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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Press statement by Kalon Tripa, Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, on the Situation in Tibet

April 20, 2008

Friday, 18 April 2008

Deteriorating situation in Tibet and fear of worse to come in days ahead

Since 10th March 2008, there have been widespread protests in all areas
of U-Tsang, Kham and Amdo, including in various cities of China where
Tibetans live. These protests are the outburst of dissatisfaction and
deep-rooted resentment perpetuated in the hearts of the Tibetan people
for the last five decades by excessive repression and mishandling of
peaceful protests by small number of monks and lay people in several
places in and outside "TAR" on 10th March 2008.

10th March is a historic day for the Tibetan people. Every year there is
some kind of peaceful demonstration, which does not continue beyond that
day. But this year protests continued in the succeeding days due to
unnecessary repressive measures and use of force.

If the objective of using force by the Chinese authorities is to
maintain peace and order in Tibet, they could have achieved it within a
day. But normalcy did not return even after more than five weeks and
more protests and repressive measures are happening day after day. This
arouses the suspicion about the intentions of the Chinese authorities.
Among the many suspicious incidents, the following are conspicuous:

On 14th March, unusual unrest was allowed in Lhasa for several hours
without the authorities taking any preventive measures.

Most of protesters involved in violent acts on that day were unfamiliar
to the local people. In particular, there are cases where people have
seen Chinese policemen in Tibetan dress and in monks' robes taking the
leading role during the protests.

The Chinese authorities claim that they have found guns and bullets at
some Tibetan monasteries. This claim is based on recovering some
unserviceable country-made guns and swords, which were offered to the
chambers of the protective deities (Gonkhang) of monasteries. And in
some other cases, the military personnel themselves brought arms and
ammunitions to monasteries. Later they claimed to have found these in
the monasteries and blame the Tibetans for harbouring arms and
ammunition in the monastic compounds.

Chinese authorities also claim that Tibetan independence forces are
planning to launch suicide attacks.

They accuse some monks of exploding a bomb that damaged a building in
Chamdo in east Tibet. The authorities are yet to produce any convincing

Patriotic re-education campaign is re-launched and monasteries and
households are ordered to fly the Chinese national flag on their buildings.

Anti-Dalai Lama campaigns are being rigorously carried out everywhere.
This hurts the sentiments of the Tibetan people most.

The People's Republic of China (PRC) is carrying out a systematic and
vigorous effort to create a rift between the Tibetans and the Chinese
people. This is being done by a huge propaganda to fan nationalism and
hatred of the "Dalai clique" amongst the Chinese people.

These acts do not help in restoring mental peace and social order in
Tibet. On the contrary, these acts are considered highly provocative by
the Tibetans because they hurt them the most. All these acts appear to
be aimed to undermine the Tibetan people's tolerance and provoke them
into violent retaliation. They also indicate that various agencies of
the PRC have plans to carry out more bombing and other destructive
activities and put the blame on the innocent Tibetans for such actions.

We are deeply concerned by the ongoing repressive action such as brutal
beatings, torture, killings, deprivation of essential foods and drinking
water, which lead to the starvation of concerned Tibetans. We are also
very much concerned that such repressive action may continue for many
more months to come.

Tibet is virtually sealed off and in a short period, the Chinese
authorities will destroy all evidence by executing the innocent
Tibetans. The international community must intervene immediately and
persuade the PRC authorities to end these atrocious acts.

The vexed situation in Tibet has lingered because of the ultra leftist
policies adopted by PRC authorities during the year 1957/58, which led
to the popular uprising on 10th March 1959. Since then the Tibetans have
suffered immensely. Over a million Tibetans perished and the situation
remains troubled. These policies were recognised as wrong and reversed
in Mainland China. But no change in policy has taken place for the
Tibetan nationality. Even now, unless the basic policy of PRC towards
the Tibetan nationality is changed, no amount of force can keep the
Tibetan people under control.

The PRC leadership on one hand demand that His Holiness the Dalai Lama
use his influence to restore normalcy in Tibet. On the other hand they
have not created any space or channel to allow His Holiness the Dalai
Lama to use his influence in Tibet. On the contrary, the Chinese
leadership have stepped up their anti - Dalai Lama campaign throughout

The PRC leadership refuse to find out the root cause of unrest in Tibet
and make efforts to remove the cause. On the contrary they are
aggravating the problem by various means. This is a clear indication
that they do not want to have peace and stability in Tibet.

We, therefore, urgently appeal to the international community to take
effective and immediate actions to prevent the PRC from indulging in
such brutal acts against the Tibetan people and to stop their policy of
systematic cultural genocide in Tibet.

Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche
Dated: 18th April 2008
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