The West must force China to give Tibet genuine autonomy,
says Michael C Davis
After years of talking to Tibetan exiles about conditions in
their homeland, Chinese officials have made it clear that they
were not serious. Unless the international community adopts a
coordinated position on Tibet's autonomy this may not bode well
for either Tibet or for China's relations with the world.
During the March uprising in Tibet, Chinese officials were
pushed to reopen six-year-old discussions with the Dalai Lama.
Deng Xiaoping had years ago said "anything was negotiable except
independence", and Tibetans had long ago abandoned their earlier
claim to independence in favour of autonomy. With no progress
after six rounds of discussions, Deng's words rang hollow and
the Dalai Lama had largely given up on Beijing. The tragic March
crackdown moved him to try again in talks in May, July and
November. After years of talking to Tibetan exiles about
conditions in their homeland, Chinese officials have made it
clear that they were not serious about it. Unless the
international community adopts a coordinated position on Tibet's
autonomy this may not bode well for either Tibet or for China's
relations with the world. After the Olympics, however, the
Chinese remained indifferent and talks broke down. In the past
couple week, Chinese public pressure to stop European leaders
from meeting the Dalai Lama has created a problem that will
surely not go away. Though European leaders ignored such
pressure this time, the international community needs to develop
a coordinated response to reject such bullying and encourage a
Chinese indifference was on display in the recent breakdown.
After a July Chinese request that Tibetans outline under the PRC
constitution the autonomy they seek, Tibetan representatives
produced a "Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan
People". The memorandum elaborates that Tibetan "aspirations"
for autonomy in 11 policy areas, including language, culture,
religion, education, environmental protection, utilisation of
natural resources, economic development and trade, public health,
public security, population migration and cultural, educational
and religious exchanges with other countries. All of these are
covered by existing unfulfilled national ethnic autonomy
policies enacted under Article 4 of the PRC Constitution, except
those relating to public security, migration and external
exchanges, which appear instead to track the Article 31 "one
country, two systems" Hong Kong formula.
The Chinese government has long refused to apply Article 31
to Tibet, though the language of the article offers no
justification for this. Such a model is believed to have been
fashioned after the failed 1950 Sino-Tibetan "17-point
Agreement", under which China originally committed to Tibetan
autonomy. Though a few outside critics have criticised the
Tibetan for demanding too much, no reason is offered as to why
they should accept less than genuine autonomy. Because of
China's refusal to provide a significant degree of autonomy
under its ethnic minority laws, Tibetans have proposed a hybrid
combining elements of both formulas.
Similar to Hong Kong, their proposal includes a specification
that local laws within the scope of autonomy not be subject to
central approval ~ as now required in minority areas ~ and that
the terms of their agreement with the central government not be
subject to the central government's unilateral amendment. They
further seek Hong Kong-style control over immigration into the
Tibetan areas and local public security, as well as control over
external relations in non-sensitive commercial and cultural
areas. Such autonomy is expected for indigenous peoples under
international practice, as is spelt out in the 2007 UN
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Tibetans have also proposed to unify contiguous Tibetan areas.
Chinese officials frequently emphasise that this would
constitute one-quarter of the landmass of the present day PRC.
These large, mostly mountainous, and often arid areas are in
fact already designated as Tibetan areas by the PRC ~ being
divided into 13 contiguous areas instead of one. This proposal,
like all others, is subject to negotiation, which China has so
To everyone's dismay, the Tibetan memorandum only met with
Beijing's derision and became the basis for the worldwide
campaign of isolation. It seems the discussions were only
designed to smoke out and block Tibetan aspirations. In the
Chinese official statement issued on 10 November 2008, the
Tibetan request for "genuine autonomy" is treated as a request
for "a high degree of autonomy," as promised to Hong Kong. China
accuses Tibetans, in seeking such "high degree of autonomy", of
seeking "half-independence" and "covert independence". No
explanation is given why the exact same language applied to Hong
Kong means only autonomy. The Tibetans are further accused of
continuing to "collude with such dregs as "democracy activists",
and eastern Turkistan terrorists, though no evidence of this is
given. In seeking control over Chinese migration into Tibet, the
Dalai Lama is accused of "ethnic cleansing".
The exile government is characterised as a "small group of
splittists", and the meetings are cast as private meetings
designed to persuade the Dalai Lama to "give up his splitting
activities". The statement declared, "We never discussed the
so-called 'Tibet issue'" and will "never make a concession".
Despite China's dismissive attitude, a large mid-November
Tibetan exile meeting in Dharamsala, India, decided to continue
efforts at genuine autonomy ~ determined to suspend this
fruitless series of talks and find more effective nonviolent
That this problem will persist is made clear by recent
Chinese bullying of foreign leaders not to meet the Dalai Lama.
To dissuade French and current EU President Nicolas Sarkozy from
meeting the Dalai Lama, China called off a December Sino-EU
summit slated to discuss the financial crisis. Similar bullying
tactics have targeted Germany, the UK, the US, the Vatican,
Poland, India and the Czech Republic ~ the latter being next
scheduled to take up the EU presidency.
As with the fiasco over the Olympic torch last summer,
Chinese bloggers have again called for a boycott of French goods.
While Chinese officials cautioned people to react "calmly",
their tendency to manipulate such nationalist outbursts is
transparent. They may, however, be cool to a Chinese boycott of
French goods, given the risk that Europeans could react in kind
or Tibetans could react by calling for a global boycott of
Chinese goods ~ probably a more daunting prospect for the
Chinese than for the other side. The Dalai Lama is clearly
winning the battle for hearts and minds in the West.
A recent public opinion poll on the popularity of world
leaders, commissioned by the International Herald Tribune, found
the Dalai Lama was the most respected world leader among Western
Europeans and Americans. The Chinese leader languished near the
bottom. Perhaps Beijing has not fully considered the cost of
their unseemly attacks on this revered Tibetan monk. Of course,
Western business leaders concerned about Chinese trade sanctions
stand on the other side, posing a difficult dilemma for Western
leaders. Do they have the moral integrity to meet with the Dalai
Lama in the face of China's condemnation and possible commercial
Coordinated effort by leaders worldwide may be the only way
to cut the cost of such political virtue. This should not be
conceived as conspiracy, but rather as an effort to maintain an
open door to the Dalai Lama and reject Chinese efforts to
isolate him. This should be accompanied by constructive efforts
to help China to better understand its international obligations
to this indigenous minority.
(The writer is a professor of law at the Chinese
University of Hong Kong)
(Reprinted with permission from YaleGlobal.com)
Kashag Welcomes UN Chief's Tibet Remarks and Reaffirms Its
Commitment to Dialogue
The Kashag welcomes the remarks made by Mr. Ban-ki Moon, the
Secretary-General of the UN, saying that "I hope the Chinese
authorities will continue to resolve all these issues through
dialogue. The dialogue started some time ago between the
representatives of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese Government. I
hope this will continue in a sincere manner so that all the
concerns coming from Tibet will be resolved smoothly and
These forthright remarks by the Secretary General of the
world body indicate the concerns of the international community
as whole on the current sad state of Tibet. We believe that such
remarks will serve as an impetus for the Chinese authorities to
resolve the issue of Tibet to the satisfaction of the Tibetan
and the Chinese people.
At the same time, we are dismayed by the remarks made in
response to the Secretary General's comments by the Chinese
foreign ministry's statement saying that the door to dialogue is
still open while reiterating many pre-conditions that make it
impossible for the dialogue process to move forward.
The statement said, "The key is whether the Dalai Lama
examines and corrects his political stance, abandons his
wrongful position on 'Tibetan independence' and genuinely
matches his words with actions."
In fact, this attitude of the Chinese authorities is the real
obstacle to the advancement of the dialogue process. This
attitude is the one that firmly closes the door for further
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has committed himself to the
Middle-Way Approach since 1979. His Holiness is not seeking
Tibet's separation from China. Therefore His Holiness has no
reason to correct his political stance. All his actions
absolutely match his words. The whole world knows His Holiness
the Dalai Lama's position of not seeking Tibetan independence
for last three decades. Therefore, the PRC's assertion about
wrong position on Tibetan independence is absolutely baseless
and unsustainable. Their imagination about His Holiness’
position on Tibetan independence shows either they want to
distort His Holiness the Dalai Lama's intention for their
political purpose or their lack of will to address the problem
of Tibet. Nothing is farther from truth in saying that His
Holiness the Dalai Lama is seeking Tibetan independence or
semi-independence or independence in disguise. However, we are
confident that such obvious untruthful statement can not mislead
or fool the enlightened international community.
During the latest round of talks held in Beijing in November,
the two envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Mr. Lodi Gyari
and Mr. Kelsang Gyaltsen, presented, at the instance of the
Chinese counterpart during the earlier meeting, a memorandum on
genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people. The memorandum puts
forth the Tibetan position on genuine autonomy and how the
specific needs of the Tibetan nationality for autonomy and
self-government can be met through application of the principles
on autonomy of the constitution of the People's Republic of
China. On this basis, His Holiness the Dalai Lama felt confident
that the basic needs of the Tibetan nationality can be met
through genuine autonomy within the constitution of the PRC. Now
that the memorandum has been made public, any sensible person
can verify from the document whether His Holiness the Dalai Lama
is seeking independence or semi-independence or independence in
This is to reiterate that we are sincere in our commitment to
the dialogue process and are serious that the issue of Tibet be
resolved within the framework of the Chinese constitution for
the benefit of both Tibetans and Chinese people. Therefore, we
are always ready to have dialogue with PRC at anytime, anywhere
if the PRC authorities wish to do so.
December 18, 2008
Secretary-General's press conference
Geneva, Switzerland, 12 December 2008
SG: Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, it is a
real pleasure to see you. I am particularly pleased to be able
to come to Geneva and share some time with you as we are coming
to the close of this year. It will be a good opportunity for us
to see what has gone and what will be lying ahead next year.
Thank you very much for taking time. I know that these will be
very busy days for all of you.
I will make a brief statement and then will be able to take
Q: M. le Secr¨¦taire g¨¦n¨¦ral, ce ne sont pas les sujets de
pr¨¦occupation qui vous manquent, mais je voudrais aborder un
th¨¨me que vous n¡¯avez pas ¨¦voqu¨¦, c¡¯est celui du Tibet. En
avril dernier vous avez lanc¨¦ un appel pour que les
conversations s¡¯engagent entre les tib¨¦tains et les chinois.
Ces conversations sont dans l¡¯impasse. Est-ce que vous pensez
prendre une initiative pour les relancer? Merci
[Mr. Secretary ¨ | g ¨ silence | n ¨ | general, these are not
the subjects of pr ¨ | occupation that you are missing, but I
would like to address a th ¨ me that you don ¡¯ have not ¨ |
voque ¨ | C ¡¯ is that of Tibet. Last April you launched ¨ | a
call that ¡¯ s conversations between Tib engage ¨ | and some
Chinese. These conversations are in the ¡¯ impasse. Do you think
taking an initiative to revive? Thank you]
SG: This is an issue which has raised many concerns in the
international community. I hope the Chinese Authorities will
continue to resolve all these issues through dialogue. The
dialogue started some time ago between the representatives of
the Dalai Lama and the Chinese Government. That was a good move,
an encouraging move by the Chinese Authorities. I hope this will
continue in a sincere manner so that all the concerns coming
from Tibet will be resolved smoothly and harmoniously.
UN CHIEF URGES CHINA TO CONTINUE TIBET DIALOGUE
Friday, December 12, 2008
GENEVA (AFP) — United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday
called on China to continue its dialogue with representatives of
the Tibetan leader-in-exile the Dalai Lama.
"I hope the Chinese authorities will continue to resolve this
issue through dialogue," Ban told journalists.
China said last month that talks on the future of Tibet had
failed to make progress and insisted it would not compromise on
the status of the Himalayan region.
"Our contacts and talks failed to make progress and they (the
Dalai Lama's representatives) should assume full responsibility
for it," said Zhu Weiqun, executive vice minister of the
Communist Party's United Work Front Department.
But Ban said he hoped the dialogue would continue "in a
sincere manner, so all the concerns concerning Tibet will be
resolved smoothly and harmoniously."
In March, protests against Chinese rule in the Tibetan
capital, Lhasa, erupted into violence that spread to other areas
of western China with Tibetan populations.
Tibet's government-in-exile said more than 200 Tibetans were
killed in a subsequent Chinese crackdown.
Ban would not be drawn on the recent meeting between the
Dalai Lama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy which has
provoked a furious response from Beijing.
China is against any foreign leaders meeting with the Dalai
Lama, whom it accuses of seeking independence for Tibet -- a
claim the Nobel Peace Prize laureate denies, saying he wants
meaningful autonomy for the Himalayan region
His Holiness the Dalai Lama Lauds Chinese Activists Call for
Democracy in China
I am greatly encouraged by the launching of a Charter ’08 by
academics, artists, farmers and lawyers in China on the occasion
of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights. Their call for political, legal and constitutional
reform is admirable.
I personally believe that President Hu Jintao’s call for a
harmonious society is a laudable initiative that can provide
space to the viewpoints being expressed by a growing number of
Chinese people. A harmonious society can only come into being
when there is trust among the people, freedom from fear, freedom
of expression, rule of law, justice and equality.
I would like to urge the Chinese leadership to consider
making efforts to bring about unity and stability in a civilized
I would also like to take this opportunity to call upon the
government of the People’s Republic of China to release
prisoners of conscience, including Hu Jia, who have been
detained for exercising their freedom of expression.
THE DALAI LAMA
Friday, December 12, 2008
In occupied Tibet - appalling Human Rights situation
Turin, 10 December: As the world celebrates today 60th
anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Amnesty
International in collaboration with Region of Piemonte, Italy
organised a day long programme in which human rights activists
from Tibet, Uganda, Chile and Mexico were invited to share their
The speakers spoke on issues relating to killing of women in
Mexico, torture in Chile, Child soldier in Uganda and cultural
genocide in Tibet.
Tenzin Samphel KAYTA from Tibet Bureau, Geneva told the
hall-packed audience that Tibet was independent before Communist
China took control all over Tibet in 1959. Over 1.2 million
Tibetans, one fifth of Tibet population died as the direct
result of the invasion. More than 6’000 monasteries were smashed
to ground. Although Chinese constitution guarantees religious
freedom, freedom of expression etc, Tibetan people have been
deprived of these rights. Chinese government enforced patriotic
education campaign in which monks and nuns are forced to vilify
His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Possessing photo of His Holiness
the Dalai Lama is illegal. This campaign not only targeted in
monasteries but also extends to lay people.
Since Tibetan children are denied proper education in Tibet,
every year around 2’500 to 3’000 children risk their live by
crossing treacherous Himalayan Mountain to India in order to
receive better education.
Since March this year, Tibetan people inside Tibet
courageously and spontaneously roused up against Chinese
government for its 49 years of misrule and discriminatory
policies. The peaceful protestors were discriminately shot by
Chinese armed police leaving over 200 dead, over 6000 injured
and more a thousand disappeared as of today. At present, Tibet
including Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai remain under de
facto martial law. Huge military personnel have been stationed
in and around monasteries as well as in Lhasa and imposed strict
Also the Chinese government have put in place heavy
surveillance on phone conversation and internet. No independent
tourist or journalists are allowed into Tibet. In such
deplorable situation, Mr. Kayta appealed to the international
community for their help to protect those helpless Tibetan
inside Tibet. Finally, he thanked the local government, Amnesty
International, Association Italy- Tibet and Tibetan sympathizers
for their wholehearted support for just Tibetan cause. The
documentary film “Leaving Fear Behind” was also screened after
the conference. Over 200 people including president of Regional
Council, town officials were present during the conference.
The Statement of the Kashag on the Nineteenth Anniversary of
the Conferment of the Nobel Peace Prize on His Holiness the
Today, as we commemorate the confluence of the nineteenth
anniversary of the conferment of the Nobel Peace Prize on His
Holiness the Dalai Lama, the International Human Rights Day, and
the Himalayan Festival, the Kashag extends its warm regards and
greetings to the Tibetans in and outside Tibet, as well as to
all the peace-loving people of the world.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama this morning had breakfast
meeting with Mr. Karel Schwarzenberg, Czech Foreign Minister at
the Foreign Ministry.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
and Czech Foreign Minister, Karel Schwarzenberg boarding the
Government plane leaving for Brussels, Belgium.
In welcoming His Holiness, the Foreign Minister said, “It is
the greatest honour for us and we also need a bit of spiritual
In response, His Holiness said, “I appreciate the Czech
people, Government, President Havel, Parliament and Forum2000
for your support and always showing genuine concern and sympathy.”
“This moment in history, we are passing through difficult
moment. Tibetan Nation is passing through death sentence.
Tibetan culture is being eliminates. The Chinese Government sees
Tibetan culture as a threat”, His Holiness said.
It was a open and friendly meeting which lasted one hour.
After the meeting, His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s motorcade
drove to the Prague’s military airport. From their His Holiness
the Dalai Lama flew together with the Czech Foreign Minister
together on their Government’s military plane to Brussels.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Prague, Czech Rep.
Tibet is facing a
PRAGUE, 1 December – Tibet is facing a death sentence,
said His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his visit to
Prague, Czech Republic. His Holiness said that his faith
towards the Chinese government is thinner and thinner
and thinner but had great faith in the people of China.
Communique of the Special International Tibet Support Groups
Monday, 1 December 2008, 12:15 p.m.
Delhi: The Special International Tibet Support Groups
Meeting, held in India, the second home of the Tibetan people,
concluded today with a strong call to action, condemnation of
the PRC’s intransigent approach on Tibet, and an expression of
solidarity with the Tibetan people at a time of crisis.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama had asked Tibet supporters
attending the Special International TSG Meeting, called by the
Core Group for Tibetan Cause, India, to “provide suggestions to
our elected leadership on the best possible course for the
realisation of the Tibetan people’s fundamental aspirations”.
The gathering followed the Special General Meeting of the
Tibetan People held in Dharamsala, base of the Tibetan
government in exile, from 17-22 November.
The Special TSG meeting opened with one minute’s silence for
those who have died in Tibet, particularly since the uprising
from 10 March 2008 onwards, and for those killed in the recent
terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
More than 100 delegates from over 30 countries expressed a
sense of urgency due to the brutal crackdown in Tibet and the
Chinese government’s recent propaganda offensive following talks
with the Dalai Lama’s representatives. Continued commitment to a
non-violent approach and support for the Tibetan people’s right
to self-determination was agreed.
Outrage was expressed at the Chinese government’s hardline
stance against the Dalai Lama, with particular reference to lack
of progress in talks with Chinese officials. Participants
pledged to support Tibetans in seeking a new framework for
engagement. They welcomed the fact that the Memorandum of
Genuine Autonomy had been made public by the Dalai Lama’s
representatives prior to the Special Meeting in Dharamsala in
During lively and intense debate, many delegates pressed for
the Tibetan government in exile to reassess the Middle Way
approach (which currently seeks genuine autonomy within the
framework of the PRC) in favour of independence if there is no
substantive improvement in the Tibetans’ situation in the near
future and sincere engagement from the Chinese side.
Delegates to the Special International TSG Meeting reaffirmed
their commitment to putting the needs and wishes of Tibetans in
Tibet first. They expressed heartfelt admiration for the great
courage of the Tibetan people in their peaceful resistance
across the plateau since March. The protests are a rejection by
the Tibetan people of Chinese rule in Tibet, expressing a
resentment that has built up over nearly 60 years since China’s
invasion and reached a breaking point. Through their dissent,
Tibetans are conveying the message that the Dalai Lama and the
Tibetan government in exile represent their interests, and not
the Chinese government. The meeting expressed profound concern
over the continuing suffering of the Tibetan people, now under
de facto martial law, and the delegates’ solidarity with
political prisoners and the families of the hundreds of
The meeting welcomed the recent Special General Meeting of
the Tibetan People, which provided opportunities for diverse
opinions from the Tibetan community to be openly expressed and
discussed. This was an important democratic forum that should be
continued in order to strengthen Tibetan institutions and civil
society in exile. Delegates noted that while the meeting was
held in exile, efforts were made to ascertain the views of
Tibetans in Tibet, despite an intense climate of fear and
Chinese government restrictions. The Special General Meeting
re-affirmed the solidarity of Tibetans from across the Tibetan
plateau, just as Tibetans in Tibet from all three provinces (U-Tsang,
Kham and Amdo) have demonstrated strong unity in their
assertions of Tibetan national, cultural and religious identity.
Delegates highlighted the 21st century relevance to the world
of the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual tradition and culture,
especially in terms of offering alternative ways forward for
The meeting re-affirmed TSG recognition of the Dalai Lama and
the Tibetan government in exile as the pre-eminent and
legitimate representatives of the Tibetan people. Delegates
agreed to continue to work to achieve formal recognition of the
Tibetan government in exile in the international community.
Delegates recognised the importance of preserving the
institution of the Dalai Lama, and acknowledged that the Dalai
Lama’s leadership extends to millions of Buddhists worldwide and
peoples of many different countries in the Himalayas, Mongolia
Delegates agreed to intensify their efforts in order to bring
an end to the injustices in Tibet. Advocacy work with
stake-holder governments in the region was discussed, including
protection of vulnerable Tibetans in Nepal at a time when the
Chinese government has stepped up its influence in the region.
Tibet is of tremendous geopolitical significance. Delegates also
agreed that awareness must be raised, particularly in Asia as a
matter of urgency, about Tibet’s critical importance as the
earth’s ‘third pole’ and a watershed of Asia’s great rivers
affecting millions of people.
It was noted that the Chinese political campaigns have led to
further unrest and increased tensions between Chinese and
Tibetans. There is a risk that this could intensify further in
the build-up to the 50th anniversary of the 10th March uprising
in 2009. There was particular commitment at the meeting for
developing new strategies for targeted outreach to the Chinese
people, particularly given the upsurge in anti-Tibetan sentiment
and Chinese nationalism as a result of distorted representations
of the situation in Tibet by the Chinese government.
Specific suggestions and recommendations on advocacy,
monitoring, campaign action, Chinese outreach and the dialogue
process will be presented to the Tibetan government in exile
following the meeting.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama to meet former Czech President
Prague: 28 November - His Holiness the Dalai Lama will
visit Prague, the capital of Czech Republic at the invitation of
former President Václav Havel and Forum2000 from 29 November to
1 December 2008.
This is the first visit to Europe by His Holiness the
Dalai Lama after the Beijing Olympics. After Prague, His
Holiness the Dalai Lama will travel to Brussels and to
During the visit, His Holiness will meet
President Václav Havel and address the Tibet Group in
the Czech Parliament on 1 December. His Holiness the
Dalai Lama will give a public talk - Compassion: The
Basis of Happiness on 30 November. The
public talk’s tickets were
sold out within two days in mid November. His Holiness’
public talk will be live webcast and visit
www.forum2000.cz for details.
Margherita Granbassi, who won a medal in Beijing Olympic,
will present her fencing mask to His Holiness the Dalai
Lama on 30 November in Prague. "I hope the same mask
that protected me in Beijing will help him protect his
people," said Granbassi.
Former President Havel was the first head of state to
extend an official invitation to His Holiness the Dalai
Lama after becoming the first democratically elected
President of Czechoslovak after the fall of Communism in
November 1989. In February 1990, His Holiness the Dalai
Lama visited Czechoslovak.
This is the seventh visit by His Holiness the Dalai
Lama to Czech Republic.
His Holiness The Dalai Lama extends his condolence towards
the terrorist attack victims in Mumbai
27 November 2008
His Excellency Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of the Republic of India
Prime Minister’s Office
I am deeply saddened and shocked by the series of deadly
attacks in different parts of Mumbai that has resulted in the
loss of many precious lives and injury to many others since last
night. I would like to convey my deep condolences to you and
through you to the members of the bereaved families as well as
to all those affected by these dastard acts.
I have always admired the resilience of the people of India
and have no doubt that they will not be deterred by such
anti-human activities. I would like to reiterate my solidarity
with the Indian people, particularly the people of Mumbai, as
you confront the menace of terrorism and violence.
With my prayers,
His Holiness the Dalai Lama meets with the Press
23 November 2008
Main Temple, Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala, India
His Holiness the Dalai Lama meets with members of the
Recommendations of the First Special General Meeting
Convened Under Article 59 of the Charter
The Private Office's letter addressed jointly to the Speakers
and the members of the Kashag (Cabinet), dated 11 September
2008, stated, "In order to hold an extensive discussion and
debate with regard to the Tibetan cause in the light of recent
emergency events in Tibet and the international scenario, His
Holiness the Dalai Lama wishes to convene a Special General
Meeting around November or December of this year under article
59 of the Charter. Timing and participants of the meeting should
be planned at the earliest by the Parliament and the Private
Office should be informed accordingly."
SUMMARY OF THE MEMORANDUM ON GENUINE AUTONOMY FOR THE
His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Special Envoy
Kasur Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari (2nd R) and Envoy Mr Kelsang Gyaltsen
(3rd R) address media on the 8th round of talks they had held
with the Chinese leadership between 30 October - 5 November in
China. Mr Thubten, secretary for Information (1st R) and Mr
Sonam N Dagpo, secretary for International Relations and one of
the senior assistant to the envoys are present at a press
conference in Dharamsala
During the seventh round of talks in Beijing on 1 and 2 July
2008, the Vice Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political
Consultative Conference and the Minister of the Central United
Front Work Department, Mr. Du Qinglin, explicitly invited
suggestions from His Holiness the Dalai Lama for the stability
and development of Tibet. The Executive Vice Minister of the
Central United Front Work Department, Mr. Zhu Weiqun, further
said they would like to hear our views on the degree or form of
autonomy we are seeking as well as on all aspects of regional
autonomy within the scope of the Constitution of the People's
Republic of China (PRC).
In recent days the Central United Front Work Department of
the Chinese Communist Party has issued statements about our
talks in Beijing and in particular about the content of the
memorandum we have presented to them. These Chinese statements
distort the position and proposal we have outlined in our paper.
In order to enable the public, concerned governments,
parliamentarians, non-governmental organisations and individuals
to gain a comprehensive and full understanding of the Tibetan
position on genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people, we are
releasing today the memorandum.
Our memorandum puts forth our position on genuine autonomy
and how the specific needs of the Tibetan nationality for
autonomy and self-government can be met through application of
the principles on autonomy of the Constitution of the People’s
Republic of China, as we understand them. On this basis, His
Holiness the Dalai Lama felt confident that the basic needs of
the Tibetan nationality can be met through genuine autonomy
within the PRC.
SUMMARY OF THE MEMORANDUM
The Constitution of the PRC contains fundamental principles
on autonomy and self-government whose objectives are compatible
with the needs and aspirations of the Tibetans. Regional
national autonomy is aimed at opposing both the oppression and
the separation of nationalities by rejecting both Han chauvinism
and local nationalism. It is intended to ensure the protection
of the culture and the identity of minority nationalities by
empowering them to become masters of their own affairs.
To a very considerable extent Tibetan needs can be met within
the constitutional principles on autonomy. On several points,
the Constitution gives significant discretionary powers to state
organs in decision-making and on the operation of the system of
autonomy. These discretionary powers can be exercised to
facilitate genuine autonomy for Tibetans in ways that would
respond to the uniqueness of the Tibetan situation. Given good
will on both sides, outstanding problems can be resolved within
the constitutional principles on autonomy. In this way national
unity and stability and harmonious relations between the Tibetan
and other nationalities will be established.
Tibetans have a rich and distinct history, culture and
spiritual tradition all of which form valuable parts of the
heritage of humanity. Not only do Tibetans wish to preserve
their own heritage, which they cherish, but equally they wish to
further develop their culture and spiritual life and knowledge
in ways that are particularly suited to the needs and conditions
of humanity in the 21st century.
As a part of the multi-national state of the PRC, Tibetans
can benefit greatly from the rapid economic and scientific
development the country is experiencing. While wanting to
actively participate and contribute to this development, we want
to ensure that this happens without the people losing their
Tibetan identity, culture and core values and without putting
the distinct and fragile environment of the Tibetan plateau, to
which Tibetans are indigenous, at risk.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s commitment to seek a solution
for the Tibetan people within the PRC is clear and unambiguous.
This position is in full compliance and agreement with paramount
leader Deng Xiaoping's statement in which he emphasised that
except for independence all other issues could be resolved
through dialogue. Whereas, we are committed, therefore, to fully
respect the territorial integrity of the PRC, we expect the
Central Government to recognise and fully respect the integrity
of the Tibetan nationality and its right to exercise genuine
autonomy within the PRC. We believe that this is the basis for
resolving the differences between us and promoting unity,
stability and harmony among nationalities.
BASIC NEEDS OF TIBETANS
Subject Matters of Self-government
Utilisation of Natural Resources
Economic Development and Trade
Regulation on population migration
Cultural, educational and religious exchanges with other
RESPECT FOR THE INTEGRITY OF THE TIBETAN NATIONALITY
Tibetans belong to one minority nationality regardless of the
current administrative divisions. The integrity of the Tibetan
nationality must be respected. That is the spirit, the intent
and the principle underlying the constitutional concept of
national regional autonomy as well as the principle of equality
There is no dispute about the fact that Tibetans share the
same language, culture, spiritual tradition, core values and
customs, that they belong to the same ethnic group and that they
have a strong sense of common identity. Tibetans share a common
history and despite periods of political or administrative
divisions, Tibetans continuously remained united by their
religion, culture, education, language, way of life and by their
unique high plateau environment.
The Tibetan nationality lives in one contiguous area on the
Tibetan plateau, which they have inhabited for millennia and to
which they are therefore indigenous. For purposes of the
constitutional principles of national regional autonomy Tibetans
in the PRC in fact live as a single nationality all over the
In order for the Tibetan nationality to develop and flourish
with its distinct identity, culture and spiritual tradition
through the exercise of self-government on the above mentioned
basic Tibetan needs, the entire community, comprising all the
areas currently designated by the PRC as Tibetan autonomous
areas, should be under one single administrative entity. The
current administrative divisions, by which Tibetan communities
are ruled and administered under different provinces and regions
of the PRC, foments fragmentation, promotes unequal development,
and weakens the ability of the Tibetan nationality to protect
and promote its common cultural, spiritual and ethnic identity.
Rather than respecting the integrity of the nationality, this
policy promotes its fragmentation and disregards the spirit of
THE NATURE AND STRUCTURE OF THE AUTONOMY
The exercise of genuine autonomy would include the right of
Tibetans to create their own regional government and government
institutions and processes that are best suited to their needs
and characteristics. It would require that the People’s Congress
of the autonomous region have the power to legislate on all
matters within the competencies of the region and that other
organs of the autonomous government have the power to execute
and administer decisions autonomously. Autonomy also entails
representation and meaningful participation in national
decision-making in the Central Government. Processes for
effective consultation and close cooperation or joint
decision-making between the Central Government and the regional
government on areas of common interest also need to be in place
for the autonomy to be effective.
A crucial element of genuine autonomy is the guarantee the
Constitution or other laws provide that powers and
responsibilities allocated to the autonomous region cannot be
unilaterally abrogated or changed. This means that neither the
Central Government nor the autonomous region’s government should
be able, without the consent of the other, to change the basic
features of the autonomy.
Implementation of genuine autonomy, for example, requires
clear divisions of powers and responsibilities between the
Central Government and the government of the autonomous region
with respect to subject matter competency. Currently there is no
such clarity and the scope of legislative powers of autonomous
regions is both uncertain and severely restricted. Thus, whereas
the Constitution intends to recognise the special need for
autonomous regions to legislate on many matters that affect them,
the requirements of Article 116 for prior approval at the
highest level of the Central Government - by the Standing
Committee of National People’s Congress (NPC) - inhibit the
implementation of this principle of autonomy. In reality, it is
only autonomous regional congresses that expressly require such
approval, while the congresses of ordinary (not autonomous)
provinces of the PRC do not need prior permission and merely
report the passage of regulations to the Standing Committee of
the NPC “for the record” (Article 100).
The exercise of autonomy is further subject to a considerable
number of laws and regulations, according to Article 115 of the
Constitution. Certain laws effectively restrict the autonomy of
the autonomous region, while others are not always consistent
with one another. The result is that the exact scope of the
autonomy is unclear and is not fixed, since it is unilaterally
changed with the enactment of laws and regulations at higher
levels of the state, and even by changes in policy. There is
also no adequate process for consultation or for settling
differences that arise between the organs of the Central
Government and of the regional government with respect to the
scope and exercise of autonomy. In practice, the resulting
uncertainty limits the initiative of regional authorities and
impedes the exercise of genuine autonomy by Tibetans today.
Statement of Special Envoy Kasur Lodi Gyari, Head of the
Tibetan Delegation, following the 8th round of discussions with
representatives of the Chinese leadership
Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen and I, accompanied by senior aides
Sonam N. Dagpo and Bhuchung K. Tsering, both members of the Task
Force on Sino-Tibetan Negotiations, and Kalsang Tsering from the
Secretariat of the Task Force, visited China from October 30 to
November 5, 2008. We returned to India on November 6, 2008.
The main purpose of this trip was to follow up on the
discussions held during the seventh round in July this year. We
presented a memorandum to the Chinese leadership on genuine
autonomy for the Tibetan people.
In Beijing we met with Mr. Du Qinglin, Vice Chariman of the
Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and Minister
of the Central United Front Work Department, on November 4,
2008. We also had a day-long discussion Mr. Zhu Weiqun,
Executive Vice Minister, and Mr. Sithar, Vice Minister of the
Central United Front Work Department, on November 5, 2008. An
official from the Tibet Autonomous Region, Pema Trinley,
Executive Vice Governor, was also present in the Chinese side.
We had a briefing, organized by the United Front, by experts on
Chinese Constitution and the Law on Regional National Autonomy
at the China Tibetology Research Center. It was moderated by Mr.
Lhakpa Phuntsok, Director of the Center. We also visited the
Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
This morning we briefed Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche,
Chairman of the Tibetan Cabinet, in New Delhi about our
discussions. As a special general meeting of the Tibetan people
is being convened later this month at the suggestion of His
Holiness the Dalai Lama, we have been advised not to make
statements about our discussions before this meeting.
Our host for this visit was the Central United Front Work
Department of the Chinese Communist Party. The United Front Work
Departments of Beijing City and the Ningxia Hui Autonomous
Region were also involved with our visit. We thank them for
November 6, 2008
Special Envoy Kasur Lodi Gyari
meeting Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political
Consultative Conference and Minister of the Central United Front
Work Department Du Qinglin on November 4, 2008 in Beijing. Envoy
Kelsang Gyaltsen is to his right and Executive Vice Minister Zhu
Weiqun is to the left of Vice Chairman Du. Credit: CTA/DIIR
Special Envoy Kasur Lodi Gyari
and Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen and their team at the meeting with
Executive Vice Minister Zhu Weiqun and Vice Minister Sithar and
their team on November 5, 2008 in Beijing. Credit: CTA/DIIR
His Holiness the Dalai Lama Congratulates
US President-elect Barack Obama
last met His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2005 at a Senate Foreign
Relations Committee event (Photo: barackobama.com)
November 5, 2008
H. E. Barack Obama
President-elect of the United States of America
Washington, DC U.S.A.
Dear President-elect Obama,
Congratulations on your election as the President of the
United States of America.
I am encouraged that the American people have chosen a
President who reflects America's diversity and her fundamental
ideal that any person can rise up to the highest office in the
land. This is a proud moment for America and one that will
be celebrated by many peoples around the world.
The American Presidential elections are always a great source
of encouragement to people throughout the world who believe in
democracy, freedom and equality of opportunities.
May I also commend the determination and moral courage that
you have demonstrated throughout the long campaign, as well as
the kind heart and steady hand that you often showed when
challenged. I recall our own telephone conversation this
spring and these same essential qualities came through in your
concern for the situation in Tibet.
As the President of the United States, you will certainly
have great and difficult tasks before you, but also many
opportunities to create change in the lives of those millions
who continue to struggle for basic human needs. You must
also remember and work for these people, wherever they may be.
With my prayers and good wishes,
THE DALAI LAMA
A Tibet Centre opened at the birth place of Heinrich Harrer
Knappenberg, Austria: An International Institute for
Higher Tibetan Studies’ inaugural ceremony was held on 31
October at the birth place of late Mr. Heinrich Harrer, the
author of the famous book Seven Years in Tibet. Over 350 people
including Vice-Governor of the region of Kärnten, Members of
Parliament, Mayor and various dignities were present at the
A message from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Patron of the
institute was read by Mr. Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, the
Representative of His Holiness based in Geneva, Switzerland.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s message said, “There is a great
deal in Tibet’s religious culture, its medical knowledge,
peaceful outlook and respectful attitude to the environment that
can be of widespread benefit to others. We have been successful
in preserving these traditions so far, but in the long term we
will need the continued support of the many friends we already
have around the world and many more.”
“I am very happy to know that an International Institute for
Higher Tibetan Studies is being established under the auspices
of the Tibet Centre in Hüttenberg, Austria, with whose citizens
we Tibetans have a longstanding friendship.”
International Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies is funded
by the Kärnten regional government of Austria. The late Governor
Mr. Jörg Haider was the key supporter and instrumental in
securing five years funding for the project. Funding from a
government is first of his kind in the Western Hemisphere. The
late Mr. Haider died in a tragic car accident only three weeks
ago. He visited Dharamsala with a team from Austria.
The Institute will offers authentic Tibetan Studies and
knowledge through seminars, lectures, workshops, short- and long
term courses, cultural events and exhibitions. The main of the
institute is to bringing benefit to people's mental and physical
wellbeing as well as the development of happiness and peace in
the world. One of the other aims to bring together different
cultures and wants to foster the dialogue between different
religions. The establishment of the institute will also preserve
and promote Tibetan religion and culture.
The Institute will provide courses on Tibetan Medical &
Astrology and Buddhist Philosophy with collaboration with
Tibetan Medical & Astrology Institute, Dharamsala and Centre for
High Tibetan Studies in Sarnath, India. Also, it will invite
visiting lecturers from India, Europe and America. In September,
a road show was organized about the Institute planned program
The courses will start in mid November. From Sept 2009, the
institute will offer diploma certificates for those students who
want to become professionals in Tibetan Massage and Tibetan
Physical Therapy as well as Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy and
Geshe Tenzin Dhargye, who was deputed by His Holiness the
Dalai Lama to manage the planning of the project is now the
Director of the Institute. He has been working on the project
for the last two and half years. Geshe Dhargye was earlier
involved with the Kalachakra Initiation in Graz, Austria in
In his address, Geshe Dhargye thanked the Kärnten Government
of Austria, all the political parties, various religious
organizations and the public for their support. He said two key
supporters of the project, the late Mr. Harrer and late Mr.
Haider were not present, but he was very happy that their wife’s
Mrs. Carina Harrer and Mrs. Claudia Haider were present.
The long term aim of the institute is to become a university
of Tibetan studies in Austria. For more information about
International Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies, visit
His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Envoys leave for China for 8th
Round of Talks.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama's envoys Kasur Lodi Gyaltsen
Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen, accompanied by three senior
assistants are arriving in Beijing for the 8th round of talks
with the representatives of the Chinese leadership.
They will be in Beijing as a follow-up of the 7th round of
They will be there for about a week.
The Envoys had their final briefing from Professor Samdhong
Rinpoche, Kalon Tripa, in New Delhi.
30th October 2008
Contact: Mr. Thubten Samphel Information Secretary,
Department of Information and International Relations Phone no:
01892; 222510,222457, 22466
Clarifications on His Holiness' Tibet Remarks in
Dharamsala on 25 October 2008
During celebrations of the 48th founding anniversary of the
Tibetan Children’s Village on 25 October here in Dharamsala, His
Holiness the Dalai Lama made some remarks on the issue of Tibet
that are now being quoted out of context in some media reports.
Consequently, to clarify the situation we are issuing the gist
of His Holiness’ remarks below as well as a separate translation
of a transcript of what he really 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 intellectuals.
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.
Therefore, on 11 September His Holiness called a special
meeting of Tibetans from all parts of our community in exile to
engage in wide-ranging discussions with the aim of identifying
realistic and non-violent options for the future course of our
struggle. His Holiness concluded that when all is said and done
it is for the Tibetan people themselves to decide about their
Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Dharamsala, 28 October 2008
Kashag Outlines Policies on Women Empowerment
Wednesday, 15 October 2008, 4:50 p.m. Dharamshala: The Kashag
(Cabinet) of the Central Tibetan Administration on Tuesday
outlined an eight-point policy to empower Tibetan women's equal
participation in the successful establishment of non-violent and
democratic Tibetan community as envisioned by His Holiness the
The Kashag underscored the need to strengthen women's role in
the administrative and politics of the democratic Tibetan
community during this year’s democracy day celebration.
Although no gender discrimination of any kind have taken
place in the history of Tibet, the Kashag said the need to empower Tibetan women has become clearly pertinent since women
lag behind their male counterparts in taking part in
administration and politics in the exile community.
The policy will focus on providing necessary assistance and
facilities to the Tibetan nuns to undertake and make progress in
the field of higher studies in religious studies. The Kashag
will continue the on-going efforts on reviving the Bhikshuni
ordination of Tibetan nuns.
Under its new policy, the Kashag will study the number of
Tibetan women’s participation in various regional administrative
institutions such as local Tibetan assemblies, board of
directors of co-operative societies and Rawang Denpai Legul
Tsokchung and group leaders in the Tibetan settlements based in
India, Nepal and Bhutan. Accordingly, efforts will be made in
encouraging and increasing the number of their participation.
It emphasizes that the Tibetan settlements should make
efforts in having women as representatives and welfare officers.
To provide equal opportunities for school graduates in
selecting their courses for further studies and for those who
are opting for jobs, the Central Tibetan Administration will
take note of career counseling in the respective schools.
It will make efforts to implement the provision enshrined in
the Basic Education Policy for Tibetans in Exile that “priority
shall be given to female candidates for the posts of pre-primary
teacher and assistant.”
The new policy will lay special consideration on the health
of mother and child in order to develop a future posterity with
good morals and facilitate a steady growth on population.
Moreover, special workshops and necessary facilities will be
given to those women who have formed their new families to help
them become good mothers.
The policy emphasizes that girls’ team in sports should be
developed at same level as that of boys in schools.
It also underlines the need to conduct workshops for the
general public to explain the objectives of the policy to
DIIR submits report on ‘torture against Tibetan people’
to the UN
Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Geneva: The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), through its
Tibet Bureau based in Geneva, submitted a report on “ the
continuing use of torture against the Tibetan people” to “the
United Nations Committee Against Torture on Violations by the
People’s Republic of China Against The People of Tibet”, on 29
The report details narrative of events from 2000 to 2008,
presenting evidence of torture used against Tibetan people under
the political and religious repression imposed by the Chinese
government in Tibet.
It presents a detailed account of the Chinese government’s
violations of the convention against torture by attributing
those with ‘evidence of torture in connection with recent
protests in Tibet’, ‘torture as a common practice in Tibet even
before the March demonstration’, ‘failure of China’s legal
system to ban the use of torture’, ‘absence of independent
judiciary’ and the ‘Chinese authorities threat of disciplinary
action against lawyers’.
The report, which evaluates China’s compliance with the
convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman, or
degrading treatment or punishment (torture convention) with
respect to Tibet, said, “China continues to engage in widespread
and systematic violations of the torture conventions against the
China has also failed to make genuine progress in the areas
of concern noted by this committee in its ‘1996 and 2000
Concluding Observations’, which is supported by the recent
findings of the Special Rapporteur on Torture, following his
mission to China, noted the report.
The report asked the committee to examine China’s compliance
with the Torture Convention taking into consideration the
significant events in Tibet since 2000.
It said significant measures were implemented to curtail and
repress the free practice of religion in Tibet, to deny the
Tibetan people any meaningful right of free expression, and to
marginalize Tibetans through a concerted effort to support the
influx of Chinese settlers.
These measures have been enforced through police intimidation,
arbitrary arrest and detention, and torture used to punish and
terrorise the Tibetan communities. Indeed, across a broad array
of economic, social and political rights, the Chinese government
has failed the Tibetan people, the report added.
The report is critical of the increasing repression and
economic marginalisation of Tibetans, which culminated in a
sustained and widespread series of protests – almost all
peaceful – throughout Tibet beginning on 10 March 2008.
Chinese authorities responded by detaining thousands of
Tibetans, many of whom were treated with extreme brutality both
while being detained and during their detention, shooting and
killing unarmed protesters, locking monks and nuns inside their
monasteries, imposing a heavy police and military presence in
all cities and most towns of any significant size as well as
remote nomad encampments, severely restricting travel within
Tibet, and instituting “patriotic education” campaigns within
the monasteries, the reported noted.
The Central Tibetan Administration urges the United Nations
Committee Against Torture to scrutinize China’s compliance with
the Torture Convention with particular attention to Tibet.
It also requests the committee to address the continuing use
of torture against the Tibetan people and submit recommendations
for its consideration in order to end the use of torture in
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is back in Dharamsala after
undergoing medical tests and treatment following some discomfort
The physicians have informed His Holiness that his general
health condition is good but strongly advised him to curtail his
travel schedule. In the immediate future the physicians have
advised him to take good rest before resuming his schedule.
We are therefore cancelling his proposed travel to Europe in
October. His Holiness very much regrets the inconvenience this
will cause to the organizers of his programs as well as to those
who were looking forward to participating in them. We hope
everyone will understand the situation.
September 13, 2008
Office of H. H. the Dalai Lama
Seine Heiligkeit der Dalai Lama ist nach Dharamsala
zurückgekehrt, nachdem er sich aufgrund von gesundheitlichen
Beschwerden in den letzten Wochen medizinischen Untersuchungen
und Behandlungen unterzogen hatte.
Die Ärzte haben Seine Heiligkeit mitgeteilt, dass seine
allgemeine körperliche Verfassung gut sei, rieten ihm aber
dringend an, sein Reiseprogramm einzuschränken. Die Ärzte rieten
ihm, sich jetzt genügend Zeit zur Erholung zu nehmen, bevor er
sein Programm wieder aufnimmt.
Wir sagen daher seinen geplanten Besuch in Europa im Oktober
ab. Seine Heiligkeit bedauert sehr die Schwierigkeiten, die
seine Absage den Veranstaltern wie auch den Teilnehmern
bereitet, die sich auf seinen Besuch gefreut haben. Wir hoffen
auf das Verständnis aller Beteiligten.
13. September 2008
Office of H. H. the Dalai Lama
Tibet Film Screened at the Ongoing UNHRC Session
Geneva, 9 September 2008 - "Leaving Fear Behind", a
documentary recently smuggled from Tibet was shown at a side
event during the UN Human Rights Council's 9th session, which
began on 8 September. The Human Rights session will look at
human rights problems around the world.
Four NGOs with UN consultative status organized the side
event. The screening of "Leaving Fear Behind" was attended by
representatives from NGOs, government delegates from Germany,
Sweden, Canada, Netherlands and Finland; and journalist. The
film maker Mr. Dhondup Wangchen and his colleague Ven. Golok
Jigme were arrested by the Chinese security officials in Tibet.
Mr. Gyaljong Tsetrin, the co-producer of the film and a
former-political prisoner appealed to people working with UN
human rights mechanisms to help secure the release of the film
maker Dhondup Wangchen and Ven. Golok Jigme.
He expressed deep concern on reports from Tibet that many
Tibetans interviewed in the film have been intimidated, harassed
and detained after the documentary was released.
Over 108 Tibetans were interviewed by the film maker and
Mr. Gyaljong Tsetrin said he fears for those Tibetans for
simply exercising their fundamental right to freedom expression
or opinion. He said that through the film the world must
understand how desperately the Tibetans in Tibet His Holiness
the Dalai Lama's return to Tibet.
He appealed to the international community to help Tibetans
whose struggle is guided by peace and non-violence under the
leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
The briefing was moderated by UNPO Geneva Representative
Ngawang C. Drakmargyapon.
Human dignity must be respected in any society said
“Human freedom, human rights and human dignity must be
respected in any society”, said former President Václav Havel of
the Czech Republic. He made these remarks while addressing the
Asia-Pacific Security Challenges - Implications for Europe and
the Atlantic Alliances in Prague.
In his welcome speech Czech Foreign Minister Mr. Karel
Schwarzenberg said that human rights are the corner stone of
Czech Foreign Policy. The Foreign Minister also said that his
government foster human rights a
The two days conference was held in the Czech Foreign
Ministry in Prague on 7 – 9 September 2008 and organized by the
Prague Security Studies Institute. Over 150 delegates from all
over the world attended the conference.
Mr. Anand Sharma, Indian Minister of State for External
Affairs was the keynote speaker. He spoke about Global Security
Concerns in the 21st Century. He said that Climate, Food and
Energy challenges were no longer regional but global.
Mr. Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s
Representative based in Geneva was speaker on the panel Regional
Democracy and human Rights. He said Tibet once a buffer state
between the world’s two most populated states - Tibet and China
was today a militarized zone. Even after 50 years of occupation,
China continues to ruthlessly suppress the Tibetans. He said the
merciless repression by the Chinese security forces on peaceful
Tibetan protesters in March this year, resulted in over 200
killed, 6,000 arrested and thousands injured.
Mr. Chhoekyapa emphasized that the current crisis in Tibet is
a manifestation of decades of Chinese repression - human rights
violation, cultural and political discrimination of the Tibetan
people. He expressed his deepest concern on Beijing’s policy of
the massive migration of Han Chinese into Tibet and increasing
the influential of “Chinese alcohol culture”, Mahjong game, and
pop music among the Tibetans to weaken their religious belief
“While China economically and military grows from strength to
strength, my fellow Tibetans in Tibet continue to live in fear
and discrimination. Today Tibetans are a minority and a second
class citizen in our own land and our culture is being destroyed,”
said Mr. Chhoekyapa.
In his concluding remark, he said that His Holiness the Dalai
Lama is not seeking Tibetan independence or separation from
People’s Republic of China, but a genuine autonomy for the
Tibetan people. He said that we want to save Tibet’s rich
culture, language and identity before China destroys them
Statement of the Kashag on the occasion of worldwide fasting
and prayer service on
30 August 2008
Today on 30 August 2008, the last day of the sixth month of
Earth-Mouse Year in Tibetan Calender, Tibetan Solidarity
Committee appealed the Tibetans, Tibet supporters and peace
loving people all over the world to observe a symbolic fasting
and prayer service for 12 hours. We are immensely fortunate and
grateful that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has consented to take
part in person here, but due to a slight indisposition this
could not happen. However, His Holiness is observing the fasting
and prayer from Mumbai today and we convey our immense gratitude
and respect to him.
The Kashag of the central Tibetan Administration would like
to heartily thank all the Tibetans, Tibet supporters and those
believing in non-violence who are taking part to observe this
symbolic fasting and prayer service.
This activity is not a protest led by hatred, rancour and
anger but by the teachings of the Lord Buddha in all the
vehicles to refrain from harming others and do everything to
benefit others with love and compassion, which is the essence of
spiritual practice. Mahatma Gandhi has shown us with his
practical demonstration that this is only for spiritual practice
but it can very well apply to the politics for the benefits of
society and nations. Our effort of today symbolizes that this
method is effectively relevant in the post-modern world also.
Due to the consistent effort and guidance of His Holiness the
Dalai Lama to pursue non-violent methods to resolve the Tibetan
issue, it has been many years that most of the Tibetan movements
remained free from gross physical violence. This garnered
immense support from around the world for the just cause of
Tibet. Our pursuit of non-violence has not only enabled us to
keep alive the Tibetan issue but also compelled the People's
Republic of China to respond to our policy of rapprochement
irrespective of their sincerity. However, on account of some
Tibetans being not able to completely give up violence in vocal
expressions and thoughts, all our efforts till today instead of
achieving a genuine result, is stuck in a vicious circle. If all
the Tibetans have a genuine aspiration to resolve the just cause
of the Tibetan issue, we have to strengthen our commitment and
reinforce the power of non-violence. It is hard to achieve any
results in resolving the Tibetan cause unless anger of the
Tibetans subsides. Therefore, we take this opportunity to
strongly appeal to all the Tibetans and particularly to the
monks and nuns to get rid of any visible hatred and anger, and
make every effort to develop undiluted thought leading to the
cultivation of non-violence and thereby all our physical and
vocal expressions become non-violent.
By observing this symbolic fasting and prayer service if we
Tibetans are able to make way to advance a step further in
pursuit of our non-violent movement, it is worth observing.
Otherwise, if it turns into an opportunity that arouses feelings
of hatred and anger, it is then, as the saying goes, "sending
ransom to the west when the demon lies in the east".
On this special occasion, we hope that the observation of
fasting and prayer by numerous people around the world will help
the Tibetans to do away their bad karmic action and enhance
meritorious virtues. This virtue may help Tibetans to get rid of
their anger and hatred towards all sentient beings, especially
the PRC authorities who oppress and torture the Tibetans and
instead could help us to respond to them with love and
compassion. Our sincere practice of non-violence will ultimately
help change the mind of the PRC authorities to more
compassionate. We hope and pray that all will firmly believe in
non-violence. We strongly appeal to all the Tibetans to put
concerted non-violent efforts to bring natural end to the
torture and persecution in Tibet.
We pay our condolence and homage to those who lost their
lives and those who are imprisoned ,tortured and beaten in the
recent uprisings in Tibet. We pray that the lives sacrificed by
the Tibetans become worthwhile and end the torture to the
innocent Tibetans .We also pray and sympathise for the victims
of the earthquakes in Sichuan and the one in South-western Tibet
recently and the disaster caused by flood in some other part as
We end with the prayers for His Holiness the Dalai Lama's
long life and may the just cause of Tibet prevail.
30 August 2008
His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Join Prayers on 30 August
Since arriving in Mumbai yesterday afternoon, His Holiness
the Dalai Lama underwent some medical tests. The doctors
attending on him have given assurances that there is absolutely
no cause for concern. All that he needs is a good rest.
His Holiness will therefore join from Mumbai in the 12-hour
fasting and prayers for peace and freedom that are being
organized in Dharamsala and elsewhere on Saturday, 30 August
2008 by the Tibetan Solidarity Committee.
Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Dated: 29 August 2008
UN experts seek whereabouts of the Panchen Rinpoche and
Tibetans arrested earlier this year
The UN’s Committee against Torture (CAT), an independent body
of experts asked China to provide a complete list of all Tibetan
detained following the March 2008 demonstration in Tibet. This
request also includes information on their current location,
convictions, etc. The independent body of experts monitors the
implementation of the UN’s Convention against Torture and Other
Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment by its State
[ read more
The situation in Tibet is getting worse says world famous
photographer Michel Comte
The Germany’s largest newspaper – Bild with over 17 million
readers launched a photo exhibition “Pictures from Tibet” in
Berlin on the eve of the Olympic Games in Beijing. The
exhibition was organized under its campaign A Heart for Children.
[ read more ]
Grussbotschaft Seiner Heiligkeit des Dalai Lama zu den
Zur Eröffnung der Olympischen Spiele in Peking entbiete ich
der Volksrepublik China, den Organisatoren sowie den Sportlern
meine besten Grüsse.
Ich habe von Beginn an, seit China sich beworben hat, die
Austragung der Olympischen Spiele in Peking unterstützt. Es ist
ein Augenblick grossen Stolzes für die 1.3 Milliarden Chinesen.
Diese Spiele sollen dazu beitragen, den Olympischen Geist von
Freundschaft, Offenheit und Frieden zu fördern.
Mit meinen Gebeten und besten Wünschen für den Erfolg dieses
Der Dalai Lama
6. August 2008
What China is doing in Tibet is shameful - Italian Mayor
“What China is doing in Tibet is shameful and we must express
our solidarity with the Tibetans,” said Mayor Achille Variati of
Italian City of Vicenza. The Mayor officially received Mr.
Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Geneva
in Vicenza City Hall on 24 July.
[ read more
July 17, 2008 - Office of H. H. the Dalai Lama
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibet Issue
In the light of recent news reports quoting Chinese officials
that the issue of Tibet is only about the person of His Holiness
the Dalai Lama, we would like to take this opportunity to
clarify once again that the issue of Tibet concerns the future
of six million Tibetans in Tibet and not His Holiness the Dalai
Lama. In fact, when the Chinese Government made a five-point
proposal in 1981 which included that "the Dalai Lama will enjoy
the same political status and living conditions as he had before
1959", His Holiness categorically made it clear to the Chinese
leadership that the issue at stake was the well-being of six
million Tibetans, and he personally had nothing to ask of the
Central Chinese government.
His Holiness has stated right from 1969 onwards that even the
continuation of the institution of the Dalai Lama is for the
Tibetan people to decide.
In 1992 His Holiness declared that once we are able to return
to Tibet with meaningful autonomy, he will not play any role in
the future government of Tibet, let alone seek the Dalai Lama's
traditional political position in the government. We would also
like to make it clear, especially to our Chinese brothers and
sisters that Tibetans, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, do
not even dream of restoring the old society that prevailed in
Tibet before 1959. As a matter of fact, democracy was introduced
in the exile Tibetan community in 1960 through election of
representatives to the Assembly of Tibetan People's Deputies (Parliament
Since 2001 Tibetans in exile have an elected political
leadership and His Holiness considers himself in semi-retirement.
However, he will continue to fulfill his life-long commitment to
promote human values and religious harmony.
Following the resumption of talks with the Chinese government
in 2002, His Holiness' envoys have also conveyed at every
meeting that the issue is about the well-being of the Tibetan
people and not of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Chhime R. Chhoekyapa
Secretary to His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Mr. Tashi Wangdi: 1-347 563 5976 (USA)
Mr. Lobsang Nyandak: 1-908 821 7284
Erklärung des Sondergesandten
Seiner Heiligkeit des Dalai Lama, Kasur Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari
Vom 30. Juni bis 3. Juli 2008
besuchten der Gesandte Kelsang Gyaltsen und ich Peking.
Begleitet wurden wir von den leitenden Mitarbeitern der Task
Force ‚Sino-tibetische Verhandlungen’ Sonam N. Dagpo und
Bhuchung K. Tsering, sowie von Jigmey Passang vom Sekretariat
dieses Arbeitsstabes. [
Statement by Special Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama,
Kasur Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari
Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen and I accompanied by senior aides
Sonam N. Dagpo, Bhuchung K. Tsering, both members of the Task
Force on Sino-Tibetan Negotiations, and Jigmey Passang from the
Secretariat of the Tibetan Task Force, visited Beijing from June
30 to July 3, 2008.
[ read more
S. H. der Dalai Lama
Medienmitteilung der Präsidialdirektion Bern /
Der Dalai Lama besucht im Oktober die Stadt Bern
Der Dalai Lama wird am 13. Oktober 2008 auf Einladung des
Gemeinderates die Stadt Bern besuchen. Vorgesehen ist, eine
öffentliche Veranstaltung mit dem geistlichen Oberhaupt des
Buddhismus zu organisieren. [
A Lhasa without monks
We saw some Tibetans returning home, the police had arrested
them and tortured them after the riots in march. One of them,
they have laterally cut the flesh from a whole thigh, I saw it
with my own eyes, it was in a horrible condition. He died at
home due to loss of blood and destroyed by infections within
days. They didn’t want to go to hospital because they were sure
that they would fall in the hands of those who tortured them. [
A rough translation in English of a news report by Mr.
Federico Rampini, correspondent of La Repubblica in Beijing
posted on 5 July.
Interviews mit Kelsang Gyaltsen, Gesandter S. H. des Dalai Lama
"Die Welt findet nur schöne Worte"
Die Frustration und Verbitterung der Tibeter wächst: Der
Sondergesandte des Dalai Lama in Europa appelliert an die
Vereinten Nationen, umgehend Beobachter nach Tibet zu entsenden.
Interview: Edeltraud Rattenhuber [
„Kriegszustand in Tibet”
Kelsang Gyaltsen ist der Europabotschafter des Dalai Lama. Zu
Gast bei der WAZ sprach der tibetische Sondergesandte über die
Krise in seiner Heimat und ihre Unvereinbarkeit mit dem
olympischen Geist. [
New Head of Office of Tibet Geneva
In recent years the Chinese government is exerting increasing
pressure on governments in Europe on the issue of Tibet. This
development requires more concerted efforts by the Tibetans and
our friends in Europe in order to ensure that the voice of the
Tibetan people continues to be heard and counted. As a result,
the Kashag, the Cabinet of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile has
announced the reshuffle of a number of representatives of His
Holiness the Dalai Lama at various Offices of Tibet abroad.
Botschaft S. H. des Dalai Lama zum 10. März 2008 49. Jahrestag des tibetischen Volksaufstandes
des 49. Jahrestages des friedlichen Aufstandes des tibetischen
Volkes in Lhasa am 10. März 1959 ehre ich und bete für die
vielen mutigen Männer und Frauen Tibets, die unaussprechliche
Härten erduldeten und ihr Leben für die Sache des tibetischen
Volkes opferten, und bekunde meine Solidarität mit den Tibetern,
die zurzeit Unterdrückung und Misshandlung erleben. Auch grüße
ich alle Tibeter in und außerhalb Tibets, alle Unterstützer der
tibetischen Sache und alle, die Gerechtigkeit schätzen. [
Kashag reshuffles representatives of the Offices of Tibet
27 February 2008, 5:05 p.m.
Dharamshala: The Kashag today announced a major reshuffle in
the post of representatives of the Offices of Tibet (OoT).
According to the announcement, Kasur Tashi Wangdi, the
representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in New York, will
head the new Office of Tibet in Brussels.
Former Kalon Lobsang Nyandak is appointed as the
representative of the OoT, New York.
Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen, the representative in Geneva,
Switzerland, will take a new responsibility to enhance relations
and political activities in European countries, from 17 March
Mr Tsetan Samdup (Photo), a former deputy secretary at the
Oot London, has been appointed as the new representative in
Geneva. He will take charge from 18 March.
Mr Dawa Tsering, Additional Secretary at the Department of
Information and International Relations will be the new
representative at the Taiwan office.
Representative Tsegyam will be the secretary at the Office of
His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen to Head New Office
Wednesday, 27 February 2008, 9:36 a.m.
Dharamshala: Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen, the representative of
His Holiness the Dalai Lama based in Geneva, Switzerland, will
take a new responsibility to enhance relations and political
activities in European countries.
The Kashag, in the notice issued yesterday said Envoy Kelsang
Gyaltsen will take the new responsibility, from the day when he
relieves the post of representative of Geneva’s Office of Tibet.
Video-Botschaft des Gesandten S. H. des Dalai Lama Video-Message of the Envoy of H. H. the Dalai Lama
Kelsang Gyaltsen, Gesandter S. H. des Dalai Lama für die EU
und Repräsentant S. H. des Dalai Lama in Genf, berichtet
monatlich über aktuelle Tibet-Themen in tibetischer Sprache.
Kelsang Gyaltsen, Envoy of H. H. the Dalai Lama to the EU and
Representative of H. H. the Dalai Lama in Geneva reports monthly
on current issues on Tibet in tibetan language.
#1 - Februar 2008 (in tibetischer Sprache, in tibetan
Tibet im Jahr 2008
Tibet in the year of 2008
Chinesisches Generalkonsulat in Zürich
sagt Feier anlässlich des tibetischen Neujahrs ab
China's Consulate in Zurich calls off
Tibetan New Year reception
Press reports on visits of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
On the political issue of Tibet
Germany and Canada: After meeting the Dalai Lama
Buddhism in China
Repression inside Tibet
Lodi G. Gyari - Oped: Turning Point for Tibet |
IHT | 03.04.08 In the last few weeks, we have witnessed an uprising against
the Chinese authorities' repressive policies on the Tibetan
plateau the likes of which we have not seen in a generation.
Beijing has responded with a crackdown on a scale never seen
before in Tibet, all just months before the Olympics are to open
in Beijing. [
Ai Weiwei über Tibet „Es ist Zeit für die Wahrheit“ |
FAZ | 30.03.08 Der chinesische Konzeptkünstler Ai Weiwei fordert ein Ende
der Zensur in seinem Land: Hass und Wut können nur durch den
freien Zugang zu allen Informationen besiegt werden, sagt er im
Gepräch mit der Frankfurter Allgemeinen Sonntagszeitung. [
Dalai Lama's Message to Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao: Prove
The Dalai Lama has said that if he were in a room with Chinese
President Hu Jintao or Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, he said he
would quote Deng Xiaoping and ask them to seek truth from facts.
Saying he had great respect for Premier Wen, the Dalai Lama told
NEWSWEEK, "I would also ask him, "Please prove your recent
accusations [that the Dalai Lama instigated the unrest in
Twelve Suggestions for Dealing with the Tibetan Situation
by Some Chinese Intellectuals [
Beijing's claims of an "unwavering stand" in support of Tibet
are groundless XINING, China: Count the ways that China has sought to bring
Tibet to heel since the People's Liberation Army rolled into the
country in 1950, brutally ending a phase of nominal independence.
PRESS ORDERED TO FAN HATRED OF TIBETAN 'CLIQUE'
BEIJING — Throughout the crisis in Tibet, images of Tibetan
rioters attacking ethnic Han Chinese have been shown over and
over on Chinese television. Chinese officials have ordered the
Chinese press to "incite patriotism and hatred of the Dalai Lama
clique" among the Chinese people. [
TIBET: TRY THE HONG KONG SOLUTION China invented the idea of two systems in one country. It
worked brilliantly. It can again
It is easy to get depressed about the trauma of Tibet and the
suppression of Tibetan cultural and political aspirations. It is,
after all, almost half a century since the Dalai Lama fled his
country. He has never been able to return and recent events make
it highly unlikely that he will in the foreseeable future.
Government leader in Tibet confirms protests by monks in
Lhasa | 11.03.08 | AP
The head of China's regional government in Tibet confirmed
Tuesday that about 300 Tibetan monks staged a protest march this
week in the capital of Lhasa but said authorities diffused the
incident without arrests. [
China warnings could be aimed at dissent: rights groups
| 11.03.08 | AFP China's warnings of a series of sinister Tibetan and Muslim
threats could be part of a campaign to silence all manner of
dissent ahead of the Olympics, rights groups and activists say.
[ weiterlesen ]
Tibet: Chinesen unterbinden Protest von Mönchen Peking
| 11.03.08 | dpa
Die chinesische Polizei hat laut Medienberichten Dutzende Mönche
bei einem Protestmarsch in die tibetische Hauptstadt Lhasa gegen
die Besetzung ihres Landes festgenommen.
[ weiterlesen ]
China schnürt Korsett für Popstars enger |
07.03.08 | Tages-Anzeiger
Nachdem die isländische Sängerin Björk an einem Auftritt in
Shanghai «Tibet! Tibet!» schrie, verschärft Chinesische Führung
die Regeln für Konzerte ausländischer Musiker. [
Massive Kritik an
| 05.03.08 | Die Presse
Nicht-Regierungsorganisationen warnen vor den negativen Folgen
der neuen Eisenbahn nach Lhasa. Je näher der Beginn der
Olympischen Spiele in Peking rückt, desto mehr häufen sich die
Berichte von Nichtregierungsorganisationen über die Verletzung
von Menschen- und Minderheitenrechten in der Volksrepublik.
Press Release: China’s Consulate in Switzerland calls off
Tibetan New Year reception 03.02.07 | Tibetan Community
in Switzerland & Liechtenstein
According to reliable sources the Chinese Consulate-General in
Zurich, Switzerland, has cancelled a planned reception on
February 2, 2008 on the occasion of the Tibetan New Year. The
obvious aim of the planned reception was to invite as many
Tibetans living in Switzerland and Liechtenstein as possible.
[ weiterlesen ]
Stadt wartet auf Dalai Lama | 21.01.08 |
Mönchengladbach (RP) Am 17. Mai ist der Dalai Lama in Gladbach.
Er ist das politische und religiöse Oberhaupt der Tibeter. Die
Stadt macht sich fit für seinen Besuch. Franz Alt, der den Dalai
Lama bereits 21-mal traf, zeigte den Film „Tränen über Tibet“.
[ weiterlesen ]
Zwei Mönche aus dem Kloster des Panchen Lama begehen
20.01.08 | DailyNet.de
Wie Radio Free Asia, www.rfa.org, aus Quellen in Tibet und aus
Indien erfuhr, haben zwei ältere Mönche aus dem Kloster
Tashilhunpo in der zweitgrößten tibetischen Stadt Shigatse
Selbstmord begangen, weil sie der Ausgrenzungskampagne, die von
den dort tätigen chinesischen Beamten gegen sie durchgeführt
wurde, nicht mehr Stand halten konnten. Gyaltsen Tsepa Lobsang,
71, und Yangpa Locho, 71, wurden am 8. September bzw. am 4.
November erhängt aufgefunden. Beide waren Mönche im Kloster
Tashilhunpo, dem historischen Sitz des Panchen Lama und dem
Schauplatz erbitterter antichinesischer Proteste Mitte der 90er