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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."

Tibet Issue Concerns the Future of Six Million Tibetans and not His Holiness

July 20, 2008

New York: Friday, 18 July 2008, (TibetNet) The office of His Holiness
the Dalai Lama issued a statement Thursday reiterating and clarifying
that the issue of Tibet concerns the future of six million Tibetans in
Tibet and not His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

"In the light of recent news reports quoting Chinese officials that the
issue of Tibet is only about the person of His Holiness the Dalai Lama,
we would like to take this opportunity to clarify once again that the
issue of Tibet concerns the future of six million Tibetans in Tibet and
not His Holiness the Dalai Lama," the statement noted.

"In fact, when the Chinese Government made a five-point proposal in 1981
which included that "the Dalai Lama will enjoy the same political status
and living conditions as he had before 1959", His Holiness categorically
made it clear to the Chinese leadership that the issue at stake was the
well-being of six million Tibetans, and he personally had nothing to ask
of the Central Chinese government."

"His Holiness has stated right from 1969 onwards that even the
continuation of the institution of the Dalai Lama is for the Tibetan
people to decide."

"In 1992 His Holiness declared that once we are able to return to Tibet
with meaningful autonomy, he will not play any role in the future
government of Tibet, let alone seek the Dalai Lama's traditional
political position in the government. We would also like to make it
clear, especially to our Chinese brothers and sisters that Tibetans,
including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, do not even dream of restoring
the old society that prevailed in Tibet before 1959. As a matter of
fact, democracy was introduced in the exile Tibetan community in 1960
through election of representatives to the Assembly of Tibetan People's
Deputies (Parliament in exile)."

"Since 2001 Tibetans in exile have an elected political leadership and
His Holiness considers himself in semi-retirement. However, he will
continue to fulfill his life-long commitment to promote human values and
religious harmony."

"Following the resumption of talks with the Chinese government in 2002,
His Holiness' envoys have also conveyed at every meeting that the issue
is about the well-being of the Tibetan people and not of His Holiness
the Dalai Lama."
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