Statement to All Tibetans (6 April 2008)

While extending my warm greetings to all the Tibetans in Tibet, I would like to share some of my thoughts.

1. Since
March 10 this year, we have witnessed protests and demonstrations in
almost all parts of Tibet, even in a few cities in Mainland China by
students, which are the outburst of long pent-up physical and mental
anguish of the Tibetans and the feeling of deep resentment against the
suppression of the rights of Tibetan people, lack of religious freedom
and for trying to distort the truth at every occasion, such as saying
that Tibetans look towards the Chinese Communist Party as the “Living
Buddha”, is an ultra leftist statement and smacks of Han chauvinism. I
am very much saddened and concerned by the use of arms to suppress the
peaceful demonstrations of Tibetan people’s aspirations that have
resulted in unrest in Tibet, causing many deaths, and much more
causalities, detention, and injury. Such suppression and suffering are
very unfortunate and tragic which will reduce any compassionate person
to tears. I, however, feel helpless in the face of these tragic
2. I pray for all the Tibetans as well as Chinese who have lost their lives during the current crisis.
3. The
recent protests all over Tibet have not only contradicted but also
shattered the People Republic of China’s propaganda that except for a
few “reactionaries”, the majority of Tibetans enjoy a prosperous and
contented life. These protests have made it very clear that Tibetans in
the three provinces of Tibet, U-tsang, Kham and Amdo, harbor the same
aspirations and hopes. These protests have also conveyed to the world
that the Tibet issue can no longer be neglected. These protests
highlight the need to find a way to resolve the issue through “finding
truth from facts”. The courage and determination of those Tibetans who
have, for the greater interests of Tibetan people, demonstrated their
deep anguish and hopes by risking everything is very commendable as the
world community has acknowledged and supported the spirit of these
4. I deeply appreciate the acts of many Tibetan
government employees and Communist Party cadres who have, without
losing their Tibetan identity, shown grit and sense of what is right
during the present crisis. In future, I would appeal to the Tibetan
Party cadres and government employees not to look always for their
personal benefit, but to work for safeguarding the larger interests of
Tibet by reporting the real sentiments of the Tibetan people to their
superiors in the Party and try to give unbiased guidance to the Tibetan
5. Presidents, Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers,
Nobel Laureates, Parliamentarians, and concerned citizens from every
part of the world have been sending clear and strong messages to the
Chinese leadership to stop the present ongoing harsh crackdown against
the Tibetan people. They have all been encouraging the Chinese
government to follow a path where a mutually beneficial solution could
be reached. We should create an opportunity for their efforts to bring
out positive results. I know you are being provoked at every level but
it is important to stick to our non-violent practice.
6. The Chinese authorities have been making false
allegations against myself and the Central Tibetan Administration for
instigating and orchestrating the recent events in Tibet. These
allegations are totally untrue. I have made repeated appeals for an
independent and respected international body to conduct a thorough
investigation into the matter. I am sure this independent body will
uncover the truth. If the People’s Republic of China has any basis and
proof of evidence to back their allegations, they need to disclose
these to the world. Just making allegations is not enough.
7. For the future of Tibet, I have decided to find
a solution within the framework of the People’s Republic of China.
Since 1974, I have sincerely remained steadfast to the mutually
beneficial Middle-Way Approach. The whole world knows this. The
Middle-Way Approach means that all Tibetans must be governed by similar
administration that enjoys meaningful National Regional Autonomy and
all the provisions in it, self-rule and full decision-making, except
for matters concerning foreign relations and national defense. However,
I have said it from the beginning that the Tibetans in Tibet have the
right to make the final decision for the future of Tibet.
8. The hosting of the Olympic games this year is a
matter of great pride to the 1.2 billion Chinese people. I have from
the very beginning supported the holding of these Games in Beijing. My
position on this remains unchanged. I feel the Tibetans should not
cause any hindrance to the Games. It is the legitimate right of every
Tibetan to struggle for their freedoms and rights. On the other hand,
it will be futile and not helpful to anyone if we do something that
will create hatred in the minds of the Chinese people. On the contrary,
we need to foster trust and respect in our hearts in order to create a
harmonious society, as this cannot be built on the basis of force and
9. Our struggle is with a few in the leadership of
the People’s Republic of China and not with the Chinese people.
Therefore we should never cause misunderstanding or do something that
will hurt the Chinese people. Even during this difficult situation,
many Chinese intellectuals, writers and lawyers in Mainland China and
other parts of the world have sympathized and shown us their solidarity
by issuing statements, writing articles and offering pledges of support
that is overwhelming. I have recently issued an appeal to the Chinese
people all over the world on 28th March, which I hope you will hear and
10. If the present situation in Tibet continues, I
am very much concerned that the Chinese government will unleash more
force and increase the suppression of Tibetan people. Because of my
moral obligation and responsibility to the Tibetan people, I have
repeatedly asked the concerned leadership of the PRC to immediately
stop their suppression in all parts of Tibet and withdraw its armed
police and troops. If this brings result, I would also advise the
Tibetans to stop all the current protests.
11. I want to urge my fellow Tibetans who live in
freedom outside Tibet to be extra vigilant as they voice their feelings
on the developments in Tibet. We should not engage in any action that
could be even remotely interpreted as violent. Even under the most
provocative of situations we must not allow our most precious and
deeply held values to be compromised. I firmly believe that we will
achieve success through our non-violent path. We must be wise to
understand where the unprecedented affection and support for our cause
stems from.
12. As Tibet is currently virtually closed and no
international media is allowed there, I doubt my message will reach the
Tibetans in Tibet. But I hope through media and by word of mouth, it
will be passed on to the majority of you.
13. Finally, I want to reiterate and appeal once
again to Tibetans to practice non-violence and not waver from this
path, however serious the situation might be.

The Dalai Lama


April 6, 2008

(N.B. Translated from the Tibetan original)

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