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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 Kashag on 53rd Tibetan National Uprising Day

March 09, 2012

Statement of Kalon Tripa Dr. Lobsang Sangay (Political Head of the
Tibetan People) on the 53rd Anniversary of the Tibetan National
Uprising Day

Today, on the 53rd anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day
and the fourth anniversary of the 2008 mass protests in Tibet, I
offer tribute to the brave people who have sacrificed so much for
Tibet. Despite fifty-three years of occupation by the People’s
Republic of China (PRC), the Tibetan spirit and identity inside
Tibet remains unbroken.

On this occasion, I pay homage to His Holiness the Dalai Lama for
his vision, leadership and benevolence. I also pay my deepest
respect and gratitude to our elders for their contribution and
tireless effort that have sustained our movement’s growth and
dynamism over the past fifty years.

One year ago, when His Holiness the Dalai Lama announced the
transfer of his political power to a democratically elected leader,
Tibetans were apprehensive and implored him to reconsider. Today,
the world recognizes and applauds His Holiness’ vision and
magnanimous decision. Tibetans are making a smooth transition with
the free, fair and multi-candidate 2011 parliamentary and Kalon
Tripa elections that involved exile and diaspora Tibetans in over
forty countries.

I am deeply honored by the spiritual blessings, legitimacy,
political authority and continuity bestowed upon me by His Holiness
the Dalai Lama. In his statement at my inauguration ceremony on
August 8th, 2011, His Holiness said “when I was young, an elderly
regent Takdrag Rinpoche handed over Sikyong (political leadership)
to me, and today I am handing over Sikyong to young Lobsang
Sangay…in doing this, I have fulfilled my long-cherished goal.”

I am also enormously moved by the solidarity and endorsements from
Tibetans inside Tibet during the elections and since assuming my
political post. I have had many deeply moving encounters with
hundreds of Tibetans from Tibet as they generously offered their
blessings and support.

Blessed by the historic transfer of political power from His
Holiness, empowered by the mandate received from the people, and
buoyed by the support and solidarity from Tibetans inside Tibet, I
can say with pride and conviction that the Central Tibetan
Administration legitimately represents and speaks for all six
million Tibetans.

Beijing’s view that a generational change in leadership may weaken
the Tibetan freedom movement has not and will never materialize.
The resiliency of the Tibetan spirit combined with a coming
generation of educated Tibetans will provide dynamic leadership and
sustain the movement till freedom is restored in Tibet.

If the Chinese government’s claim that Tibetans enjoy freedom and
equality are true, then it should allow democratic, transparent,
free and fair elections in Tibet. In the fifty-three years of
Chinese occupation, no Tibetan has ever held the Party Secretary
post of the so- called Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). Chinese hold
majority of the decision-making positions in all branches of the
government and constitute more than fifty percent of the public
sector workforce. Seventy percent of the private sector enterprises
are owned or operated by Chinese. Forty percent of Tibetan high
school and college graduates are unemployed.

The Tibet issue concerns far more than the rights and welfare of
six million Tibetans. It impacts the entire planet. The unique
Tibetan culture, with its rich language, spirituality and history
must be protected. The Tibetan plateau is the ‘world’s third pole’
as it contains the largest ice fields outside the two poles.
Tibetan glaciers, the source of ten major rivers, affect the lives
of more than 1.5 billion people. Billions of dollars worth of
mineral resources are exploited annually to fuel China’s economy.
Decades of logging have reduced Tibet’s pristine forest cover by
half. Clearly, the management of this global common, and the
Tibetan people’s traditional role as its stewards, ought to be a
planetary concern.

When China invaded Tibet in 1949, it promised to usher in a
‘socialist paradise.’ In actuality Tibetans are treated as second-
class citizens. When Tibetans gather peacefully and demand basic
rights as outlined in the Chinese constitution, they are arrested,
fired upon and killed as in the January 23-24th peaceful protests
when Chinese were celebrating their new year. The Communist Party
cadre members in the TAR have been ordered to prepare for a “war”
against the Tibetan protestors.

In stark contrast, in Wukan (Guangdong Province), protests by
Chinese people lasted weeks, their grievances were addressed, one
July 26, 2017

CTC Board of Directors: Statement on self-immolations by Tibetans

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