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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 Statement of the Kashag on the Occasion of the 73rd Birthday Celebration of HH the Dalai Lama

July 12, 2008
July 10 2008

On this very special occasion of the 73rd birthday celebration of His
Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Kashag of the Central Tibetan
Administration - on behalf of the Tibetans in and outside Tibet, as
well as all of his followers across the world - makes its obeisance
to His Holiness and prays that he may live for hundreds of aeons as
the true protector and saviour of humanity, plagued with the "Five
Degenerations, or Impurities" of this Samsaric world.

While remembering the great services that His Holiness has been
making to the people living in this age of "Five Degenerations", the
Kashag would like to implore him to continue to shower his compassion
and loving kindness on all humanity, and particularly on the people
of his adopted Land of Snows, until they are all led to the path of

In our previous statement on this very occasion, the Kashag
emphasised the need for enhancing the Tibetan people's collective
merit and strengthening the power of non-violent principle. The
Kashag also emphasised that we cannot afford to lose heart, or be
lethargic, in our struggle towards the resolution of the issue of
Tibet - even if this struggle were to drag on for hundreds of years.
The Kashag, in particular, suggested 11-point constructive programmes
or actions to be undertaken by the Tibetans in general, and the
exiled Tibetans in particular. While reiterating all these points,
the Kashag would like to emphatically urge all Tibetans to not only
heed these important requests, but also put them into real practice.

Since 10 March this year, in all the three traditional provinces of
Tibet, Tibetans have been courageously protesting against the
ultra-leftist policies of the People's Republic of China at great
personal risks. These have not only reflected the inner strength and
unity of the Tibetan people, but have also demonstrated before the
international community the fact that the Tibetan struggle will
continue generation after generation. It is indeed a source of great
encouragement for us Tibetans that all the justice-and peace-loving
governments and peoples across the globe have been showing their
support to, and solidarity with, the Tibetan people. Today, while
once again expressing our sincere appreciation to all the Tibetan
people in Tibet for making great sacrifices for the common cause of
Tibet, the Kashag would like to inform them that their sacrifices
will never go in vain. It will, certainly, achieve a great result
that will be of universal benefit.

The recent peaceful protests that rocked the plateau of Tibet were
brutally crushed by the Chinese government, leading to many thousands
of Tibetan people being arbitrarily arrested, incarcerated, beaten,
injured and killed. This is not only a cause of great disappointment
for us Tibetans, but has also brought to the fore the ugly face of
China?s Tibet policy. We are, moreover, greatly concerned about what
fate will befall on the Tibetan people in the future. Therefore, the
Kashag would like to appeal to all the governments and peoples of the
world that they should - while supporting the Tibetans inside Tibet
as before - continue to urge, or impress upon, the leaders of the
People's Republic of China to exercise utmost restraint.

In a crisis situation like this, it is important for all the exiled
Tibetans to initiate solidarity actions that are both proper and
law-abiding. As such, on the request of the Kashag, the Tibetan
Solidarity Committee has been set up under the leadership of the
highest Tibetan legislative body - the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.
Under its guidance, most of the campaigns or activities undertaken by
the Tibetan diasporic community were not only effective, but were
also carried out in a manner that reveals the unity of the Tibetan
people. Therefore, the Kashag would like to express its appreciation
to all those who are involved in these activities. Similarly, as we
have reiterated to the Solidarity Committee, these mass movements or
activities, aimed at the realisation of the cause of Tibet, must be
continued for a long time to come. And for this, peaceful
demonstrations and sloganeering alone will not suffice; it is
important for us to come out with numerous constructive programmes or
actions. The Kashag believes that the time has come for us to give a
serious thought over it. The Kashag would like to, however, emphasise
that whatever actions the Tibetans in and outside Tibet may initiate,
the nature and form of these actions must not go against the
principle of non-violence as well as the wishes of His Holiness the
Dalai Lama. This is to reiterate that if anybody - be it an
organisation or an individual person - undertakes any activities that
go against the advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Kashag will
express its all-out opposition to it. For, we recognise that these
activities will not, in any way, help resolve the issue of Tibet.

Even during the most critical times in the wake of the recent
protests in Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was kind enough to
send a personal communication to Hu Jintao, the president of the
People's Republic of China. To save Tibet from the crisis situation
it is facing, he also dispatched his envoys to Shenzhen (4 May 2008)
for an informal discussion with the concerned officials of the
People's Republic of China. As agreed during this informal meeting,
the seventh round of the Sino-Tibetan dialogue was held in Beijing
for two days from 1 to 2 July 2008. Unfortunately, the seventh round
of talks - as we have suspected from the very beginning - did not at
all go in accordance with our hopes and expectations. Moreover, the
Chinese government has indulged in a selfish act of spewing one-sided
propaganda on Tibet. Greatly disturbed by these negative
developments, we are doubtful, more than ever before, whether the
leaders of the People's Republic of China have the determination and
sincerity to work towards achieving a reconciliation on the issue of Tibet.

It is universally known that His Holiness the Dalai Lama - being an
undisputed champion of global peace - would not agree to, or support,
violence in any form. It is also a universal knowledge that he has
always pursued a mutually beneficial Middle-Way policy of seeking a
solution to the Tibet issue within the constitutional framework of
the People's Republic of China and that he has consistently supported
China's hosting of the Olympic Games. Therefore, to demand that His
Holiness should not support - or rather stop initiating - activities
aimed at separating Tibet from China, creating violence, and
sabotaging the Olympic Games is not a statement that a person with
sound state of mind makes. Even a child would know this fact.
Therefore, we do not find it necessary to respond, or offer our
explanations, to these statements. His Holiness the Dalai Lama's
Middle-Way policy is a transparent policy that is still being pursued
without undergoing a slightest changes. Under this right policy, we
will unswervingly pursue these three commitments of not seeking
separation, not engaging in violence, and availing of the
opportunities at hand to find a solution to the issue of Tibet
through dialogue.

As far as His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan diasporic
community are concerned, we have made every possible effort towards
the continuation of the dialogue process and the creation of
conducive environment for it. We have also made greatest efforts -
even during the most difficult period of the recent unrest in Tibet -
to restore stability, and to alleviate the sufferings of the Tibetans
living, there. If the Chinese side is sincere about the current
process of engagement, then it must lend us a helping hand in
creating a conducive environment for dialogue between the two sides.
Therefore, the Kashag would like to urge the leaders of the People's
Republic of China to do the following, so that stability and harmony
could be restored in Tibet:

* Stop immediately all acts of repressing, beating, torturing,
arresting and incarcerating Tibetan people for peacefully expressing
their views;

* Conducting excessive, or rather extreme, political "education"
among the Tibetan clergy and making undue, or unnecessary,
interference in religious affairs should be stopped immediately. For,
these are the root cause of instability in the monasteries and nunneries; and

* Stop immediately all those activities - carried out in the name of
progress and development - which harm the land and environment of
Tibet. Excessive exploitation of natural resources, changing
forcefully the traditional lifestyles of the Tibetan peasants and
nomads, as well as the policy of flooding Tibet with non-Tibetan
migrants, etc., should also be stopped immediately.

During the latest, seventh round of talks, both sides agreed to hold
the eighth round of talks before the end of October, this year.
During that time - it was also agreed - both sides will deliberate on
how the provisions of the National Regional Autonomy as enshrined in
the constitution of the People's Republic of China are being
implemented in Tibet. This, we consider, is a positive step in the
present moment or circumstances. We will make our preparations for
the next round of talks, keeping in view not just the statements
coming out from the People's Republic of China, but also the way they
conduct themselves with us.

However, as we have already emphasised many times before, the main
issue of contention between China and Tibet is only the welfare of
the six million Tibetan people. It is not at all related to the
personal status of His Holiness the Dalai Lama; nor is it related to
the status of a few Tibetans who are close to him. We would like to
once again make it very categorical that concerning them, we do not
have a single issue to be discussed with the People's Republic of China.

In May this year, Sichuan province of the People's Republic of China
have been hit by earthquake, causing enormous sufferings to millions
of Chinese and Tibetans living in that part of the world. With heavy
heart, we express our deep condolences to all of them. As a way of
expressing our solidarity with the quake victims, we the Tibetan
exiles - led by His Holiness the Dalai Lama - have been able to make
our share of contribution by organising prayer meetings and making
donations toward relief activities through various channels.

Finally, we pray for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and
for an immediate end to the sufferings of those Tibetans who are
facing Chinese suppression and torture. May the truth of the issue of
Tibet prevail soon!

The Kashag
6 July 2008

N.B. This is an English translation of the original statement in
Tibetan. If there is any difference between this and the Tibetan
version, please treat the latter as authoritative and final.
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