This comes from our good friend Ingrid Jolly-Trayfors who has worked closely with the Dalai Lama. I just got a thrill receiving it, reading it, and to think that I could help send out something from him. God bless him on high, his work, his life, his family, and also to each and everyone of you!
His Holiness the Dalai Lama's March 10th 1999 Statement
My sincere greetings to my compatriots in Tibet as well as in exile and to all our friends and supporters all over the world on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Tibetan national uprising of 1959.
Four decades have passed since we came into exile and continued our struggle for freedom both in and outside Tibet. Four decades are a considerable time in a person's life. Many fellow countrymen, both those who stayed back in Tibet in 1959 & those who came out at that time, are now gone. Today, the second and third generations of Tibetans are shouldering the responsibility of our freedom struggle with undiminished determination and indomitable spirit.
During our four decades of life in exile, the Tibetan community has gone through a process of increasing democratization and has made tremendous progress in education. We have also been able to preserve and promote our unique cultural and religious heritage. Our achievement on all these fronts Is now widely recognized and acknowledged by the international community. The credit for this achievement goes to the determination and hard work of the Tibetan people. However, our success would not have been possible without the generous assistance of many international aid organizations and individuals. We are especially grateful to the people and government of India for their unsurpassed generosity and hospitality ever since the late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru gave asylum to the Tibetan refugees and laid down the programmes for education and rehabilitation of our exile community.
During the same four decades, Tibet has been under the complete control of the government of the People's Republic of China & the Chinese authorities have had a free hand in governing our country. The late Panchen Lama's 70,000-character petition of 1962 serves as a telling historical document on the draconian Chinese policies & actions in Tibet.
The immense destruction and human suffering during the Cultural Revolution, which followed shortly afterwards, are today known world-wide & I do not wish to dwell on these sad and painful events. In January 1989, a few days before his sudden death, the Panchen Lama further stated that the progress made in Tibet under China could not match the amount of destruction and suffering inflicted on the Tibetan people.
Although some development and economic progress has been made in Tibet, our country continues to face many fundamental problems. In terms of history, culture, language, religion, way of life and geographical conditions, there are stark differences between Tibet and China. These differences result in grave clashes of values, dissent and distrust. At the sight of the slightest dissent the Chinese authorities react with force and repression resulting in widespread and serious violations of human rights in Tibet.
These abuses of rights have a distinct character, and are aimed at preventing Tibetans as a people from asserting their own identity & culture, and their wish to preserve them. Thus, human rights violations in Tibet are often the result of policies of racial and cultural discrimination and are only the symptoms and consequences of a deeper problem. The Chinese authorities identify the distinct culture and religion of Tibet as the root cause of Tibetan resentment and dissent. Hence their policies are aimed at decimating this integral core of the Tibetan civilization and identity.
After a half a century of "liberation" the Tibetan issue is still very much alive and remains yet to be resolved. Obviously this situation is of no benefit to anyone, either to Tibet or to China. To continue along this path does nothing to alleviate the suffering of the Tibetan people, nor does it bring stability and unity to China or help in enhancing China's international image and standing. The only sensible and responsible way to address this problem is dialogue. There is no realistic alternative to it.
It is with this realization that in the early seventies I discussed and decided with my senior officials the main points of my "Middle Way Approach". Consequently, I opted for a resolution of the Tibet issue, which does not call for the independence of Tibet or its separation from China.
I firmly believe that it is possible to find a political solution that ensures the basic rights & freedoms of the Tibetan people within the framework of the People's Republic of China. My primary concern is the survival and preservation of Tibet's unique spiritual heritage, which is based on compassion and non-violence. And, I believe it is worthwhile & beneficial to preserve this heritage since it continues to remain relevant in our present-day world.
With this spirit I responded immediately when Deng Xiaoping, in late 1978, signaled a willingness to resume dialogue with us. Since then our relation with the Chinese government has taken many twists and turns.
Unfortunately, a lack of political will & courage on the part of the Chinese leadership has resulted in their failure to reciprocate my numerous overtures over the years. Thus, our formal contact with the Chinese government came to an end in August 1993. But a few informal channels through private persons and semi-officials were established after that. During the past one-and-a-half year one informal channel seemed to work smoothly and reliably. In addition, there were some indications that President Jiang personally had taken an interest in the Tibetan issue.
When US President Clinton visited China last June, President Jiang discussed Tibet with him at some length. Addressing a joint press conference, President Jiang sought a public clarification from me on two conditions before resuming dialogues and negotiations. We, on our part, communicated to the Chinese government my readiness to respond to President Jiang's statement and our desire for an informal consultation before making it public. Sadly, there was no positive response from the Chinese side.
Late last autumn, without any obvious reason, there was a noticeable hardening of the Chinese position on dialogue & their attitude towards me. This abrupt change was accompanied by a new round of intensified repression in Tibet. This is the current status of our relation with the Chinese government.
It is clear from our experiences of the past decades that formal statements, official rhetoric and political expediency alone will do little to either lessen the suffering of the concerned people or to solve the problem at hand. It is also clear that force can control human beings only physically. It is through reason, fairness & justice alone that the human mind and heart can be won over. What is required is the political will, courage and vision to tackle the root cause of the problem and resolve it once and for all to the satisfaction and benefit of the concerned people.
Once we find a mutually acceptable solution to the Tibetan issue, I will not hold any official position, as I have clearly stated for many years.
The root cause of the Tibetan problem is not the difference in ideology, social system or issues resulting from clashes between tradition & modernity. Neither is it just the issue of human rights violations alone. The root of the Tibetan issue lies in Tibet's long, separate history, its distinct and ancient culture, and its unique identity.
Just as in late 1978, so also today, resumption of contact & dialogue is the only sensible and viable way to tackle this complex & grave problem. The atmosphere of deep distrust between Tibetans and Chinese must be overcome. This distrust will not go away in a day. It will dissipate only through face-to-face meetings and sincere dialogues.
I feel that the Chinese leadership is sometimes hindered by its own suspicions so that it is unable to appreciate sincere initiatives from my side, either on the overall solution to the Tibetan problem or on any other matter. A case in point is my consistent & long-standing call for the need to respect the environmental situation in Tibet. I have long warned of the consequences of wanton exploitation of the fragile environment on the Tibet plateau. I did not do this out of selfish concern for Tibet. Rather, it has been acutely clear that any ecological imbalance in Tibet would affect not just Tibet, but all the adjacent areas in China & even its neighboring countries. It is sad and unfortunate that it took last year's devastating floods for the Chinese leadership to realize the need for environmental protection. I welcome the moratorium that has been placed on the denudation of forests in Tibetan areas and hope that such measures, belated though they may be, will be followed by more steps to keep Tibet's fragile ecosystem intact.
On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue as the means to resolve the Tibetan problem. I do not seek independence for Tibet. I hope that negotiations can begin and that they will provide for genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people and the preservation & promotion of their cultural, religious and linguistic integrity, as well as their socio-economic development. I sincerely believe that my "Middle Way Approach" will contribute to stability and unity of the People's Republic of China and secure the right for the Tibetan people to live in freedom, peace & dignity.
A just and fair solution to the issue of Tibet will enable me to give full assurance that I will use my moral authority to persuade the Tibetans not to seek separation. As a free spokesman for the people of Tibet, I have made every possible effort to engage the Chinese government in negotiations on the future of the Tibetan people. In this endeavor, I am greatly encouraged & inspired by the support we receive from many governments, parliaments, non-governmental organizations and the public throughout the world. I am deeply grateful for their concern and support. I would like to make a special mention of the efforts being made by President Clinton and his Administration to encourage the Chinese government to engage in dialogues with us. In addition, we are fortunate to continue to enjoy strong bipartisan support in the United State Congress.
The plight of the Tibetan people & our non-violent freedom struggle has touched the hearts and conscience of all people who cherish truth & justice. The international awareness of the issue of Tibet has reached an unprecedented height since last year. Concerns & active support for Tibet are not confined to human rights organizations, governments & parliaments. Universities, schools, religious & social groups, artistic & business communities as well as people from many other walks of life have also come to understand the problem of Tibet & are now expressing their solidarity with our cause. Reflecting this rising popular sentiment, many governments & parliaments have made the problem of Tibet an important issue on the agenda of their relations with the government of China.
We have also been able to deepen and broaden our relations with our Chinese brothers & sisters, belonging to the democracy & human rights movement.
Similarly, we have been able to establish cordial & friendly relations with fellow Chinese Buddhists & ordinary Chinese people living abroad & in Taiwan. The support & solidarity that we receive from our Chinese brothers and sisters are a source of great inspiration and hope. I am particularly encouraged & moved by those brave Chinese within China who have urged their government or publicly called for a change in China's policy towards the Tibetan people.
Today, the Tibetan freedom movement is in a much stronger & better position than ever before and I firmly believe that despite the present intransigence of the Chinese government, the prospects for progress in bringing about a meaningful dialogue and negotiations are better today than ever.
I, therefore, appeal to governments, parliaments & our friends to continue their support & efforts with renewed dedication & vigor. I strongly believe that such expressions of international concern and support are essential. They are vital in communicating a sense of urgency to the leadership in Beijing & in persuading them to address the issue of Tibet in a serious and constructive manner.
With my homage to the brave men and women of Tibet, who have died for the cause of our freedom, I pray for an early end to the suffering of our people.
The Dalai Lama
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Festive atmosphere as Tibetan exiles, Hollywood, mark uprising
DHARAMSALA, India, March 10 (AFP) -
India's "Little Lhasa" was festooned with Tibetan flags on Wednesday as three generations of exiles joined by two glamorous Hollywood stars marked the 40th anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule.
Up to 5,000 people gathered in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamsala to hear a special address by Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, and to take part in peace marches and protests against Chinese policies in their homeland.
The presence of three generations of Tibetan exiles, including maroon-robed monks and nuns, underlined the four decades that have passed since the Dalai Lama fled Tibet after the failed 1959 uprising.
Adding glitz to the event were movie stars Richard Gere & Goldie Hawn, who tried to blend in with the crowds in this seat of the Dalai Lama & his government in exile.
Gere and Hawn are two of the most high-profile members of a sizeable group within the US entertainment industry that has lent its support to the Tibetan freedom movement in recent years.
The Dalai Lama's "gift to this world is to remind all beings on this earth of their own potential to experience kindness & compassion,"
Hawn told AFP.
"It hurts my heart that these gentle people have been the object of abuse. I meditate for the freeing of Tibet & therefore the freeing of mankind," she said.
Gere has long been an outspoken critic of Chinese policies in Tibet & counts the Dalai Lama as a personal friend.
Although the anniversary marked a 40-year exile that seems no nearer to an end, the mood was very festive, with Tibetan flags flying all over the town, which a permanent Indian tourist sign labels "Little Lhasa."
"When I came here, I was very happy," said Palden Tsering, 22, who arrived in Dharamsala in 1996 after undergoing the treacherous trek from Tibet. "The scenery is like Lhasa but the atmosphere is much better.
There is no torture," said Tsering, who was sporting a pair of jeans with "China Go Back" written down each leg in English and Chinese.
Tsering Ishi a 24-year-old accountant working in the Tibet Medical Institute here said he was confident of returning home one day. "I'm very hopeful. His Holiness has been stressing that before (he) leaves from this world we will get freedom. I am 100 percent confident of that," Ishi said.
"The world is changing and China could change," he said, while voicing some concern over what might come of the Tibetan movement if the Dalai Lama, who has no designated successor, were to die before the issue had been resolved.
"Really, that would be a problem for us," he said. Chinese troops entered Tibet in October 1950, and nine years later on March 10, 1959, a fragile co-existence between the Dalai Lama and the Chinese authorities collapsed leading to an uprising against Beijing's rule.
The revolt was brutally suppressed by Chinese troops, forcing the Dalai Lama and his entourage to flee across the Himalayan mountains into exile in India.
A giant poster strung up Wednesday outside the Dharamsala courthouse, showed a young Mao Zedong in a green Mao suit, his arms outstretched against a background of tanks moving on the Potala Palace in Lhasa.
"Destruction and Invasion," read the poster's slogan. In his speech, the Dalai Lama stressed the progress the exiled commmunity had made in Dharamsala in terms of education and social welfare.
Our achievement on these fronts is now widely recognised and acknowledged by the international community," he said.
There are an estimated 130,000 Tibetan exiles worldwide, of whom 100,000 live in India and Nepal.
Press Release from Voice of Tibet
New Voice of Tibet (VOT) web-site: http://www.voti.com with features
from the extracts from VOT last support concert in Oslo.
VOT has set up a new web-site in addition to the present
(which offers VOTs daily 30 mins. programmes aired on short wave to Tibet on real audio), including an updated programme archive containing the last seven days programmes. The new web-site provides more detailed information about Voice of Tibets activities. and in addition VOT is planning to offer a brief presentation of the daily programme headlines in English text with link to the real audio service. By introducing the new web-site VOT aims to provide a better service to the real audio listeners as well as to the Tibet Support groups and others engaged for Tibet worldwide. It is also VOTs hope that the new service will encourage more Support Groups and others to provide VOT with informed on Tibet related news and events taking place in their country/region.
As part the efforts to secure the continuation of the VOT radio, a support concert was held in Oslo on Saturday 6 February. Among the artists(for free) were Chaksam-pa (also mixed with Sami musicians), Nils Petter Molvaer & band (who also performed at the 10 March 1998 concert in Dharamsala), Midnight Choir, Kari Rueslaatten, Getaway People and VeDaKi (musicians from Senegal, Russia and India).
Extracts from VOT support concert on internet Voice of Tibet informed its real audio listeners that the VOT support concert in Oslo on 6th February were to be put live on the internet.
Because of line and server problems this service did not work properly before 30 mins. into the concert. In addition logging on to the site became very difficult for many viewers, for which we are very sorry.
To make up for these problems VOT has put highlights from the concert on real audio/video at http://www.voti.com
>From this web-site everybody interested can log on and click to play parts of each artists performances. What is needed is a soundcard and loudspeakers following the computer. Those lacking the software (Realplayer) to play real audio/video can download the needed software from the same web-site. The Opening of the concert starts with a joint performance by Chaksam-pa and the Sami artist Laara Stinnerbom. Then there is an option to play extracts from Midnight Choir and N. P. Molvaer. The whole Chaksam-pa performance, roughly 20 mins., is put as a separate heading - to click and play.
For more information please check out: http://www.voti.com or e-mail
Voice of Tibet: email@example.com
ALOHA and HAPPY NEW YEAR !
Today is the Tibetan New Year 2126 of the Earth Rabbit.
May I take this opportunity to wish you and your family hearty best wishes for the New Year and to remind you of our WEB site at http://www.PunaHawaii.com
The site summarizes our Big Island activity over the past two years and our current thrust for 1999 as we support the ICT (International Campaign for Tibet) and other groups engaged
in the struggle to prevent the cultural genocide now going on in occupied Tibet. If you can volunteer for the upcoming April event, please let me know.
And now, here's an excerpt from a speech by the Dalai Lama as published in a recent Wall Street Journal (12/2/98):
"I would like to stress once again the need to recognize the universality of the key ethical and political values that underlie democracy. The respect for basic human rights, freedom of speech, equality, and the rule of law must be seen not just as aspirations but as basic conditions for a civilized society."
Me ke aloha pumehana,
Anson, ad hoc coordinator
Kokua Tibet Ohana
* ADDRESS: P. O. Box 1352, Kurtistown, Hawaii, 96760
* PHONE: (808) 968-8347 E-MAIL: Anson.Chong@pobox.com
"Change not the mass, but change the fabric of your own soul and your own visions, and you change all."
"Eighty percent of success is showing up."
"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."
"The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be...The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists."
.:*~*:* Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. *:*~*:.