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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?"

His Holiness' Remarks on Tibet Misquoted: Office

October 30, 2008

October 29, 2008

New Delhi October 29 -- The office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
issued a clarification yesterday on remarks made by the Tibetan
leader at the TCV school's 48th founding anniversary on October 25.
His Holiness' office stated on its website that the remarks of the
Tibetan leader had been reported out of context in some media reports.

In its clarification, the Office of His Holiness said, "His Holiness
the Dalai Lama said that Tibetans have long been pursuing a path to
find a solution to the issue of Tibet that would be mutually
acceptable to Tibetans and Chinese. This has received widespread
appreciation from the international community, several governments
included. More importantly, it has gained the support of many Chinese

The office stated, "His Holiness went on to say that, unfortunately,
the Chinese leadership has so far not responded positively to our
overtures and does not seem interested in addressing the issue in a
realistic way. Beginning in March this year, a series of protests and
demonstrations erupted in Lhasa and in many other traditional Tibetan
areas. These were clearly a spontaneous expression of the Tibetan
people's deep-seated resentment and dissatisfaction over more than
five decades of repressive Chinese communist rule."

"Since the Chinese Government has accused His Holiness of
orchestrating these protests in Tibet, he called for a thorough
investigation to examine these allegations, even offering access to
Central Tibetan Administration files and records here in India. So
far, this offer has not been taken up, but the situation in Tibet
becomes graver by the day. Therefore, His Holiness said that it is
difficult for him to continue to shoulder such a heavy responsibility
when the present Chinese leadership does not seem to appreciate
simple truth, reason and common sense. In the absence of any positive
reciprocal response from the Chinese leadership, His Holiness feels
that if he cannot help find a solution, he would rather not hinder it
in any way. His Holiness feels that he cannot afford to pretend that
his persistent efforts to find a mutually satisfactory solution to
the Tibetan problem are bearing fruit."

Following is a translated excerpt from His Holiness' address to the
October 25 gathering posted on the official website of the Tibetan
government in exile.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Sino-Tibetan Relations and the Special
Meeting in November

-- An Excerpt from His Address During the 48th Founding Anniversary
of the Tibetan Children's Village on 25 October 2008

Recently Tibet has witnessed a crisis. Across the three traditional
provinces of Tibet, the Tibetan people courageously articulated their
discontentment with — and vented their long-simmering resentment
against — the Chinese government. The outburst was not just
restricted to the community of monks and nuns; it included believers
as well as non-believers of all ages, including Party members,
students, and even those Tibetan students who are studying in
Mainland China. Realistically, at that time there was no way for the
Chinese government to altogether ignore this fact and it should have
come up with measures that were appropriate to what was happening on
the ground. However it did not. Completely ignoring Tibetan
aspirations, it went ahead and cracked down upon the Tibetan
protestors, calling them various and sundry names such as
"Splittists", "Political Rebels".

At this critical moment when the great mass of our brothers and
sisters inside Tibet have made such great sacrifices, it would not do
for us living in the free world to remain silent or inactive — as
though we are oblivious to what was happening in our country.

Until now, we have adopted a position that is based on an endeavour
to benefit both the parties concerned. As such, it has gained the
appreciation of many countries across the world, including India.
Among Chinese intellectuals, in particular, there is a growing
support for this approach. These are indeed victories for us. To
bring about a positive change inside Tibet is not just our
fundamental duty; it is also our ultimate objective. The sad reality,
however, is that we have not been able to fulfil this objective.
Therefore when I made my first statement to the European parliament
in Strasbourg way back in 1988, I categorically mentioned that the
ultimate decision with regard to the issue of Tibet would be taken by
the general Tibetan public.

In 1993, direct contact between the Chinese government and us came to
an end. We once again held consultations with the general Tibetan
populace on the best possible way forward. It was decided, however,
to continue to follow the same position as before.

The common cause of Tibet concerns the welfare of the Tibetan people
as a whole. It is not at all an issue about my person. As such the
Tibetan people collectively should think over the issue of the common
good of Tibet and decide accordingly. Seen from a different angle, we
have from the very beginning committed ourselves to treading a
genuine path of democracy. On our part, we do not preach democracy
and practise autocracy. So, at this critical juncture whatever
suggestions, views and opinions the general Tibetan public have
should be thoroughly discussed. This should be done in a manner that
takes into account the best possible course for the realisation of
our fundamental cause, rather than for the glorification of
ideologies and policies of respective political parties or the simple
articulation of different political viewpoints.

All Tibetan people -- whether they belong to the laity or the
ecclesiastical community -- must work towards the sustenance of our
national identity. Generally speaking, the sustenance of the Tibetan
national identity is quite different from that of any other nations
or peoples on this planet. If the Tibetan national identity is
sustained well, its value systems — based as they are on the Buddhist
tenets of loving kindness and compassion — have an innate quality of
being beneficial for the whole of the world. Therefore, our struggle
for truth is not only related to the benefit of the six million
Tibetans, it is also closely related to our ability to provide a
certain amount of benefit to the entire world. Our struggle for
truth, thus, has reason behind it. If in the future the Tibetan
struggle for truth is amicably and properly resolved, it will
certainly help millions of people, including those in China, to
discover new prospects for leading a healthier, more meaningful life,
securing both mental and physical happiness.

On the other hand, if Tibet were to become a society that pursues
only material benefit -- as a result of China's complete obliteration
of Tibetan religion and culture, the very basis of which is
compassion — this will, instead of benefiting the Chinese people,
lead to their loss in the future. Therefore, this struggle of ours
is, in reality, beneficial to everyone involved. Realising this, we
should think over and discuss the ways and means available to us. I
am asking all of you to do so, because this is an issue that concerns
the common good of all of us Tibetans.

The Chinese government has accused me of inciting the recent unrest
in Tibet. As well as making direct representations to the Chinese
government, I have made public appeals that Beijing should provide a
detailed explanation on this matter. In these representations and
appeals, I have said that they can dispatch investigating teams to
Dharamsala to check the files of our departments and offices. I have
also said that they can go through the recorded tapes of my speeches
or statements to the new arrivals from Tibet. No investigating teams
have arrived thus far. But China continues to hurl criticism against me.

Taking these developments into account, it appears that my continuing
to hold on to this position is creating obstacles to the Tibet
problem, rather than helping resolve it. Therefore the issue of the
common good of Tibet would be better decided by the Tibetan people.
There is no need for me to interfere in this.

On 11 September I reached a decision that I can no longer bear this
responsibility. I see no useful purpose being served by my continuing
to take up this responsibility. However, if the Chinese leadership
honestly engages in talks, then I may be in a position to take up
this responsibility again. I will, then, sincerely engage with them.
It is very difficult to deal with people, who are not sincere. So I
say this very candidly to representatives of the media: I have faith
and trust in the Chinese people; however, my faith and trust in the
Chinese government is diminishing.

I have called upon the elected Tibetan leadership to discuss these
points at a special meeting. I feel this matter cannot be decided all
at once by the convening of such an extensive meeting. The principal
point, however, is that all the people should take responsibility,
should take a keen interest in the matter and should come up with the
ways and means, as well as practicable actions, for the realisation
of our cherished goal. In other words, all Tibetans should work
together in a spirit of collective responsibility to discuss the
matter before us, taking into full consideration the short- and
long-term benefit of the Tibetan people. However, the final or the
actual decision must be made by the Tibetan people.
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