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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?"

Kashag's Statement on the 48th Anniversary of Tibetan Democracy Day

September 3, 2008

The Statement of the Kashag on the Forty-eighth Anniversary of the 
Tibetan Democracy Day

2 September 2008

On this special occasion of the 48th anniversary of His Holiness the 
Dalai Lama's extraordinary efforts to transform the Tibetan polity 
into a genuine democracy, the Kashag - as a way of expressing its 
immense gratitude to His Holiness - makes obeisance to him. The 
Kashag also extends its affectionate greetings and Tashi Deleg to all 
Tibetans living in and outside Tibet, as well as to the governments, 
parliaments, governmental and non-governmental organisations, Tibet 
support groups and the people of the international community who are 
supportive of Tibet and the Tibetans.

In our previous statements, the Kashag has dwelled - among other 
things - on the status of the Tibetan democratic polity and its 
weaknesses; the responsibilities that Tibetans in general and 
particularly the Tibetan exiles must shoulder; and the role of the 
Tibetan civil society, which is inclusive of the Tibetan NGOs. While 
reiterating all these points, the Kashag would like to emphatically 
state that all Tibetans should - at this very critical and crucial 
period - give more importance to their democratic duties than rights; 
that they should give more importance to the national and community's 
benefits than individual's and organisation's; and that they should, 
in order to challenge the forces of division, strive towards 
combining their collective energies.

The principal reason why the Tibetans inside Tibet have had to endure 
continuous sufferings for the last almost 60 years - and as a result 
of it the very survival of the Tibetan people is at stake today - is 
due to the Chinese autocratic government's ultra-leftist policies. 
Under these policies, the basic rights of the Tibetan people, 
including their political, social, religious and cultural rights are 
trampled upon by the Chinese government. Therefore, until and unless 
the nature of the People's Republic of China's polity does not become 
more open, free and transparent, it is difficult for China to be able 
to resolve the problem of Tibet. Taking cue from this fact, the 
Tibetan people living in the free world should also work towards 
cultivating a culture of openness, freedom and transparency.

In order to establish a true democratic society, it is very important 
to have gender equality in general, and particularly women should 
equally partake in the administrative and political work of a 
country. Since ancient times until now, no gender discriminations of 
any kind have taken place in our society. However, going by the ratio 
of the Tibetan men and women taking part in administration and 
politics, there is a difference with women lagging far behind men. It 
is very important to bridge this difference in the future. The Kashag 
will soon come out with a policy to strengthen women's power in our 
society, and we request all of you to co-operate with us in this regard.

One of the difficulties of a democratic system when it comes to 
implementation - and particularly a problem often faced by the Asian 
countries - is the inability to make a choice when differences emerge 
between one's political ideology and the policies adopted by the 
government of the day, as well as the difficulty in evolving a 
consensus among the contesting parties when it comes to the 
fundamental interest of the country and people. All these occur due 
to an inadequate level of education, or intellectual disposition, 
among the citizens. The Tibetan community is also undergoing the same 
kind of problems. Therefore, it is indispensable for the individuals 
and organisations to heed that in addition to upholding their 
respective ideological leanings, they should - as and when required - 
ensure the unity and cohesive force of the Tibetan people without 
letting it diminish the slightest.

For nearly 60 years, we have endured the oppression of a foreign 
country. Over these years, many heroic Tibetan men and women have 
sacrificed their every possession, including their precious lives, 
for the sake of Tibetan religion, culture, national identity and 
freedom. Paying homage to all these brave souls, the Kashag would 
like to request all Tibetans to learn from their sacrifices and 
continue the rightful and non-violent struggle of the Tibetan people 
until the issue of Tibet is resolved once and for all.

Finally, the Kashag prays for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai 
Lama and the spontaneous fulfilment of all his wishes. May the truth 
of the issue of Tibet prevail soon!

The Kashag
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
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