22 March 2008
The Kashag would like to issue this statement to the Tibetans – both lay and ecclesiastical – living here in Dharamsala, and through all of you, to the larger Tibetan population in and outside Tibet.
Recognition of the situation inside Tibet
- The recent peaceful uprising in Tibet is not only powerful, but also great and of historical significance. It symbolises the Tibetan people’s indomitable courage and inner strength.
- The uprising is not just confined to Lhasa and its neighbouring areas. It has spread to all regions where Tibetans reside, including the three traditional provinces of Tibet: U-tsang, Amdo and Kham. What does this indicate? Firstly, it clearly shows that all Tibetans have the same aspirations and are united under the great leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Secondly, it has brought before the world the reality inside Tibet by exposing the Chinese propaganda that “apart from the few upper strata followers of the reactionary Dalai, all Tibetans in Tibet are loyal to the ideology and polity of the People’s Republic of China (PRC)” and that “Tibet has entered into a period of great stability, with its people being fully satisfied with the economic and social progress it has achieved”.
- It further shows that His Holiness’ viewpoint that all Tibetans, including those living in the three traditional provinces of Tibet, should be brought under a single autonomous governance is in tune with the reality.
- The leaders of the People’s Republic of China have said that they will wage a “life and death” struggle against, or resolutely crush, the on-going demonstrations in Tibet. This statement has brought to the fore the internal matter that the Chinese leaders view the Tibetans as enemies, rather than being a part of the big family of the Chinese nation.
- The recent heroic uprising, which has spread to virtually all parts of Tibet, is larger in scale than all the uprisings that have taken place during the past 49 years. Whether we look at it from the perspective of an international issue or a domestic issue, these demonstrations have brought our struggle to a point where a decision has to be made concerning the survival of the Tibetan people. Moreover the principal force behind these activities are the fourth generation Tibetans – those Tibetans who are born after the Chinese assumed rule over our country. These are a clear indication that our movement will continue for generations.
- The recent incidents have made it amply clear how much determination and sincerity the Tibetan people have and the great sacrifices they made. While expressing our immense pride in and appreciation for this, the Kashag would like to state that it does not have the faintest doubt that their sacrifices will be etched on the annals of the Tibetan people in golden ink.
What the Central Tibetan Administration has done thus far
- Needless to mention that the Tibetan exiles should recognise the great courage displayed by our brethren in Tibet and initiate solidarity actions, which will go a long way in promoting the short- and long-term benefits of the cause of the Tibetan people. Therefore a high-level committee has been set up under the leadership of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE), which has – instead of letting the Tibetans to carry out individual activities – tried to combine all the initiatives of the Tibetan Diasporic community to give it a collective force. This is, in the history of the Tibetan Diaspora, a new approach to deal with a crisis situation. We are hopeful that the Tibetan NGOs, autonomous bodies and welfare organisations, as well as the local people will all follow the direction of this committee.
- Since the repression began in Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has continued to make his best efforts, despite his slight indisposition, to reach out to as many people as possible. As well as writing to many like-minded (political) world leaders, fellow Nobel laureates and other eminent persons, His Holiness has given frequent interviews to the media and appealed to the governments and peoples across the globe. In addition to this, His Holiness has advised us to recite the prayers of Dolma and Sher-nying, as well as the Tadrin mantra to avert the present crisis situation and to work towards the enhancement of the Tibetan people’s collective merit. Moreover, His Holiness has graciously presided over the prayer congregation held at the main temple of the Thekchen Choeling monastery for the Tibetans in Tibet.
As for the Tibetan administration, we have been performing our duties properly by providing timely information to the governmental and non-governmental organisations as well as the Tibet support groups and requesting them for their support through the offices of Tibet abroad. Apart from expressing our heart-felt thanks to high-ranking leaders of many eastern and western countries, including the US and the EU countries; the United Nations Secretary General; political parties; social service organisations; Tibet support groups and the spiritual heads of various religious denominations for issuing their statements of support, the Kashag has also been emphatically urging them to continue to give their effective support to us until the eventual resolution of the issue of Tibet.
Appeal for future action
- Currently, our urgent appeal to the international community comprises of the following main items:
- Stop immediately the repression taking place all over Tibet, as well as the killings and beatings accompanying it;
- Release immediately all those arrested and imprisoned during such instances of protest demonstrations;
- All those injured should be provided medical care. Lift the imposition of restrictions on all travellers who are held up in different places and adequate food supplies should be provided to them;
- An independent international fact-find delegation and impartial reporters should be allowed to go all over Tibet without any restriction.To channel our collective energies to put forward these demands is the need of the hour.
- The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has planted a large number of spies within the Tibetan communities in and outside Tibet, who have been undertaking massive campaigns to drive a wedge between the Tibetan people, between the Tibetans and Chinese and between the Tibetans and the people of the respective host countries they live in. Thus the other side is hoping to destroy the unity, or oneness, of the Tibetan people and the effectiveness of their movement. Being mindful of these mischievous lots, all Tibetans should exercise utmost caution.The bases of the Tibetan exiles’ movement are the respective host countries we live in. India, in particular, is the residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the seat of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA). Therefore whenever we initiate any activity big or small, we must be careful in seeing to it that our actions do not go against the laws of the respective host countries, or cause undue embarrassment and discomfort to the people living in these countries. Besides we must realise that it is our strength, rather than weakness, to keep the means we employ within the rubric of the principle of non-violence. Since the Chinese side has misrepresented the recent incidents as a clash between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples and between different religions, we should not be tardy in providing timely and proper responses to these misinformation.
- Apart from undertaking political activities, all Tibetans should also make efforts from the religious side to enhance their collective merit by engaging themselves in good-karmic deeds. We should, in particular, follow the advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama by reciting the prayers of Dolma, Sher-nying, Yig-drug and Gurui Thug-dam Ne-kul and dedicate the merits gained for the immediate ending of the repression in Tibet; for the rebirth of all those who have lost their lives in the “taming ground” of Avalokitesvara, the Snowland of Tibet and be able to serve the Tibetan people; for the speedy recovery of all those injured people; and for the eventual resolution of the Tibet issue so that the Tibetans in and outside Tibet can join together in a celebration of their reunion.
- It is difficult to predict where the present crisis situation inside Tibet will lead to in the future. It is possible that we may have to initiate campaigns for a long time inside and outside Tibet. It is also possible that we may have to come out with a considerable number of relief activities. Therefore, as stated in the Kashag’s appeal on the last birthday celebration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, all Tibetan exiles – be it rich or poor – should observe austerity as much as possible by shunning extravagance of any kind, including unbridled consumerism, and set aside a portion of their income for community activities.
- Finally, an extremely important matter is that there is no greater prospects for the Tibetan people than what His Holiness has, relying on his profound wisdom, advised to us. In a crisis situation like this, we should be able to whole-heartedly follow the guidance provided by him. On the contrary, if we pretend to have a better approach than what His Holiness has already shown to us and thus undermine the unity of the small number of Tibetan exiles, then this will only make our enemies happy and disappoint our friends.
The Kashag is greatly disappointed by some of the recently initiated campaigns. Even though we hope that there is nothing wrong in the sincerity of those who initiated these campaigns, but the way they were conducted seems to indicate the organiser’s deliberate attempts to bring bad name and difficulties to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This, we consider, is not at all helpful to the cause of Tibet.
Issued by the Kashag
N.B. Translated from the Tibetan