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<-Back to WTN Archives There is no change in my stand on Tibet's future, says Takna Jigme = Sangpo (TibetNet)
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World Tibet Network News

Published by the Canada Tibet Committee

Thursday, March 18, 2004

2. There is no change in my stand on Tibet's future, says Takna Jigme = Sangpo (TibetNet)


The septuagenarian former political prisoner Takna Jigme Sangpo had =
spent the longest term in Chinese prison as a political prisoner. After =
his release on medical parole, he spoke at various forums on the issue =
of Tibet and human rights in China. Thirty seven years behind bars has =
not deterred the spirit of this bearded old man. Feeble physically yet =
full of mental strength, he spoke to reporters after his arrival in =
Dharamsala on 16 March. Excerpts....=20

Takna - I first got an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama during =
the Kalachakra Initiation in Austria. For me it was a mixed feeling of =
both happiness and sorrow. I could not even open my mouth to talk to =
him. Now Dharamsala, being the base of the exile Tibetan government, has =
become a second Lhasa, Tibet's capital. I couldn't come to Dharamsala =
earlier as I had problems with my health due to my long-term =
imprisonment in Lhasa.=20

Although I had the opportunity to see His Holiness twice but I was eager =
to see the base of the Tibetan government in exile before I die. So I =
decided to come here. I am really pleased and I thank Gu Chu Sum =
movement (movement of former political prisoners) for providing me with =
such a great hospitality. I feel tired today and need to take rest. I =
know His Holiness is giving teachings these days. So I am very happy and =
eager to attend the teachings from tomorrow. I have certain things to =
tell His Holiness the Dalai Lama.=20

I am thinking of leaving Dharamsala after a few months. Most people in =
the west, especially the youngsters, are busy with their work that it =
becomes very difficult for me to keep contacts and work with them. But =
here, there are a lot of Tibetans with whom I can talk and work =
together, so I am thinking of staying for a longer period. When I left =
Switzerland, I thought Dharamsala would be like Tibet's capital Lhasa =
because I heard from so many people that it is known as little Lhasa. I =
am really happy and pleased to see Dharamsala because it is the abode of =
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual and temporal leader and =
an apostle of world peace. Besides, it is the base of the Tibetan =
government in exile. It is a great achievement that the Kashag and its =
offices have been set up here in Dharamsala. In Lhasa, although the =
Chinese have made some progress, Tibetan language and culture have been =
destroyed. They are on the brink of extinction. I totally agree with =
what the late Panchen Lama said, "the Chinese have made a lot of =
economic progress in Tibet, but if you compare the development and the =
destruction of Tibet's language and culture, you will realise that Tibet =
has lost more than it had gained from the Chinese rule". That is why a =
lot of Tibetans, including me, have come here in exile. So, it is really =
good to see Dharamsala, with its exile government set up in the lap of =
snow capped mountains. Moreover, the forest of Dharamsala reminds me of =
Kongpo (smiles)=20

Question - Have your political stand changed? What are your views on His =
Holiness the Dalai Lama's middle way approach of seeking genuine =
autonomy for the three traditional provinces of Tibet within the =
framework of People's Republic of China.=20

Takna - I am not in a position to comment in detail on His Holiness the =
Dalai Lama's middle way policy. As far as I am concerned I haven't =
changed my political stand because I have struggled for Tibet's =
independence for 37 years in prison. Because Tibet's struggle is based =
on truth and justice, I believe that truth and justice will triumph one =
day. But in the meantime we will face a lot of problems and obstacles. =
We have faced such problems in the past and will continue to face in the =
future as well. Tibet's struggle is a long-term struggle and can't be =
solved within a short period of time. In the past the Chinese consider =
His Holiness only a religious figure, so they think His Holiness works =
only for the promotion of human rights through out the world. They used =
to say that His Holiness could not work for any political cause. But the =
Chinese started taking His Holiness seriously when intellectuals and =
leaders of the world placed great importance to the political views of =
His Holiness, even considering him a sort of political expert. The =
Chinese even used to say: "oh the Dalai Lama is really a unique man". =
So, I also take His Holiness' views very seriously. But I am a very =
stubborn man and do not change my political stand. I will continue to =
struggle for Tibet's independence till my last breath. But when I =
arrived here, I realised that His Holiness' solution to Tibet's problem =
is to achieve genuine autonomy for the three traditional provinces of =
Tibet, whereby Tibetans will have freedom to pursue economic development =
and promote their identity and culture within the overall framework of =
the People's Republic of China. I believe His Holiness has great =
knowledge and wisdom on both political and religious issues. His middle =
way policy of resolving the Tibet-China problem is a pragmatic approach, =
and it is for the benefit of both Tibet and China. China is presently =
undergoing drastic changes and the present leaders of the People's =
Republic of China are not ideologically driven and hard core like Mao. =
So I believe the leaders of the People's Republic of China will surely =
consider the middle way approach of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, keeping =
in view the recent visits of Tibetan delegation to China and Tibet.=20

Question - Any message for fellow Tibetans in Tibet?=20

The Chinese systemically destroys Tibet's culture and tradition. There =
is also gross violation of human rights in Tibet. The Chinese talk a lot =
of human rights. But the main issue is of political rights. They are =
trying to manipulate the Tibetan people in Tibet by ignoring the main =
political issue. I know and am sure Tibetans in Tibet can not be =
manipulated. In the past a lot of Tibetans have sacrificed their lives =
for the sake of Tibet's independence. I appeal to my fellow Tibetans in =
Tibet to continue their struggle against the Chinese occupation I =
strongly feel and hope that all of you and those in Tibet would continue =
with our struggle for independence.=20

Articles in this Issue:
  1. ATPD's Seventh Session Begins (TN)
  2. There is no change in my stand on Tibet's future, says Takna Jigme = Sangpo (TibetNet)
  3. Dutch People Show Their Concern for Tibet (ICT)

Other articles this month - WTN Index - Mail the WTN-Editors

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