Official Resolution of Solidarity
Through successive Tsenpo rulers since its first king NyatriTsenpo, the kingdom of Purgyal Tibet had evolved as a nation in Central Asia renowned for its military power equally as of China and Mongolia. Indeed, it was a period in which Tibet was a fully independent country, with its own Tibetan language and script, religious traditions, cultural heritage, social civilization and political system. Later succession of Dalai Lamas ruled the country with both temporal and spiritual powers. The emergence of this system marked the beginning of a great era of an unmatched period that attained political stability and advancement of its religious traditions with its subjects basking in the freedom and happiness in their life.
However, in 1949 after the communist Chinese founded the People’s Republic of China, it forcefully invaded Tibet and gradually gained full control over the whole of its territory, its entire human and natural resources. During its occupied rule, the communist Chinese carried out series of political campaigns under various slogans, beginning with its so-called Democratic Reform, Quelling the Turmoil, and so on, till the recent slogan such as “Administering the border to stabilize Tibet”. Although China has so far held six series of Tibet Development Forum meetings, it has still not changed its violent and brutal hardline policy in Tibet. During this period, the communist Chinese government put more than a million Tibetan to untimely death. Tens of thousands of them were arrested, imprisoned, persecuted and tortured. Thousands of places of worship were razed to ground without a trace. Numerous precious, sacred and rare artifacts were plundered. On the pretext of development and progress, large numbers of ethnic Chinese were migrated to Tibet. Rich mineral resources are being recklessly exploited. Nomads are being forced to move into fixed settlements. The freedom of movement of the Tibetan people in Tibet is severely restricted and the study and use of Tibetan language is continuously being curtailed and undermined. Nevertheless, the communist Chinese government exaggerates tall claims of the Tibetan People living with happiness in the great motherland of the People’s Republic of China.
In fact, since the great national uprising in March 1959, there has never been an end to the Tibetan people’s protest against the policies of the Chinese government in Tibet. In Particular, despite the fact that the Tibetan in Tibet have continued to live without any freedom and under constant repression, torture and terror over the last nearly 70 years, they have continued to adhere to their traditional religious and cultural values, their tradition of ethically upright conduct, thus preserving the Tibetan people’s unique ethnic identity without any let down. In addition, as per the protest movement in 1980s, the new generation of young Tibetans carried out the Great Land-Mouse Peaceful Movement 2008, series of self-immolation protests since 2009, movement to protect the Tibetan language and script since 2010, staged lone street protests with shouting of slogans by individual Tibetans since 2014, and carried out other forms of protest through diverse artistic expressions with courage and undaunted selfless sacrifices to continue the Tibetan people’s struggle for their just cause, and engaged in numerous other types of campaigns to make clear their sense of oneness of all Tibetans through both good and bad times are because China has never changed its hardline policy on the issue of Tibet.
In particular, in a development unprecedented in world history, a total of 145 Tibetans in Tibet have, according to fully verified information, carried out self-immolation protests, starting from the 27th of February 2009 when the monk Tabey-la immolated himself in a protest action and until the 8th of December 2016 when Tashi Rabten-la immolated himself likewise. They have shouted slogans, calling for His Holiness the Dalai Lama to be invited back to Tibet, demanding freedom in Tibet, calling Tibet an independent country, demanding protection for Tibetan language and Tibet’s natural environment extra and also putting down these calls in written messages of last words. A total of 125 of those Tibetans are known to have succumbed to their injuries. Nevertheless, the government of China has never paid any heed to these calls and demands. Rather, it has continued to seek baseless accusations that self-immolators had been instigated by what it calls the ‘Dalai clique’. It has never been able to produce any evidence to back its accusations. Neither has China been able to garner any international support for these accusations.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration have held talks with the Chinese leadership with a view to resolve the dispute over Tibet so as to bring about a peaceful state of coexistence between the two sides. In particular, the Tibetan side has proposed and still continues to adhere to a middle way policy that is mutually beneficial to China and Tibet, seeking genuine and meaningful autonomy for the Tibetan inhabited territories within the framework of the existing constitution of the People’s Republic of China. Nevertheless, the government of China has so far not given any proper response to this proposal.
Under the constitution of the People’s Republic of China, numerous laws and regulations have been adopted, such as those on the so-called regional autonomy for ethnic minority areas, regulations on religious affairs, basic policy on the use of ethnic minority languages, law on the protection of grassland, policy on the protection of natural environment, law on the protection of intangible cultural heritage, and so on. However, when people within the Chinese leadership as well as Chinese activists, creative artists filed petition to their government to seek redress for their grievances they were politically accused of being separatists and people seeking to overthrow the Chinese state authority. They are arrested, jailed and subjected to all manners of harassment for no legitimate reason at all. It is under such an atmosphere of fear and anxiety that the Tibetan people today continue to remain under Chinese occupied rule. The US-based international human rights organization Freedom House in its annual ‘Freedom in the World’ report for the year 2016 stated that ever since Mr. Xi Jinping became president, China totally ignore the rule of law while the absolute totalitarian authority of the Communist Party of China was greatly strengthened. As a result, the report continued, there was a marked deterioration in freedom in China in general and especially in Xinjiang, Tibet, and other ethnic minority regions of the People’s Republic of China with regard especially to political freedom as well as in the areas of freedoms of speech and assembly, and, likewise, in the areas of religious freedom and all other freedoms that are fundamental for the sustenance of a human life. The report further added that in 2016, the government of China took a decision to crack down harder on the works of certain religious organizations and intensified the level of restrictions and surveillance on the practice of religious freedom by ethnic minority groups such as Tibetan Buddhists and Uyghur Muslims. And the report revealed China as the worst violator when it comes to the question of political rights and civil liberties.
Since the forceful disappearance of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the young reincarnation of the late 10th Panchen Lama of Tibet, China has rendered it impossible to find out his whereabouts. They brought untimely death to many prisoners including Tulku Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche, who was politically charged with false criminal accusations. The political prisoners, such as Ladang Jigme Gyatso, was released with chronic and serious ailments inflicted during their imprisonment. These are just some examples which show that even now China has not stopped its brutal and inhuman persecution and torture of the Tibetan people. For example, Mr. Tashi Wangchuk who petitioned the government of China to seek protection for the Tibetan language as guaranteed by China’s constitution has been arrested and jailed, having been falsely accused of instigating in separatist activities. In its 13th Five-Year Plan deviating from all the rules and regulations, the government of China has decided to adopt a policy of strengthening focus on promotion of common language to undermine the language and script of ethnic minority groups specially Tibetan. Tibetans who travelled to Nepal and India for pilgrimage and to receive religious teachings and empowerments were issued unprecedented threats of punishment in case they did not return home at once. Their passports were taken away by force and cut into pieces with scissors right before their eyes after they landed on airport so as to render them useless. The fundamental freedom of religious belief of the Tibetan people was thereby severely violated. In a section of the monasteries in Tibet, magnitude of the destruction is like the revival of the Cultural Revolution. Besides, China keeps vilifying His Holiness the Dalai Lama over his great noble deeds which is in real sense a campaign to split up the People’s Republic of China.
Praising the enormous efforts made by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, lending support for Sino-Tibetan peace talks, showing concern for the tragic situation in Tibet, the President of India has met with the Tibetan leader. Likewise, the new administration of the United States of America has shown keen interest on the issue of Tibet. And the European Parliament has especially called on China to halt its destruction of the Larung Gar Buddhist Academy in Serta County of Kham. International human rights organizations such as Amnesty International have shown particular interest to the case of the jailed Tibetan language right activist Mr. Tashi Wangchuk. Developments such as these show with utmost clarity that irrespective of the pressure being exerted by the government of China, there is continued support and taking of responsibility from the international community with regard to the actual situation in Tibet.
Since its invasion and occupation for nearly 70 years, China has persecuted and tortured the Tibetan people to such an extent of cruelty to experience the hell on the earth, not giving the Tibetan people the rights enshrined in its own laws in any meaningful sense and therefore, the Tibetan people – including the young, the adult and the old alike – have carried out series of peaceful protest campaigns unabated. In particular, known and verified and proven facts show that a total of 145 Tibetan people have immolated themselves in protest against the inhuman policies of the government of China. And because China continues to totally ignore the demands that have been raised by those Tibetan protesters, and the situation in Tibet therefore remains as critical and tragic as ever. It is therefore of great importance to adopt an official resolution on this third session or the 16th Tibetan Parliament in Exile, to reiterate our solidarity with them.
1) The Tibetan Parliament Exile expresses solidarity with the patriotic Tibetan men and women who have self-immolated themselves with courage and determination for the just cause of Tibet and offer our condolences to the surviving family members and relatives. We pray that through the power of their devotion to the supreme protector, they be reborn in the Land of Snows. And we urge each and every Tibetan to take a higher level of responsibility to realize their agonized calls, last word and dreams for Tibetans.
2) We call upon the Chinese leadership to release all Tibetans who still remain imprisoned and suffer persecution and torture and that the government of China to bear full responsibility of health care for all Tibetans who have been released from jail. In particular, we also urge the international community and those who support the Tibetan people’s struggle to pool their concerns and efforts to realize these objectives.
3) Central Tibetan Administration continue to exert more effort at ensuring the implementation of a policy of giving all the ethnic Tibetan regions a status of genuine and meaningful autonomy for an ethnic minority region based on the mutually beneficial Middle Way Approach. We call upon the leadership of China to take responsibility to resume the talk immediately.
4) In consonance with its expansionist policy large scale migration of Chinese people into Tibetan regions violates the fundamental rights of the Tibetan people, tearing up their rights to religious freedom, destroying the fragile natural environment, undermining their right to learn and use their own mother tongue, exercising controls and restrictions in their day to day movement conducts and living. With regard to these, the Tibetan Parliament in Exile call on China to end its policy of violent repression and brutality and instead work towards making the region a truly realized zone of peace in keeping with the fundamental aspiration of the Tibetan people.
5) The Tibetan Parliament in Exile urges the leaders and concerned officials of nations who covet justice and fairness, members of parliaments, the intellectual community, advocates of freedom, and the of supporters of the Tibetan people’s struggle to continue their support for the Tibetan issue. It also reiterate its hope that an impartial and independent investigation team could be sent to Tibet to examine the tragic situation and the real causes to find out the emotional and physical hardships inflicted on the Tibetan people and the reasons why the Tibetan people had been driven to carry out endless series of protest campaigns on various scales and of different intensities like series of self-immolation protests during its nearly 70 years of occupation.
6) The Tibetan Parliament in Exile wishes to express its gratitude for all the assistance extended to the Tibetan refugees by the host governments in general and especially by state governments and its people. In particular, we are grateful to the state government for having provided a very high standard of facilitative assistance during the recent conferment by His Holiness the Dalai Lama of his 34th Kalachakra empowerment at the supremely sacred Buddhist site of Bodh Gaya. And we earnestly request for the same level of assistance till the just cause of Tibet and the Tibetan people prevails.
7) Although the Tibetans inside Tibet are continuously subjected to a state of high anxiety and fear at all times, they have, to this day, remained steadfast in their defiance and courage across generations in carrying out an unceasing series of protest campaigns against the policies of the government of China. It is on this fundamental basis that the Tibetan Parliament in Exile reminds each and every Tibetan in exile, whether it is a governmental or non-governmental organization, including the Central Tibetan Administration, or a member of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, as well as everyone else, to pledge to shoulder personal responsibility to the best of their capability to not let go waste the enormous amounts of sacrifice made by those Tibetans in Tibet.
Then above resolution was adopted unanimously accordingly by the 16th Tibetan Parliament in Exile at its Third Session on 15th March, 2017.
* In case of any discrepancy between this English translation and its original Tibetan text, the latter should be considered as authoritative and final.