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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

The Tibetan people have to manage themselves

February 22, 2011

Office of Tibet, Geneva

Berlin, 17 Feb: The Tibetan people have to manage themselves without His
Holiness the Dalai Lama’s patronage said Kalon Tripa Prof. Samdhong
Rinpoche today during a round table discussion with journalist in Berlin.

“Better to face the reality now. Tibetans will have to face it sooner or
later,” he said.

During a media interview last November in New Delhi, His Holiness the
Dalai Lama expressed his wish to retire from political life. His
Holiness further said that he will ask the forthcoming session of the
Tibetan Parliament in March to debate on the issue.

Dharamsala has received hundreds of letters and appeals from Tibetans
all over the world. In early January, the Standing Committee of the
Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile requested His Holiness not to retire and
continue to lead the Tibetan people.

When the issue is debated in the Tibetan Parliament, Kalon Tripa said he
will speak in favour of Tibetan people’s wishes as he was directly
elected by the Tibetan people. But as the head of the Kashag, he will
have to speak on His Holiness’ behalf.

Since the establishment of the Ganden Phodrang Government of Tibet by
the 5th Dalai Lama in 1642, successive Dalai Lamas have been the
spiritual and political leader of Tibet. There is an extraordinary bond
between the Dalai Lamas and the Tibetan people.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama established the Tibetan Parliament in
exile in 1960. For the first time in history, the Tibetan people
directly elected the Kalon Tripa in 2001. Since then His Holiness the
Dalai Lama has been saying he is “semi retired.”

Speaking on the forthcoming Tibetan elections, Kalon Tripa said the
Tibetan people’s participation and awareness was much higher. He said
that the future role of the Kalon Tripa will becomes more important
given His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s recent statement.

When asked to comment on the present situation inside Tibet he said,
“The situation inside Tibet today is very serious. 2008 peaceful
uprising was forcefully repressed. This repressive measure continues.
Tibetans and other minorities are in constant fear. Detention and
disappearance are order of the day. Tibetan poets and writers are under

He expressed his admiration for the younger generation of Tibetans.
“They have the greatest patience and determination,” he said. Only a
small percentage of the youth talk about violence but so far, no
individual have advocated violence.

“Our commitment to non-violence is not a strategy,” said Kalon Tripa.
“It is our principle and faith.”

When asked why the Tibetan issue was more popular than other movements,
he gave three reasons:

1) His Holiness the Dalai Lama – a charismatic leader
2) Non-violence – strong commitment
3) Tibetan spiritual culture – day to day relevance to people

Kalon Tripa Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche was invited to Germany by the Tibet
Initiative Deutschland, the oldest Tibet Support Group in Germany. He
said that the visit also provides him an opportunity to thank people for
their support for the Tibetan issue. He said Germany is one of the most
important countries.
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