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"For a happier, more stable and civilized future, each of us must develop a sincere, warm-hearted feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood."

His Holiness the Dalai Lama visits the Regional Autonomous Governments of South Tyrol and Trento in Italy

November 18, 2009

Tibet Office --Switzerland
November 17, 2009

Rome, Nov. 17 -- "Welcome to our country, city
and home, Your Holiness" said President Luis
Durnwalder of South Tyrol. His Holiness the Dalai
Lama today visited Bolzano and Trento, the
capital cities of the Regional Autonomous
Governments of South Tyrol and Trento, in
Northern Italy.  His Holiness expressed his
appreciation for the support from the people and
governments of the two autonomous regions.

President Durnwalder asked about the situation in
Tibet. His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that the
situation inside Tibet was worst. After 10 March
2008 demonstrations across Tibet, he had hoped
that the Chinese government would address Tibet’s
real problem. Unfortunately this hasn’t happened.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama showed President
Durnwalder the map of Tibet showing all the
places where peaceful demonstrations took place
in 2008. While looking at the map President
Durnwalder asked where Lhasa was. After showing
where Lhasa was, His Holiness pointed on the map where he was born in Amdo.

Despite the grim situation in Tibet, His Holiness
the Dalai Lama said things are changing. More
Chinese scholars were showing sympathy and
understanding of the Tibetan struggle. Over 800
articles in Chinese have been written on the
Tibetan issue and many were written from Mainland China.

While in Bolzano as part of the Series "Meet the
Nobel Laureates" organized by European Academy
Bolzano, His Holiness the Dalai Lama in questions
and answers session spoke about his childhood,
reincarnation, Tibetan Buddhism, non-violence and the Tibetan issue.

After meeting President Lorenzo Dellai of Trento
in the afternoon, His Holiness addressed the
round table discussion on Autonomy of Tibet. Both
President Luis Durnwalder and President Lorenzo
Dellai also spoke at the conference. The two days
conference was organized by Autonomous Province
of Trento in cooperation with Department of Legal
Sciences, University of Trento and European
Academy in Bolzano. Kindly see the Resolutions of
Autonomous Regions in Support of Tibet below.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama expressed his
appreciation on such conference being organized
on autonomy. He said that this kind of conference
sends a strong signal to China that the Tibetans issue will not go away.

"We also want autonomy in People’s Republic of
China. You enjoy all the rights mentioned on
paper. In our case, even though the (Chinese)
constitution mentions these rights but nothing is implemented," he said.

The Tibetans have few 1000 years old history. "We
have developed our own language and script,
civilization. It is not from China," said His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

"Not a single Tibetan consider themselves as
Chinese," he said. "Wherever I go, people say
Dalai Lama of Tibet and not Dalai Lama of China."
His Holiness the Dalai Lama also made reference
to Tibetan Buddhism and it is not called China’s Tibetan Buddhism.

However, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said we
(Tibetans) are not seeking independence from
China. And there has not been any change in
Chinese government’s position. They fear that if
they give more freedom, it will bring more trouble.

Tomorrow, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will
address the 5th World Parliamentarians’
Convention for Tibet on 18 November in Rome. Over
200 Parliamentarians from 28 countries including
over 100 Italian MPs will attend this important
convention. The two days convention will be held
in the Lower House of the Italy Parliament
organized by the Italian Parliamentary Intergroup for Tibet.

Resolutions of Autonomous Regions in Support of Tibet

Trento, 17 November: In March of 2008, the world
was shocked about the violent repression by the
Chinese Government of demonstrations and uprising
in Lhasa and many other parts of Tibet, in which
Tibetans protested against the violation of their
human rights and for freedom. In the run-up to
the Olympic Games, the issue of Tibet therefore
once again entered world public opinion. Shortly
after the Games, representatives of the Tibetan
Government in exile presented to their Chinese
counterparts the "Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People."

In this memorandum, the Tibetan side agrees to
accept Chinese sovereignty in exchange for real
autonomy. Furthermore, the Memorandum calls for
the respect of the Tibetan identity and culture,
while respecting the framework of the Chinese constitution.

The Memorandum provides a basis for discussing
the implementation of a right that has formally
been recognized by the Chinese Government first
in the "Seventeen Point Agreement" of 1951 and
then with the establishment of the Tibet
Autonomous Region, but actually denied since
1959, after the complete Chinese take over and
the induced settlement of Han Chinese, which is
reducing the Tibetans to a minority in their own territory.

The autonomy of our Regions and Provinces we
represent is the best proof that conflicts can be
settled in a nonviolent way, fully respecting the
rights of both sides, and that it is possible to
preserve the culture and identity of a people,
even minority, through forms of autonomy and
self-government. It has especially shown that the
rights of minority groups and peoples are fully
compatible with the sovereignty and unity of the state.

For these reasons we support the decision of the
Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government and
Parliament in exile to pursue internal
self-determination instead of independence. The
proposals contained in the "Memorandum on Genuine
Autonomy for the Tibetan People" is the most
effective way to achieve recognition of the
rights of Tibetan people to self-government in
all regions of Tibet and for the preservation of
their language, culture, and religion, as well as
for the protection of their environment and natural resources.

Considering the experiences of the many
autonomous regions around the world, which have
shown that conflicts can be prevented or overcome
by respecting the fundamental rights of distinct
peoples and ethnic and linguistic minorities and
enabling them to exercise the right to
self-government while  respecting the territorial integrity of state.

We call on the Chinese Government to:

· Consider the existence and experience of these
autonomous regions and their capacity to overcome
conflict and maintain constructive institutional
dialogues between respective central governments
and the autonomous authorities;

· And to engage in negotiations with the Dalai
Lama and the Tibetan Government and Parliament on
basis of the Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy.

We call on the Chinese Government, the Dalai Lama
and the Tibetan Government and Parliament in exile to:

·  Speed up the negotiation in order to ensure
the implementation of genuine autonomy by the
Tibetan people as soon as possible and to prevent
the aggravation of the conflict.

Finally, we ask the United Nations and the
governments of its member states to support the
objectives of this resolution which is entirely
in conformity with international law.

As territorial entities which enjoy autonomy and
self-government, we offer our support for the
achievement of a just and genuine autonomy for
the regions of Tibet which is in the interest of all parties.

We offer our expertise and lessons learned from
our history, our statutes and our legal systems
which may provide useful examples on how to
accommodate different territorial and ethnic
identities within different national
constitutions in ways that  serve the interest of
all parties in resolving their differences.

We offer our legal and administrative resources
to support the search for and development of
normative and legal provisions and structures for
the realization of autonomy in keeping with the
specific and complex situation in the Peoples Republic of China.

We call on all autonomous regions to sign this
resolution and to appeal to their respective
national governments to support the quest for a
just and mutually acceptable autonomy, which
enables the Tibetan people to enjoy genuine
self-government and peace within the framework of the Chinese constitution.
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