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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Final Document of the 2009 Sino-Tibetan Conference

August 10, 2009

Tibet Office  - Switzerland
August 8, 2009

Press Release
Geneva, August 8, 2009

Final Document of the 2009 Sino-Tibetan
Conference ‘Finding Common Ground’ in Geneva[1]

A Sino-Tibetan conference ‘Finding Common Ground’
was held in Geneva from 6-8 August 2009 attended
by Chinese and Tibetan scholars, educators,
writers and human rights advocates. The aims of
the conference are to inform the Chinese people
and the international community that Tibetan
culture and way of life are gravely endangered
and that the fundamental human rights of the
Tibetan people are seriously being violated by
the Chinese regime. In addition, the conference
aims to outline effective measures to support the
Tibetan people in their struggle to regain their
freedom and to sustain and promote its unique
culture. In this way, the conference will also
respond to the heartfelt remarks made by His
Holiness the Dalai Lama in His opening address.

Based on these aims, the conference has reached
the following common positions:

I. Fundamental Values and Principles

The universal values established by the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, which include
freedom, democracy, rule of law, human rights,
equality and coexistence of multiple cultures,
are the fundamental spiritual values and
principles that the conference has followed.

II. The Origin and Nature of the Tibetan Issue

1. The root cause of the Tibetan issue is not a
conflict between the Chinese people and the
Tibetan people, but rather the autocratic rule of
the People’s Republic of China in Tibet and its cultural genocide in Tibet.

2. The Beijing government’s claim that ‘Tibet has
always been a part of China’ is factually incorrect.

3. Tibetan culture, religion, language and way of
life are on the verge of extinction.

4. The Tibetan people have been deprived of their
fundamental human rights including the rights to
national self-determination, political participation and religious belief.

5. The official media of the Chinese government
distorts the nature of the Tibetan issue and
incites confrontation between the two peoples.

III. Ways Towards Resolving the Tibetan Issue

1. Respect the fundamental human rights of the
Tibetan people, including the right to political
participation and the right of religious freedom and belief.

2. The resolution of the Tibetan issue is closely
related to the democratization of China.

3. The Chinese people should engage in a critical
reflection on Han chauvinism and fully respect
Tibetan culture and way of life.

4. The Chinese government must comply with the principle of the rule of law.

5. The undeniable right of His Holiness the Dalai
Lama to return to his homeland must be respected.

IV. Recommendations to the Tibetan Government in Exile

1.  To establish Sino-Tibetan friendship
associations, Sino-Tibetan forums and civil
society organizations across the world in order
to promote cultural exchange and emotional ties between the two peoples.

2.  To establish a research institute for Chinese
and Tibetan scholars to promote the study of
Tibetan history and culture for the purpose of recovering historical facts.

3.  To adopt measures to counteract the blockage
of information on His Holiness the Dalai Lama and
the monopoly on Tibetan issues by the Chinese
regime, which would facilitate access to
independent information for the Chinese people
and the international community.

4.  To create favorable conditions for His
Holiness the Dalai Lama to promote his values to
the Chinese community as a contribution to the
renewal of spiritual values amongst the Chinese people.

The common wish of this Sino-Tibetan conference
is for the Tibetan people to regain freedom and
to prevent the extinction of Tibetan culture. We
share a fundamental belief: freedom is the
highest value; Tibetan culture is a precious
treasure among the many cultures of humanity.
Without freedom for Tibet, there will be no
freedom for China. The extinction of Tibetan
culture would not only be a tragedy for the
Tibetan people, but would be a disgrace for the
Chinese people and an irreplaceable loss for the whole of humanity.

Participants of the Geneva Sino-Tibetan Conference 8 August 2009

A full documentation of the conference is
available at:

[1] This document has been translated into
English from the Chinese original. In case of any
discrepancies, the Chinese original is the final and authoritative document.

Press Contact:

for English:

Mr. Chompel Balok
Phone +41 78 638 79 90
Email: press(at)

for Chinese & Tibetan:
Mr. Kunga Tashi
Phone +41 76 762 12 37
Email: chinese(at)
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