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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?"

Happy Democracy Day!

September 2, 2007

Dharamshala: The progression of Tibetan democracy may remain mired in an experimental stage, if the civil society in exile is not matured enough to exercise the provisions made in the Charter of Tibetans in Exile, Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche said in his statement on the occasion of the 47th Democracy Day marked here at Tsuglakhang.

Underlining the shortage of democratic values and culture in the Tibetan community, Kalon Tripa said that his administration's efforts to preserve the autonomous status of NGOs by keeping them outside its purview of influence have been misconstrued by some as an attempt to downplay the role of NGOs.

Kalon Tripa further said that it is ethically wrong for NGOs to imply that they enjoy some form of a mutual understanding with the Administration, or that they have the tacit backing of the Administration.

He categorically rejected this idea by saying the Kashag does not in any way meddle in the affairs of NGOs, nor does it offer assistance in any form or kind.

On 2 September 1960, a 13-member Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (then the Commission of Tibetan People?s Deputies), with representatives from the four Tibetan Buddhist traditions and three provinces (and later from Bon), took office for the first time - the day since marked as the Democracy Day.

Speaking about the recent turmoil in Lithang, Kalon Tripa lauded the daring feat of Ronngye A'drak as "a momentous deed" that will be etched indelibly in the annals of Tibetan history, and urged the international community to bring about every possible effort to save Ronggye A'drak's life.

As an indication of China's desperation in Tibet, Kalon Tripa said that the Chinese authorities have been busy planning ways to "disrupt the unity of Tibetan people by creating misunderstanding between institutions, organisations and individuals in and outside Tibet".

Particularly, in terms of the Tibetans in exile, Kalon Tripa said that one of the most important aims of the Chinese authorities is to engineer tensions between Tibetans and the local populace. He therefore urged both the Tibetans and the local populace to act sensibly by exercising restraint in the face of potential flashpoints.

On the recent 6th round of talks, Kalon Tripa said that whether the dialogue process will move forward or not rests solely in hands of the People's Republic of China.

He reiterated that "as far as His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration are concerned, there is no change in our policy of the Middle-Way Approach."

In his address, Speaker Karma Chophel underlined the fact that the Tibetan issue today is in a crisis situation.

Due to China's dilly-dallying with the process of dialogue, and the lack of change in China's defective policy for Tibet, Mr Chophel said that the Tibetan people are increasingly running out of patience.

If China continues to cold shoulder His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Middle-Way Approach, Mr Chophel warned that the series of recent mass campaigns that took place in India would continue to be waged.
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