Statement of the Kashag on the Forty-eighth Anniversary of the Tibetan Democracy Day, 2 September 2008
On this special occasion of the 48th anniversary of His Holiness the
Dalai Lama’s extraordinary efforts to transform the Tibetan polity into
a genuine democracy, the Kashag – as a way of expressing its immense
gratitude to His Holiness – makes obeisance to him. The Kashag also
extends its affectionate greetings and Tashi Deleg to all Tibetans
living in and outside Tibet, as well as to the governments,
parliaments, governmental and non-governmental organisations, Tibet
support groups and the people of the international community who are
supportive of Tibet and the Tibetans.
In our previous statements, the Kashag has dwelled – among other things
– on the status of the Tibetan democratic polity and its weaknesses;
the responsibilities that Tibetans in general and particularly the
Tibetan exiles must shoulder; and the role of the Tibetan civil
society, which is inclusive of the Tibetan NGOs. While reiterating all
these points, the Kashag would like to emphatically state that all
Tibetans should – at this very critical and crucial period – give more
importance to their democratic duties than rights; that they should
give more importance to the national and community’s benefits than
individual’s and organisation’s; and that they should, in order to
challenge the forces of division, strive towards combining their
The principal reason why the Tibetans inside Tibet have had to endure
continuous sufferings for the last almost 60 years – and as a result of
it the very survival of the Tibetan people is at stake today – is due
to the Chinese autocratic government’s ultra-leftist policies. Under
these policies, the basic rights of the Tibetan people, including their
political, social, religious and cultural rights are trampled upon by
the Chinese government. Therefore, until and unless the nature of the
People’s Republic of China’s polity does not become more open, free and
transparent, it is difficult for China to be able to resolve the
problem of Tibet. Taking cue from this fact, the Tibetan people living
in the free world should also work towards cultivating a culture of
openness, freedom and transparency.
In order to establish a true democratic society, it is very important
to have gender equality in general, and particularly women should
equally partake in the administrative and political work of a country.
Since ancient times until now, no gender discriminations of any kind
have taken place in our society. However, going by the ratio of the
Tibetan men and women taking part in administration and politics, there
is a difference with women lagging far behind men. It is very important
to bridge this difference in the future. The Kashag will soon come out
with a policy to strengthen women’s power in our society, and we
request all of you to co-operate with us in this regard.
One of the difficulties of a democratic system when it comes to
implementation – and particularly a problem often faced by the Asian
countries – is the inability to make a choice when differences emerge
between one’s political ideology and the policies adopted by the
government of the day, as well as the difficulty in evolving a
consensus among the contesting parties when it comes to the fundamental
interest of the country and people. All these occur due to an
inadequate level of education, or intellectual disposition, among the
citizens. The Tibetan community is also undergoing the same kind of
problems. Therefore, it is indispensable for the individuals and
organisations to heed that in addition to upholding their respective
ideological leanings, they should – as and when required – ensure the
unity and cohesive force of the Tibetan people without letting it
diminish the slightest.
For nearly 60 years, we have endured the oppression of a foreign
country. Over these years, many heroic Tibetan men and women have
sacrificed their every possession, including their precious lives, for
the sake of Tibetan religion, culture, national identity and freedom.
Paying homage to all these brave souls, the Kashag would like to
request all Tibetans to learn from their sacrifices and continue the
rightful and non-violent struggle of the Tibetan people until the issue
of Tibet is resolved once and for all.
Finally, the Kashag prays for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai
Lama and the spontaneous fulfilment of all his wishes. May the truth of
the issue of Tibet prevail soon!
2 September 2008
Note: Translated from the Tibetan original.