On this occasion of the 72nd birthday celebration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Kashag of the Central Tibetan Administration — on behalf of the Tibetans in and outside Tibet as well as all his followers across the globe — makes its obeisance to His Holiness and prays that he may live for hundreds of aeons as the true protector of humanity as a whole, and continue his meritorious service towards them.
Today is a very auspicious day, because on this day a new sun in the form of a supreme Guide has appeared before not just the inhabitants of the Snowland, but also the peoples of the entire planet we live in. As such, the day — a moment of great festivity — is being observed by a countless number of people with enormous joy, devotion and respect across the globe. Today also marks the first birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama being celebrated during the tenure of the 13th Kashag. Therefore, the Kashag — with unwavering devotion and respect to His Holiness the Dalai Lama — would like to implore him to continue providing guidance to the Administration as before in the discharging of all its religious and political duties or responsibilities during the remaining years of its term. The Kashag, in particular, would like to make a supplication today to His Holiness the Dalai Lama never to come out with such pronouncements that he is currently on a semi-retirement and, in the future, intends to take complete retirement.
This year — Fire-Hog Year according to the Tibetan Lunar Calendar — is the actual obstacle year for His Holiness the Dalai Lama. And yet His Holiness has continued, and is continuing, to bless the entire world with his meritorious service, the magnitude of which is time-effacing like the movement of the sun and the moon as well as the waves of an ocean. While expressing our immense gratitude and sincere appreciation for this, the Kashag would like to beseech him to continue his great service towards humanity in the future as well. Following the divinations of the protective deities and the highest-ranking lamas belonging to all the religious traditions of Tibet, the High-level Prayer Committee for the Obstacle Year of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, headed by the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, have performed a series of prayer services to dispel ominous signs standing in the way of His Holiness’s good health, the list of which is attached here for his kind perusal. We would like to request His Holiness the Dalai Lama to offer his prayers for the merits gained from this good karma, as well as from the collective good karma accumulated by all of us, including the highly-realised beings over the period of the three times, to serve as the cause for His Holiness’ longevity, the perpetuation of his meritorious work, and as a consequence of it all, to serve as the cause for the immediate resolution of the issue of Tibet.
The Kashag would like to make an emphatic appeal to the Tibetans in and outside Tibet to make every efforts — until the obstacle year for His Holiness is well passed — towards engaging themselves in merit-earning activities, observing internal harmony and enhancing the collective merit of the Tibetan people in the true tradition of the spiritual bond and devotion that goes with the tutor-disciple relationship. All the civil servants, senior and junior, of the Central Tibetan Administration are particularly requested to make all-round efforts to see to it that their performance in the assigned jobs indeed go in the way of fulfilling the wishes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This is, in fact, the biggest gift we can offer to him.
In keeping with the profound desire of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the process of dialogue with the government of the People’s Republic of China is still underway, based on the mutually-beneficial policy of the Middle-Way Approach that has the majority support of the Tibetans in and outside Tibet as well as the unanimous support of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile. However since May last year, owing to the attitude — both in terms of speech and action — adopted by some of the concerned officials of the People’s Republic of China, the atmosphere for a meaningful dialogue has not only greatly deteriorated, but the sixth round of talks also had to be postponed for quite a long time. Nevertheless, the Tibetan Delegation led by the Envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama has left for China on 29 June and returned to India yesterday afternoon, having conducted the sixth round of talks with the concerned authorities there. We are following the outcomes of this round of talks with great interest.
The majority of the Tibetan people have little hope that the present Chinese authorities will effect a positive change on the issue of Tibet. While this view is no doubt based on reality, it is not at all the ways of a person with intelligence to be encumbered by such a view, and thus resign oneself into a state of helplessness or hopelessness. We must understand that it is the unavoidable responsibility of all Tibetans — a responsibility placed on us by destiny — to expend all our energy in creating a situation, whereby the Chinese authorities are compelled to bring about a positive change. The Tibetan issue has, hitherto, not disappeared from the international stage. China is also not able to ignore it altogether. They at least have to respond to us. This is due to the strength of the non-violent path of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. If the Tibetan people are able to promote this “strength” in all sincerity, then all those sensible people bear witness to the fact that there is no other force in the world that can challenge it. Therefore should you consider yourself as one concerned about the cause of the Tibetan nationality, then you must from the core of your hearts believe in, and practise, the mutually-beneficial policy of the Middle-Way Approach as well as the non-violent and peaceful method of realising it.
Under the present global scenario, it is not impossible for the Tibetan issue to take a long time before it reaches a resolution. As such, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has now and again guided us that we should hope for the best and prepare for the worst — a great and meaningful piece of advice indeed. It is needless to mention, therefore, that we should be able to continue the struggle of the Tibetan people — even if it drags on for hundreds of years — without showing any signs of laxity and faint-heartedness. For this to happen, it is not just enough to show emotions or engage in discourse. Every single Tibetan should, according to his or her intellectual or other capabilities, initiate activities on a daily basis. Many Tibetans are not able to identify the myriad activities — other than the staging of protest demonstrations, or organising public meetings and rallies — that they can initiate in their daily lives. Due to a number of reasons, including the lack of diligence on the part of the general Tibetan populace, they face the problem of not knowing how to accomplish their works, although their sincerity is unquestionable. Some even go to the extent of finding excuses to blame the Administration by misconstruing the latter’s appeal for creating a conducive environment for dialogue as non-action, or not to initiate any activities at all. Taking into consideration all these issues, the Kashag would like to take the opportunity of His Holiness’ birthday to emphatically urge the Tibetans in general, and the exiled Tibetans in particular, to carry out the following 11-point plan of action to serve as an example to spark your ideas:
Religious and Cultural Front
- In order to dispel the collective bad karma, and enhance the collective merit, of the Tibetan people, engage in as much merit-earning activities as possible. And in particular, recite these prayers on a regular basis: Tsigdun soldeb, Gurui thugdam neikul, Densol montsig, Soldeb denpei ngadra and Gongsa choggi shadten soldeb.
- Provide religious, cultural and educational assistance to, and establish close relations with, the people living in the Himalayan region who are similar to Tibet in respect of their religion, culture and language; the ancient followers of Tibetan Buddhism such as the Mongolians and Chinese; as well as those who have recently embraced Tibetan Buddhism.
- Work towards preserving the language, traditional sciences, customs and beliefs as well as the good nature of the Tibetan people in every household. In addition to ensuring that the Tibetan youths pursue a high level of education in Tibetan language, religion and culture, provide them with a standard modern education to become specialists in the various fields of human endeavour. Feed them with a daily information on the history of Tibet, and particularly the extent of damage caused to the land and people of Tibet since its occupation by the People’s Republic of China.
- For the sustenance of the Tibetan nationality — already a very small number, population-wise — and to empower it, the lay community should give special attention to the upbringing of their children and actively follow the mother and child healthcare.
- Tibetans in general, and in particular the Tibetan youths, should — by themselves and urge others to –refrain from substance abuse and other unethical or bad habits to ensure their mental and physical wellbeing, as well as strive towards becoming a good Tibetan.
- Those who have acquired the host countries’ citizenship to visit Tibet as many times as possible, and assist the Tibetans there in the fields of education, health, etc.
- Establish contacts with the general public and important dignitaries in the place of your residence — city, provincial or state level — and initiate Tibet awareness campaigns by educating them about the true status of Tibet and the Tibetans. This effort should be aimed to dispel the misconceptions created by untruthful Chinese propaganda, and not for internationalising the Tibetan issue.
- Establish contacts with the overseas Chinese, and particularly with the students, businessmen and tourists coming from the Mainland China and initiate Tibet awareness campaigns by educating them about the Tibetan issue and clarifying their misconceptions. Tibetans in exile should also develop relations, and engage in talks or exchanges, with the people in Tibet and China, including the intellectuals with the help of the modern technologies such as the Internet and email.
- Do not give credence to any rumours that harm the unity and cohesive force of the Tibetan exile community; always make a thorough analysis, whatever the issue may be. Ensure in particular that nepotism of any kind, including those based on religious, provincial or regional grounds, does not take place. Make efforts toward clearing all misunderstandings between the Tibetan administration and the general public as well as among the different institutions and individuals, so that the Tibetan people’s collective energy could be concentrated in the furtherance of the Tibetan issue and the efforts of the other side to create discord within the Tibetan community could be rendered ineffective.
- Organise workshops, debates, discussions and brainstorming sessions for the officially- and privately-run Tibetan institutions on the theme of the Middle-Way policy — a policy laid down by the Tibetan administration as well as the general Tibetan populace — and the means to implement it.
- Without forgetting the overall situation of the Tibetan people, and in particular our status as refugees, all concerned — be it the Tibetan communities, institutions and individuals rich and poor — should strive towards a more stable way of life in the future by adopting a rightful livelihood, devoid of the two extremes; and shunning extravagance of any kind, including the massive display of wealth and unbridled consumerism. You are also encouraged to set aside a portion of your income, or expenses, on a monthly or yearly basis and save the amount in a nearby bank under permanent account heads, so that these could be utilised for the future welfare programmes of the Tibetans as a whole and for the development of a new Tibet.
These are the actions which each and everyone of us are capable of — and should be — doing. Therefore the Kashag would like to urge all of you to put these into practice.
Finally, I pray 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!
The Kashag 6 July 2007
N.B. This is the English version of the original statement in Tibetan. In case of any discrepancies between the two, please treat the Tibetan version as authoritative and binding.