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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Senior exiled Tibetan urges end to immolations

November 12, 2011

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/11/09/uk-china-tibetans-burnings-idUKTRE7A82ZX20111109

(Reuters) - One of Tibet's most senior exiled Buddhist leaders, the Karmapa Lama, appealed on Wednesday for Tibetans in China not to set themselves on fire, saying he hoped they found more constructive ways to advance their cause.
The Karmapa Lama fled Tibet in 2000 and lives in exile along with the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala in northern India, the centre of the self-proclaimed Tibetan government-in-exile.
The Karmapa Lama said the 11 Tibetans who have set themselves alight so far this year in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan were "brave," acting in desperation "against the injustice and repression under which they live."
"The situation is unbearably difficult, but in difficult situations we need greater courage and determination," he said in an emailed statement.
"Each report of self-immolation from Tibet has filled my heart with pain," the Karmapa Lama said.
"In Buddhist teaching, life is precious. To achieve anything worthwhile we need to preserve our lives. We Tibetans are few in number, so every Tibetan life is of value to the cause of Tibet."
China has blamed the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Dalai Lama for the burnings, and repeated the government line that Tibetans are free to practise their Buddhist faith.
The Dalai Lama, whom China condemns as a supporter of violent separatism, in late October led hundreds of monks, nuns and lay Tibetans in prayer in his adopted homeland in India to mourn those who have burnt themselves to death.
The Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet in 1959 after an abortive uprising against Chinese rule, denies advocating violence and insists he wants only real autonomy for his homeland.
The Karmapa Lama appealed to China to "heed Tibetans' legitimate demands and to enter into meaningful dialogue with them instead of brutally trying to achieve their silence."
The immolations have happened in two heavily Tibetan parts of Sichuan -- Ganzi and Aba -- where many see themselves as members of a wider Tibetan region encompassing the official Tibetan Autonomous Region and other areas across the vast highlands of China's west.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)

STATEMENT IN FULL

Statement by the 17th  Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje
9th November 2011
 
Since March this year 11 brave Tibetans have set themselves on fire while
calling for freedom in Tibet and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
to his homeland.  These desperate acts, carried out by people with pure
motivation, are a cry against the injustice and repression under which they

live. The situation is unbearably difficult, but in difficult situations we

need greater courage and determination.
 
Each report of self-immolation from Tibet has filled my heart with pain.
Most of those who have died have been very young. They had a long future
ahead of them, an opportunity to contribute in ways that they have now
foregone. In Buddhist teaching life is precious. To achieve anything

worthwhile we need to preserve our lives. We Tibetans are few in number, so

every Tibetan life is of value to the cause of Tibet. Although the situation
is difficult, we need to live long and stay strong without losing sight of
our long term goals.
 
As His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said, the Chinese leadership should face
up to the real source of these tragic incidents. Such drastic acts have
their origin in the desperate circumstances in which Tibetans find
themselves living. A ruthless response will only make things worse. Where
there is fear, there can be no trust.
 
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has stressed that the use of force is
counter-productive; repressive measures can never bring about unity and
stability. I agree with him that the Chinese leadership needs seriously to
review its policies towards Tibetans and other minorities. I appeal
to  right-thinking, freedom-loving people throughout the world to join us in
deploring the repression unleashed in the monasteries in Tibet, particularly
in the Tibetan region of Sichuan. At the same time I appeal to the Chinese
leaders to heed Tibetans' legitimate demands and to enter into meaningful

dialogue with them instead of brutally trying to achieve their silence.
 

Because the Tibetan issue involves truth and justice, people are not afraid
to give up their lives, but I request the people of Tibet to preserve their
lives and find other, constructive ways to work for the cause of Tibet. It
is my heartfelt prayer that the monks and nuns, indeed all the Tibetan
people, may live long, free from fear, in peace and happiness.
 
 


Ogyen Trinley  Dorje
17th Gyalwang Karmapa

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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