the Tibetan people have deep-rooted grievances and resentments to the policies, which are being implemented in Tibet by the Peoples Republic of China.
Recently the Information Office of the State Council of the Peoples Republic of China issued a White Paper on May 23, 2004 on “Regional Ethnic Autonomy in Tibet.” We have made a careful study of this latest White Paper.
The White Paper contains much ultra leftist rhetoric and obviously there are a number of issues where we disagree with the views presented in it. Periodic white papers on Tibet cannot hide the true sad state of affairs in Tibet. Instead it undermines the efforts to promote mutual confidence and trust.
There is strong expectation amongst Tibetans and international friends of Tibet for a befitting response by the Tibetan leadership in exile to the latest Chinese White Paper. We fully understand their sentiments and concerns. However, we have decided not to respond publicly to their document at this point of time.
This decision has been taken in the larger interest of finding a resolution to the issue of Tibet through dialogue. From the time of the reestablishment of our direct contacts we took the decision to give the highest priority to the process of dialogue and reconciliation and refrain from any act that may hamper the process. We, therefore, resolved to handle this matter in a responsible and cool-headed manner.
Obviously there are two different views and versions–a Tibetan and a Chinese–of issues relating to Tibet. We need to recognize this reality. It is our firm belief that these differences need to be reconciled through dialogue and negotiations and not imposed. It is the basic approach of His Holiness the Dalai Lama not to dwell on the past but to look forward to the future and seek a relationship that ensures genuine friendship, mutual understanding and respect between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples.
We have made it clear to the Chinese leadership that we would like to go forward with the process started in September 2002 by having the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama visit China again. When that visit takes place the envoys will continue to take up the issues of concern to the Tibetan people.
The approach of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to resolve the issue of Tibet is gaining increasingly wider international support and appreciation. As recently as June 15, 2004, the European Commission in a public statement, while welcoming the two visits to China of His Holiness the Dalai Lamas envoys, called for “…the strengthening and deepening of this ongoing process.” The EU statement further said, “The only realistic way to find a lasting solution to the question of Tibet” is through dialogue between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Chinese authorities.
We would again like to urge the leaders of the Peoples Republic of China to heed the good opportunity presented by His Holiness the Dalai Lamas Middle Way Approach by abandoning its hardline stance, and adopt a conciliatory approach to resolve the Tibetan problem, thereby ensuring the unity and stability of the Peoples Republic of China.
Finally, I pray for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the spontaneous fulfillment of all his wishes. I also pray that the truth of the issue of Tibet may prevail soon.
6 July 2004