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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."

The Tibet issue is one of six million Tibetans and not about Dalai Lama

July 24, 2008

International Campaign for Tibet (ICT)
July 17, 2008

The Dalai Lama delivers a statement at a prayer ceremony in
Dharamsala, India on April 5, 2008. The Dalai Lama delivers a
statement at a prayer ceremony in Dharamsala, India on April 5, 2008.

The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama issued a statement today
reiterating that the issue of Tibet concerns the future of six
million Tibetans in Tibet and not the Dalai Lama.

The statement followed comments made this week by Dong Yunhu, the
Director General of the Seventh Bureau of the State Council
Information Office, who told journalists: "The central Government
will never discuss the future of Tibet with the Dalai Lama. What we
can discuss with him is his future and that of some of his
supporters." (Indo-Asian News Service July 15 2008, and other
reports). Dong Yunhu is responsible for providing information on Tibet.

Dong Yunhu's statement followed the 7th round of dialogue between the
Dalai Lama's envoys and Chinese officials, a meeting that was
characterized by the Tibetans as disappointing.

The statement by the Office of the Dalai Lama also reiterated the
Dalai Lama's position that once the Tibetan people in exile 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
Lama¹s traditional political position in the government. The
statement is enclosed in full below.

* * * * * * *
Press Release
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibet Issue
Central Tibetan Administration

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.

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.


Chhime R. Chhoekyapa
Secretary to
His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Contact: Mr. Tashi Wangdi: 1-347 563 5976 (USA)
Mr. Lobsang Nyandak: 1-908 821 7284
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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