The Statement of the Kashag on the 47th Anniversary of the Tibetan Democracy Day

On this special occasion of 47th anniversary of the establishment of Tibetan Democratic polity, founded on harmonious blend of spiritual and political values, the Kashag of the Central Tibetan Administration offers deep gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Kashag also extends its warm greetings to all the Tibetans in and outside Tibet, and the governments, parliaments, non-governmental organisations, Tibet Support Groups and the international community who are supportive of Tibet and the Tibetans.

Under the supreme leadership and guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan exile community has been able to accomplish all the external conditions that would facilitate its march onto the path of true democracy under the framework of the Charter. The Charter provides for the institutionalisation of not only the organisational set-up required for our democracy, including the legislature, the executive and the judiciary, but also the entire system of electing the members of parliament and the Kalon Tripa. However, the necessary internal conditions of liberal mindset, respect for equality and democratic culture among the populace are often felt not up to the mark. Therefore, the Kashag urges all Tibetans to make every effort to improve and bring about positive changes this regard.

The separation and the division of power among the legislative, executive and judicary are the foundation of democracy. It is a crucial point for the development of democracy to implement in practice the system of check and balance among these organs as provided in the Charter.

Especially, in case of party-less democratic system which we are implementing, there must be a unique system of check and balance among the three pillars of democracy. Since both the legislature and the executive are having direct mandate of the people, there is a need to have a delicate and sensible interaction between the two. If we still remain in experimental stage then it will be difficult to accomplish the aspirations of the people.

The ultimate responsibility and power for any activities of a popular government – established for the people by the people themselves – lies in the hand of the people itself. Therefore, it is very important to have proper and constant supervision over entire system of the Central Tibetan Administration by the people.

Democratic duty of a citizen is not accomplished by simply electing their leaders and the members of the Parliament. A true democratic civilisation is to create a civil society where there is equality, cooperation, mutual assistance and collective responsibility in the livelihood of a society. For the sake of this, more genuine non-governmental organisations and autonomous institutions are needed who doesn’t depend upon the government and functions independently without any interference or manipulation by the government. The Kashag’s effort in making NGOs free from relying upon the government and emphasising their autonomous character has been misread by some as paying less importance or under estimating them. This reflects the lack of true democratic culture in our society. Moreover, it is morally wrong for those who pursue different political position than that of the official one, to imply in speech or gesture of having internal consensus with the government or enjoying government’s support in implicit. On this occasion of Democracy Day, the Kashag categorically clarifies the fact that CTA never indulges in interfering and making use of or providing internal guidance or assistance etc. to any of the NGOs. Similarly, the NGOs should take complete responsibility or credit for any activity they carry out related to political, social, religion and culture. There is no need to drag the institutions of government in it directly, indirectly or by other means.

Another important feature of democracy is the rule of law. Hence, all Tibetans must follow and respect the Charter and other rules and regulations of the exile administration. Especially, it is inevitable part of our democratic process not to violate the law of the host country also.

As everyone knows, since last May, some concerned officials of the People’s Republic of China have caused great deal of harm to the atmosphere of our dialogue process by engaging in all kind of activities which create strong disappointment and resentment to all Tibetans. These actions have not only shocked the international community utterly, but it also led to the delaying of the sixth round of meetings for quite some time. The sixth round of meetings was held two months ago and the contents of which were made public by the Special Envoy Lodi G. Gyari, the head of the Tibetan Delegation, in his press statement issued on 7th July 2007. Therefore it is not necessary to repeat it here. In gist, whether the dialogue process will move forward or not rests solely in the hands of the People’s Republic of China as we have clearly identified the necessary actions to implement. The Kashag would like to reiterate that as far as His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration are concerned, there is no change in our policy of Middle-Way Approach, irrespective of whether the dialogue process moves forward or not.

Without eschewing their religious belief and sense of national identity, the Tibetan people across the length of Tibet have remained steadfast in resisting the forces of oppression with great courage and valour. Particularly in the recent incident in Lithang, Ronngye A’drak articulated the views and aspirations of the Tibetan people in a peaceful manner sacrificing his life and wealth. This momentous deed of Ronngye A’drak will remain forever in the annals of Tibetan history. It goes without saying that the Tibetan people in and outside of Tibet, as well as the people of the world deeply appreciate and express solidarity for him. We believe that the people and the countries who cherish the sanctity of justice will make every possible effort to save his life.

Last month, Beijing fired more than 50 Tibetan party secretaries in the Tibetan areas and replaced them by cadres from elsewhere in China. Beijing also severely criticised the Tibetan party leaders and cadres who have not taken a firm position on the campaign to denounce His Holiness the Dalai Lama. These measures are a clear sign of growing desperation among the Chinese leadership at present. These also confirm the fallacy of Chinese propaganda claiming that in accordance with the Law on National Regional Autonomy, the Tibetans constitute a high portion of party cadres in the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region and other Tibetan autonomous prefectures and Counties – the same was reiterated with rosy figures during our dialogue also. However, the truth of the matter is that the views of the Tibetan people can never be changed by force or deceit, nor can their faith in His Holiness the Dalai Lama be undermined by any means.

Another clear indication of desperation among the Chinese leaders is the Beijing’s recent order on Management Measures for the Recognition of the ‘Living Buddhas’, which is against the constitution of the People’s Republic of China, Law on Regional National Autonomy, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, history and tradition, and above all, the aspiration of the general Tibetan populace. Even though, this order is not worth an intellectual analysis, but to put the records straight, the Department of Religion and Culture of the Central Tibetan Administration and the heads of all the four religious traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and the tradition Bon religion will issue a joint statement of repudiation.

According to reliable sources, special work team constituted by certain divisions of the PRC government recently formulated various action plans to harm the Tibetan people. One of these plans is to disrupt the unity of Tibetan people by contriving disagreement amongst the institutions, organisations and individuals in and outside Tibet. They have in particular, plotted important action plans to engineer conflicts between Tibetans and the local populace in the exile Tibetan community. Therefore, the Kashag would like to strongly appeal to all the Tibetans to maintain internal unity, identifying these devious schemes of the other side, and prevent conflicts with the local populace by being sensible and cautious.

Recently on the night of August 13, some inconsiderate residents of McLeod Ganj made intense effort to stir conflicts. However, as the sensible Tibetans responded by exercising restraint to the situation, the mischievous few were left out of options. Such behaviour that conforms to the moral values of the Tibetan people are something we should take pride in and the Kashag would like to thank each Tibetan who exercised restraint on that night. We hope and believe that every Tibetan will continue to exhibit the same values in the future as well. Similarly, a majority of local residents did not stand behind the mischievous few but made all efforts to diffuse the situation. We would like to express our hearty appreciation to them and hope that they will do the same in future also.

Dharamsala being the residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the seat of the Central Tibetan Administration, it is the most important among all the places where Tibetans reside in exile. Everybody should, therefore, understand the need for a close bonding between the local populace and the Tibetan exiles is not merely a social need, but also a crucial political requisite. Towards this end, the Central Tibetan Administration has been initiating various programmes to forge an appropriate level of liaison with the local political leaders, the government officials, important dignitaries, and particularly, heads of villages around Dharamsala. We urge all the concerned Tibetans to enthusiastically participate in these programmes.

Although this year is the actual obstacle year for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, more than half of the year has already passed with His Holiness showing not even a minor sign of obstacles. This has been largely due to the fruition of the collective merit of Tibetan people in and outside Tibet. We, therefore, would like to urge all Tibetans to pray continuously in the remaining months of this obstacle year, for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the perpetuation of this great service; engage in as many merit-earning activities as possible; and make all round efforts to follow the advices of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Finally, I pray for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the spontaneous fulfillment of all his wishes. I also pray that the truth of the issue of the Tibet prevail soon.

The Kashag 2nd September 2007

Note: translated from theTibetan original

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