English Translation of HHDL's statement at TCV, October 25 2008

I don’t have to reiterate, since many monks, nuns and lay people have gathered here today, and everywhere people have shown interest in the ongoing relations between China and Tibet and the ways to relate.

Earlier on September 11, 2008 (as it might be) I have mentioned both to the Kashag [Cabinet] and Tibetan Parliament that till date we have our own ways of relating with the Chinese Government. In the recent past, a crisis has occurred in Tibet. From all over the three regions, individual Tibetans have shown their deep resentment and despair with great courage—not only monks and nuns alone, but government workers, students and especially those from the Central Nationalities University in Beijing.

However, be it believer or non-believer, Tibetans, including monks and nuns, old and young, every Tibetan without differentiation has shown their resentment. During that time, I hoped that the Chinese government would investigate the reality and come up with a realistic solution, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. Reality cannot be erased.

The Tibetan people have shown what they long for and they have been distortedly labeled as “splittists” and ”rebels” and were harshly repressed.

In this critical situation, Tibetans in Tibet have sacrificed so much and we cannot pretend not to know this. That’s why, till date we have maintained our political stance, and we have tried every means to benefit both sides.

Many countries, including India, have shown support to this, particularly support from Chinese intellectuals has grown over the years. That’s a victory. In reality, our responsibility and goal is to improve the situation in Tibet but this has not materialized.

Due to this, I mentioned in the European Parliament in the first Strasbourg proposal [1988] that the final decision regarding Tibet will be made by the Tibetan people. In 1993, direct relations with the Chinese Government broke down. Then we had discussions with the Tibetan people and we stood with this primary political stance.

In this critical situation, if we turn a blind eye it won’t achieve anything.

The Tibetan issue is an issue of the Tibetan people and not about me alone. That’s why the issue of Tibet should be considered and decided by the people. Secondly, ours is a true democratic system and not like the Communist government where they speak about democracy but practice autocracy. This is not the way we will ever do things.

When you enter a crucial period, you have to think, discuss and debate. It’s not about political groups defending their own positions. The point is that your actions should not be just based on your political stance. It is not a struggle between the ideologies of political groups. In turn, we have to discuss and debate on the strategies to resolve the Tibetan issue. This we have to do.

All the Tibetans have to work to keep Tibetan identity alive. This identity is different to the rest of the world because we have kindness and compassion as the basis of our nature. If we are able to keep our identity alive it will be helpful to the world and inspire admiration, which is good.

Therefore, our struggle for truth is not only for six million Tibetans. We have the capability to benefit the world. Our struggle for truth is based on reasoning, and if it is successfully resolved then it will surely help millions of Chinese to find a new way of life and one that is meaningful, with both healthy body and happy mind.

If Tibetan religion and culture based on compassion is eradicated and society becomes only concerned with money, in the future this will not help the Chinese and will be their loss.

That’s why our struggle for truth is to benefit both self and others. Now, how are we going to do it? This is why we are going to discuss on the Tibetan issue, so please discuss.

Due to the March unrest in Tibet [the Chinese government] accused me of instigating this unrest. During that period, I made a public announcement that they should come to Dharamsala and carefully investigate the files and the conversations I have had with Tibetans from Tibet that have been recorded on tape. But they did not investigate it. The only thing they do is to accuse me.

Taking this all into account, if I carry on in my position, instead of helping to resolve things, it creates an obstacle. The Tibetan issue is an issue of Tibetan people and it should be resolved by the people. I need not interfere in this. That’s why I made a decision on September 11th 2008 that I cannot hold this responsibility and don’t see a reason to carry this responsibility.

Speaking truly, I can take the responsibility because I have reasons to explain, as I have been sincere throughout. It’s difficult to talk to those who don’t belief in truth. I have clearly mentioned to the world press that I still have faith in the Chinese people, but my faith with the Chinese government is thinning. I have been saying that it’s getting difficult.

Therefore, I have requested the Kashag (office of Cabinet Ministers) and Parliament to organize this [November] Special meeting. I feel that this conference will not bring about an immediate solution. However, the Tibetan people should take collective initiative and take an interest based on the kind of long-term strategies that we should employ to resolve our struggle. The decisions will depend on the reality. That is the aim of the meeting.

[Translated by The Tibet Connection]