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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Press Release from the Office of the Dalai Lama

March 19, 2008

Contacts:    Chhime R. Chhoekyapa, Secretary       Mobile + 91 (09816021879)
                   Tenzin Taklha, Joint Secretary           Mobile + 91
(09816021813)

PRESS RELEASE

I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to
world leaders and the international community for their concern over the
recent sad turn of events in Tibet and for their attempts to persuade
the Chinese authorities to exercise restraint in dealing with the
demonstrations.

Since the Chinese Government has accused me of orchestrating these
protests in Tibet, I call for a thorough investigation by a respected
body, which should include Chinese representatives, to look into these
allegations. Such a body would need to visit Tibet, the traditional
Tibetan areas outside the Tibet Autonomous Region, and also the Central
Tibetan Administration here in India. In order for the international
community, and especially the more than one billion Chinese people who
do not have access to uncensored information, to find out what is really
going on in Tibet, it would be of tremendously helpful if
representatives of the international media also undertook such
investigations.

Whether it was intended or not, I believe that a form of cultural
genocide has taken place in Tibet, where the Tibetan identity has been
under constant attack. Tibetans have been reduced to an insignificant
minority in their own land as a result of the huge transfer of
non-Tibetans into Tibet. The distinctive Tibetan cultural heritage with
its characteristic language, customs and traditions is fading away.
Instead of working to unify its nationalities, the Chinese government
discriminates against these minority nationalities, the Tibetans among them.

It is common knowledge that Tibetan monasteries, which constitute our
principal seats of learning, besides being the repository of Tibetan
Buddhist culture, have been severely reduced in both in number and
population. In those monasteries that do still exist, serious study of
Tibetan Buddhism is no longer allowed; in fact, even admission to these
centres of learning is being strictly regulated. In reality, there is no
religious freedom in Tibet. Even to call for a little more freedom is to
risk being labeled a separatist. Nor is there any real autonomy in
Tibet, even though these basic freedoms are guaranteed by the Chinese
constitution.

I believe the demonstrations and protests taking place in Tibet are a
spontaneous outburst of public resentment built up by years of
repression in defiance of authorities that are oblivious to the
sentiments of the local populace. They mistakenly believe that further
repressive measures are the way to achieve their declared aim of
long-term unity and stability.

On our part, we remain committed to taking the Middle Way approach and
pursuing a process of dialogue in order to find a mutually beneficial
solution to the Tibetan issue.

With these points in mind, I also seek the international community’s
support for our efforts to resolve Tibet’s problems through dialogue,
and I urge them to call upon the Chinese leadership to exercise the
utmost restraint in dealing with the current disturbed situation and to
treat those who are being arrested properly and fairly.

Dalai Lama
Dharamsala
                                                           March 18, 2008
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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