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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?"

Statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the 51st Anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day

March 10, 2010

Statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the 51st Anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day

Today marks the 51st anniversary of the Tibetan people's peaceful
uprising in 1959 against Communist China's repression in Tibet, as
well as the second anniversary of the peaceful protests that erupted
across Tibet in March 2008. On this occasion, I pay homage to those
heroic Tibetan men and women, who sacrificed their lives for the cause
of Tibet, and pray for an early end to the sufferings of those still
oppressed in Tibet.



Despite the great hardships Tibetans have faced for many decades, they
have been able to keep up their courage and determination, preserve
their compassionate culture and maintain their unique identity. It is
inspiring that today a new generation of Tibetans continues to keep
Tibet's just cause alive. I salute the courage of those Tibetans still
enduring fear and oppression.



Whatever circumstances we find ourselves in, it is the responsibility
of all Tibetans to maintain equality, harmony and unity among the
various nationalities, while continuing to protect our unique identity
and culture. Many Tibetans in Tibetan areas are working in various
responsible posts in the party, government and military, helping
Tibetans in whatever way they can. We recognise the positive
contribution that many of them have made up to now, and obviously when
Tibet achieves meaningful autonomy in the future, they will have to
continue to fulfil such responsibilities.



Let me reiterate that once the issue of Tibet is resolved, I will not
take any political position nor will members of the Tibetan
Administration in exile hold any positions in the government in Tibet.
I have repeatedly made this clear in the past. To understand the
situation of the Tibetans in exile and their aspirations, I invite
Tibetan officials serving in various Tibetan autonomous areas to visit
Tibetan communities living in the free world, either officially or in
a private capacity, to observe the situation for themselves.



Wherever Tibetans in exile have settled, we have been able to preserve
and promote our distinct cultural and spiritual traditions, while
generating awareness of the Tibetan cause. Unlike other refugees, we
have been relatively successful because we have also been able to give
our children a sound modern education, while bringing them up
according to our traditional values. And because the heads of all four
major schools of Tibetan Buddhism and the Bon religion are in exile we
have been able to re-establish various institutions for religious
training and practice. In these institutions over ten thousand monks
and nuns are free to pursue their vocations. We have been readily able
to provide educational opportunities for those monks, nuns and
students who continue to come from Tibet. At the same time the
unprecedented spread of Tibetan Buddhism in both East and West and the
prospect of continuing to flourish in the future gives us hope that it
may yet survive. This is some solace to us during this most critical
period in Tibet's history.



Today, the Chinese authorities are conducting various political
campaigns, including a campaign of patriotic re-education, in many
monasteries in Tibet. They are putting the monks and nuns in
prison-like conditions, depriving them the opportunity to study and
practise in peace. These conditions make the monasteries function more
like museums and are intended to deliberately annihilate Buddhism.



Tibetan culture based on Buddhist values of compassion and
non-violence benefits not only Tibetans, but also people in the world
at large, including the Chinese. Therefore, we Tibetans should not
place our hopes in material progress alone, which is why it is
essential that all Tibetans, both inside and outside Tibet, should
broaden their modern education hand in hand with our traditional
values. Above all, as many young Tibetans as possible should strive to
become experts and skilled professionals.



It is important that Tibetans maintain friendly relations not only
with people of all nationalities, but also amongst themselves.
Tibetans should not engage in petty disputes with each other.  I
earnestly appeal to them instead to resolve any differences with
patience and understanding.



Whether the Chinese government acknowledges it or not, there is a
serious problem in Tibet. As the world knows, this is evidenced by the
fact that there is a huge military presence and restrictions on travel
in Tibet. It is good for neither party. We have to take every
opportunity to solve it. For more than 30 years, I have tried my best
to enter into talks with the People's Republic of China to resolve the
issue of Tibet through the Middle-Way Approach that is of benefit to
us both. Although I have clearly articulated Tibetan aspirations,
which are in accordance with the constitution of the People's Republic
of China and the law on national regional autonomy, we have not
obtained any concrete result. Judging by the attitude of the present
Chinese leadership, there is little hope that a result will be
achieved soon. Nevertheless, our stand to continue with the dialogue
remains unchanged.



It is a matter of pride and satisfaction that our mutually beneficial
Middle-Way Approach and the justice of the Tibetan struggle have
gained growing understanding and support year by year from many
political and spiritual leaders, including the President of the United
States of America, reputed non-governmental organisations, the
international community, and in particular from Chinese intellectuals.
It is evident that the Tibetan issue is not a dispute between the
Chinese and Tibetan peoples, but has come about because of the
ultra-leftist policies of the Chinese Communist authorities.



Since the demonstrations in Tibet in 2008, Chinese intellectuals
inside and outside China have written more than 800 unbiased articles
on the Tibetan issue. During my visits abroad, wherever I go, when I
meet Chinese in general, particularly the intellectuals and students,
they offer their genuine sympathy and support. Since the Sino-Tibetan
problem ultimately has to be resolved by the two peoples themselves, I
try to reach out to the Chinese people whenever I can to create a
mutual understanding between us. Therefore, it is important for
Tibetans everywhere to build closer relations with the Chinese people
and try to make them aware of the truth of the Tibetan cause and the
present situation in Tibet.



Let us also remember the people of East Turkestan who have experienced
great difficulties and increased oppression and the Chinese
intellectuals campaigning for greater freedom who have received severe
sentences. I would like to express my solidarity and stand firmly with
them.



It is also essential that the 1.3 billion Chinese people have free
access to information about their own country and elsewhere, as well
as freedom of expression and the rule of law. If there were greater
transparency inside China, there would be greater trust, which would
be the proper basis for promoting harmony, stability and progress.
This is why everyone concerned must exert their efforts in this
direction.



As a free spokesperson of the Tibetan people I have repeatedly spelled
out their fundamental aspirations to the leaders of the People's
Republic of China.  Their lack of a positive response is
disappointing. Although the present authorities may cling to their
hard-line stand, judging by the political changes taking place on the
international stage as well as changes in the perspective of the
Chinese people, there will be a time when truth will prevail.
Therefore, it is important that everyone be patient and not give up.



 We acknowledge the Central Government's new decision taken at the
Fifth Tibet Work Forum to implement their policies uniformly in all
Tibetan areas to ensure future progress and development, which Premier
Wen Jiabao also reiterated at the recent annual session of the
National People's Congress. This accords with our repeatedly expressed
wish for a single administration for all those Tibetan areas.
Similarly, we appreciate the development work that has taken place in
Tibetan areas, particularly in the nomadic and farming regions.
However, we must be vigilant that such progress does not damage our
precious culture and language and the natural environment of the
Tibetan plateau, which is linked to the well-being of the whole of
Asia.



On this occasion, I wish to take the opportunity to offer my sincere
thanks to the leaders of various nations, their intellectuals, the
general public, Tibet Support Groups and others who cherish truth and
justice for continuing to support the Tibetan cause despite the
Chinese government's pressure and harassment. Above all I wish to pay
my heartfelt gratitude to the Government of India, the various State
Governments, and the people of India for their continued generous
support.

Finally, I offer prayers for the happiness and well-being of all
sentient beings.

The Dalai Lama
10 March  2010
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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