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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

19th Anniversary Commemoration Rally of Tiananmen Square Massacre

June 12, 2008

International Campaign for Tibet
June 10, 2008

June 4 rally in front of the US Capitol commemorating the 1989
Tiananmen protests. June 4 rally in front of the US Capitol
commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen protests.

Against the backdrop of a Goddess of Democracy statue, US lawmakers,
human rights groups and Chinese democracy advocates converged on
Capitol Hill Wednesday to mark the 1989 Tiananmen Square bloody
massacre, calling for the release of all political prisoners in China.

Today we remember the heroes of Tiananmen and call for the release of
all political prisoners in China -- all political prisoners in
China," said Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Pelosi read the names of several Chinese prisoners, and the Panchen
Lama, (the second highest ranking figure in Tibetan Buddhism who has
been allegedly held by Beijing since he was six years old in 1995),
and said "the US Congress will not forget them."

Chinese dissident and former political prisoner Yang Jianli, arrived
at the Capitol having completed a 500 mile walk from Boston that took
him nearly a month. "At a time when the eyes of the world are on
China, I'm walking to draw attention to those invisible people of
China who have been abducted, imprisoned, or placed under house
arrest, for no other reason than attempting to exercise their basic
human rights," he said.

Mr. Bhuchung Tsering, Vice President, International Campaign for
Tibet read a message of support for Yang Jianli and the Chinese
democracy movement from the Dalai Lama. His Holiness said, "China
today is an emerging world power. The international community has
acted wisely by making efforts to bring her into the mainstream of
the world economy. But economic integration alone is not sufficient.
China needs human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. These
values are the foundation of a free, dynamic, stable, and peaceful
society. Such a society would also offer far greater economic
freedom, security, and other advantages to all citizens of the
People's Republic of China." (Full text of the message is below.)

MESSAGE OF SUPPORT FROM HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA

"I applaud Dr. Yang Jianli for leading a march from Boston to
Washington, D.C., culminating on June 4, 2008 - the 19th anniversary
of the Tiananmen Square democracy movement.

As a Tibetan, one of the most encouraging, moving and hopeful events
in recent Chinese history has been the democracy movement of 1989.
Chinese brothers and sisters displayed, openly and peacefully, their
yearning for freedom, democracy, and human dignity. They embraced
non-violence in a most impressive way, reflecting the value for which
the movement stood.

I maintain that the Chinese leadership's response to the peaceful
demonstrations of 1989 was most unfortunate. It is my basic belief
that brute force, no matter how powerful, can never subdue the basic
human desire for freedom, whether it is that of the Chinese democrats
and the farmers, or the Tibetan people. On the other hand, everyone
appreciates truth and respect, which are really in our blood. Truth
is the best guarantor and the real foundation for freedom and democracy.

China today is an emerging world power. The international community
has acted wisely by making efforts to bring her into the mainstream
of the world economy. But economic integration alone is not
sufficient. China needs human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.
These values are the foundation of a free, dynamic, stable, and
peaceful society. Such a society would also offer far greater
economic freedom, security, and other advantages to all citizens of
the People's Republic of China.

As a believer in non-violence, peace, and freedom, I have supported
the non-violent democracy movement in China from the beginning. In
spite of the brutal response from the authorities, I pray that those
involved in China's democracy movement will always remain non-violent.

It is ironical that today, while the Chinese Government is making
every effort to get recognition as a leading world power, many
Chinese people, particularly the victims of the Tiananmen tragedy,
their parents, as well as farmers and workers, continue to be
deprived of their basic rights. I hope and pray that the leaders of
China will realize that a nation's greatness can only come about when
it starts treating its own people with dignity and respect.

I wish Dr. Yang Jianli all success in his present endeavor and hope
the march will bring about greater awareness of the continuing plight
of these people.

With my prayers and good wishes,"

Dalai Lama
May 8, 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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