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Tibetans Reaffirm Faith in His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Stand Firm on Middle-Way Approach

November 25, 2008

Tibet Custom
November 23, 2008

Dharamshala -- The historic special general meeting of the Tibetan
people unanimously reaffirmed Tibetan people's faith and allegiance
in His Holiness the Dalai Lama and to continue to follow the
Middle-Way Approach to engage China in finding a peaceful resolution
of the Tibetan issue.

It was decided that the Tibetan people will remain steadfast to the
principles of non-violent in all its activities to resolve the issue
of Tibet under the leadership of the Central Tibetan Administration.

The meeting was convened by His Holiness the Dalai Lama taking into
consideration particularly the present critical situation in Tibet
and the lack of positive response from the Chinese leadership to
resolve the issue of Tibet.

"The meeting reaffirmed our faith and allegiance in the leadership of
His Holiness the Dalai Lama to out rightly refute the Chinese
government's claim that His Holiness and the Central Tibetan
Administration cannot represent the Tibetan people," Mr Karma
Chophel, speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, said in his
closing remarks.

"The envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama has challenged the Chinese
leadership to hold a referendum of the Tibetan people if they wanted
to know whom they consider their sole representative and leader," Mr
Chophel said.

"We affirmed that His Holiness and the Central Tibetan Administration
are the sole representative of the Tibetan people,'' the speaker added.

The special general meeting also strongly appealed to His Holiness
the Dalai Lama not to take semi retirement or retirement and to
continue to lead the Tibetan people.

"The Tibetan delegates also called upon the Chinese government to
stop criticizing and making baseless allegations against His Holiness
the Dalai Lama, as it not only hurts the sentiments of the six
million Tibetan people, but also many Buddhist followers including
many Chinese people who follow Buddhism," the speaker said.

"It also hurts the feelings the all those people who have respect and
love for His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his untiring work for world
peace and universal responsibility," he said.

The delegates lauded the courage and determination of Tibetans living
in Tibet for expressing their suggestions and opinions to find a way
forward to resolve the issue of Tibet under the leadership of His
Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The meeting called upon the Kashag to terminate the ongoing talks
with the Chinese leadership if the Chinese government does not agree
to the demands and reciprocate positively to the overtures of the
Tibetan people.

Some of the delegates expressed frustrations over the Chinese
government's lack of positive response to the mutually beneficial
solution of the Middle-Way Approach, discrediting His Holiness the
Dalai Lama and the continued repressive measures being undertaken in Tibet.

The delegates unanimously agreed that the uprising of the Tibetan
people across the traditional provinces of Tibet in March this year
is a call against the wrong policies of the Chinese government and
Tibetans bear no ill feelings against the Chinese people.

Out rightly rejecting the Chinese government's decree on getting its
approval in selecting the reincarnation of spiritual leaders, the
delegates resolutely called upon the Chinese government to uphold and
follow the Tibetan traditional method of recognizing the
reincarnation of Tibetan spiritual leaders.

While addressing gathering, Kalon Tripa Prof Samdhong Rinpoche said
we have made our demands clear to the Chinese government by
presenting the "memorandum on genuine autonomy for Tibet". We will
not make any further compromise on our demands outlined in the
memorandum, he added.

Kalon Tripa reiterated that the main issue of contention between
China and Tibet is only the welfare of the six million Tibetan
people. It is not at all related to the personal status of His
Holiness the Dalai Lama; nor is it related to the status of a few
Tibetans who are close to him. We would like to once again make it
very categorical that concerning them that we do not have a single
issue to be discussed with the People's Republic of China.

Kalon Tripa encouraged the Tibetan people to put concerted effort on
the proposed 11 model action plans, broadly categorised as
educational, social, economic, religion and culture.

These plans include engaging in meritorious actions to enhance the
collective merit of the Tibetan people; establishing close ties with
all the people who have cultural, religious and linguistic affinities
with the Tibetan people; sustaining Tibetan language and culture by
providing an adequate level of modern education to the children;
providing help for the education and health care of Tibetans in
Tibet; spreading awareness on the current state of Tibet and
clarifying misunderstandings and misinterpretations - including to
the Chinese based in the Mainland China; preserving the unity and
harmony of Tibetan community in exile; and others.

Kalon Tripa expressed his heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to all
the national and international press, documentary filmmakers, for
extensive coverage of the special meeting and taking special interest
and initiative on the issue of Tibet.

He also thanked the Tibetan Parliamentary Secretariat for putting
concerted effort in successfully organising the special general
meeting on Tibet.

The delegates expressed their gratitude to governments, parliaments,
groups and individuals, and especially the government and people of
India for their continued support for the Tibetan people and the
Tibetan cause.

581 delegates representing Tibetan people based in 19 different
countries -- US, Canada, Switzerland, England, Australia, France,
Belgium, Taiwan, Russia, Japan, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Netherlands,
Spain, Hungary, Nepal, Bhutan and India – attended the six-day
special general meeting on Tibet, from 17 – 22 November held in Dharamsala.
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