Join our Mailing List

"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?"

“Hope and Encouragement in times of hardship and adversity”: Envoy Kesang Gyaltsen's new year message

December 31, 2009[Tuesday, December 29, 2009 17:52]
by Kelsang Gyaltsen, Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama

The year 2009 has been an extremely difficult one for the people of
Tibet. Harsh repression marked the life of the Tibetan people inside
Tibet under Chinese Communist rule. Since the Tibetan protests in 2008
there has been a massive presence of military and security personnel in
Tibetan areas. Political campaigns such as the “Strike Hard” or
“Patriotic Re-education” are regular features of life in Tibet. On a
nearly daily basis we hear of new arrests of Tibetans, heavy sentences
handed down on Tibetans for peaceful expression of their grievances and
aspirations and according to our information four Tibetans have been
executed in October this year.

The year 2009 has also been a year without any face-to-face meetings
between the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and officials of the
Chinese leadership. This is the sad state of affairs of the Tibetan
people one year after the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Despite this gloom and grim reality, I remain optimistic on the issue of
Tibet in the long run. The spirit of the Tibetans - inside as well as
outside of Tibet - is stronger than ever. There is also growing
awareness of and concern about the Tibet issue in China and intense
internal discussions about minority issues are taking place in PRC.

On the international level there is greater recognition of the
seriousness and urgency of the issue of Tibet. As a result –
irrespective of the increasing political clout of China and her
aggressive posturing on the issue of Tibet – many governments, political
leaders, parliamentarians and diplomats are refusing to make the
political sensitivity of the Chinese government the sole criteria in
judging and dealing with the cause and aspiration of the Tibetan people.
We are grateful to all those leaders and officials who remain committed
to the universal values of justice and truth and human rights and dignity.

The most encouraging fact is that the tragedy and the cause of Tibet
continue to touch and move the heart of many ordinary people throughout
the world. For an increasing number of individuals, non-governmental
organizations, media people, artists etc. the case of Tibet has become a
cause of the heart. Friends of Tibet and supporters of the non-violent
Tibetan freedom struggle are active across the globe. The more
governments are pressured by China on the issue of Tibet, the more
ordinary citizens and the media are becoming alerted and concerned about
the lack of principles and values in dealing with China.

The importance of public gestures and expressions of sympathy, support
and solidarity has been clearly demonstrated by different movements in
the past. The cases in point are the movements against Apartheid, the
Vietnam War etc. In Europe, the important role of such gestures and
expressions in sustaining the hope, courage and vision of those
oppressed is well-documented by testimonies of human rights and
democracy activists in former Communist countries in Europe.

Irrespective of the current very grim situation inside Tibet and the
deadlock in the dialogue process between the envoys of His Holiness the
Dalai Lama and the Chinese leadership, there are sufficient reasons for
hope and optimism that the future of Tibet and China will move beyond
mistrust and enmity to a relationship based on mutual respect, trust and
recognition of common interest. This process and development can be
encouraged, enhanced and accelerated significantly by sending the right
kind of message and signal to the Chinese government by members of the
international community, the world public and media. In this context
each individual can contribute and make a difference by speaking out and
acting on Tibet. There is no doubt that the continued expression of
concern about and support for Tibet worldwide will, in the long run,
have a positive impact and help create the necessary political
environment for a peaceful resolution of the issue of Tibet.

It is in this context that I wish to express today my appreciation,
gratitude and heart-felt thank to all of you who have extended to me
your support, cooperation and friendship in the past year. I am deeply
indebted you for it. It is my sincere hope and request that you will
continue to remain engaged on the issue of Tibet and contribute in
whatever way possible in bringing about a just resolution of the Tibetan
problem through dialogue and negotiations.

In this spirit of deep appreciation and gratitude, I would like to wish
you happy holidays and a time of reflection and for 2010 good health,
happiness and success.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
Developed by plank