An official resolution expressing condolences
We live today in the 21st century which is recognized as a century of peace, harmony and democracy. Nevertheless, the Government of China continues to carry on a blatant and deliberate policy of violent repression, killing, torture and beating without being subjected to any sort of restraint. Being in no position anymore to endure such a situation, tens of thousands of patriotically inspired heroic Tibetan men and women have carried on without any let up peaceful protests, prepared to give up their all, including their very lives.
It has now been 56 years since Tibetans living in exile in countries such as India fled their homeland and became refugees. During that period, the communist government of China has carried on a wholesale destruction of Tibet and its resources and inhabitants. And it also continues to implement a hardline and brutal policy of unceasing torture and persecution on an unprecedented scale. Not being able to accept or endure such a situation, the general masses of Tibetans who remained behind in their homeland have been unceasing in their peaceful protest campaigns. In particular, there was the mass uprising Tibetan protests of the Earth-Mouse Year. Since the year 2009, 142 Tibetans in Tibet – including monks and nuns as well as laypeople, men and women – have carried out protests by immolating themselves. During this year alone thus far, there have been six self-immolations. These facts clearly speak for themselves. The ardent hope and aspiration of those Tibetans remain that conditions should be created to enable His Holiness the Dalai Lama to be able to return from exile to his homeland, the Snowland of Tibet, as soon as possible, and that there should be respect for the freedom of the Tibetan people. If the leaders of China are really committed to act on what they outwardly claim about having a genuine sense of care and concern for the Tibetan people, they should understand that they have an emphatic duty to fulfill these thirst-for-water-like yearnings of the general masses of the people of Tibet and the last words of their self-immolated dead. But far from having any such sense of duty, they implement the exact opposite, unchanging policy of harsh repression. Because of it, the people of Tibet have found themselves to be left with no other choice but to carry out various kinds of non-violent protests and uprising.
Each campaign of peaceful protest by Tibetans left behind in Tibet has been followed by solidarity actions by the Tibetan administration in exile, as well as by Tibetan organizations and private individuals in exile. In this milieu, the 15th Tibetan Parliament in Exile has, during its successive sessions, adopted official resolutions, expressing mourning, admiration and solidarity with those Tibetans. Internationally too, official parliamentary resolutions have been passed, statements issued, and remarks made in many countries, expressing support for the Tibetan people and serious concern over the situation in their homeland. With actions such as these, the international community has urged China to end its policy of repression in Tibet while strongly calling on it to hold talks with representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to find a negotiated solution to the issue of Tibet.
Since it launched the invasion of Tibet, China has killed or directly caused the untimely death of more than 1.2 million Tibetans. It has put the criminal cap on the heads of tens of thousands of patriotically inspired heroic Tibetan men and women that included the 10th Panchen Lama as well and thereby arrested and imprisoned them, subjected them to violent torture and persecution, executed them, filed false criminal charges against innocent Tibetans such as Tulku Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche and brought about their deaths in unexplained circumstances, and so on. Those were measures which defied all human decency and were evil in nature. Likewise, as stated by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in their annual report, from 1992 till the 5th of September 2015, China had detained a total of 2211 Tibetans for alleged political activities and that a total of 457 had been tried and sentenced.
Particularly noteworthy is a white paper titled “Tibet’s Path of Development Is Driven by an Irresistible Historical Tide” which was issued by the Government of China in April this year. This document spoke of the ending by China of Tibet’s old system as a historical inevitability and one which was irreversible. It spoke about the new Tibet under China’s rule as being set on an excellent path of progress. It also said the nature of the “middle way” proposal made by His Holiness the Dalai Lama was to split China. The white paper also had a section which derided the Tibetan campaign against China as being “peaceful” and “non-violent”, claiming this was not true. The white paper’s fifth and last section dealt with China’s policy towards the 14th Dalai Lama. These were the five chapters into which the white paper was divided.
After that, China again issued a white paper titled “Successful Practice of Regional Ethnic Autonomy in Tibet” in September. This white paper had eight chapters, which were titled as “Old Tibet: Dark and Backward,” “Embarking on the Road to Development and Progress,” “The Political System Suited to China’s Actual Conditions,” “The People as Masters of the Country,” “Improving People’s Welfare,” “Protecting and Carrying Forward the Excellent Traditional Culture,” “Respecting and Protecting Freedom of Religious Belief,” and “Promoting Ecological Progress.” This white paper was full of misleading claims, lies and distortions of various kinds which supposedly explained how China had introduced progress in Tibet.
This is the year in which the 80th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is being observed. Because if it, China carried out deployments of its special armed forces in Tibet while carrying out strong measures to cut off its communication links with the outside world, rendering it very difficult to get detailed information about the continuing tragic situation there. Nevertheless, from many places in Dotoe and Domey regions of Tibet, information have been received suggesting that Tibetans had shouted slogans, demanding that His Holiness the Dalai Lama should have the freedom to return to Tibet. As a result, a section of such Tibetans got arrested and imprisoned by the Chinese authorities.
On its national Army Day of 1st August, marking the founding of the People’s Liberation Army, the Chinese authorities forced the local Tibetans in Driru (Chinese: Biru) County of Nagchu (Naqu) Prefecture to wear their traditional costumes trimmed with furs of endangered wild lives while being made to present cultural shows on stage. Likewise, in the Kham Nangchen County when a festival was organized over August 1 to 3 to celebrate the same Chinese anniversary, the Tibetans of Kashung Township refused to wear traditional costumes decorated with furs of endangered wild lives; they also refused to put on ornaments. Faulting them for these refrains, the Chinese police came in the night of August 3 and gave severe beatings to the Tibetans. As a result, about 30 Tibetans became severely injured and had to be taken to hospital. Also this year, ahead of celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region, China subjected postal and couriers services between Tibet’s capital Lhasa and Beijing to special scrutiny. It also imposed severe restrictions on the movement, stay and travel freedoms of the general masses of Tibetans, making their lives unimaginably miserable.
Over two days from the 24th to the 25th of August this year, China held its so-called Sixth Tibet Forum Meeting in Beijing. At that meeting, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that governing Tibet according to law, ensuring that Tibet becomes a moderately prosperous society in the near future, long-term sustainability of Tibet under the current system, ethnic unity, and making Tibet stable at the fundamental level and so on were the important basic issues underlying China’s plans for its work in Tibet. This was the first biggest meeting concerning Tibet attended by President Xi Jinping after he assumed the top party, government and military leadership of China. Nevertheless, he did not discuss in that meeting any issue dealing with the aspirations of the general masses of the Tibetan people. Besides, he did not say anything about making any change in China’s current policy of violent repression and brutality in Tibet.
From the 1st of September 2015, China began celebrating what it called the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region. And in his speech delivered in Lhasa on the 8th of September, Mr. Yu Zhengsheng, the Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said that strengthening ethnic unity, ensuring sustained governance of Tibet according to law, making efforts to ensure economic prosperity, strengthening the work to improve people’s livelihood, deepening the struggle to counter the separatist forces, and resolutely protecting the motherland’s unity and the stability of the nation were the means by which persistent efforts should be made to ensure the realization of the sustained stability, long term stability, and comprehensive stability of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Such were the types of propaganda rhetoric used to strongly spread claims about China having brought progress in Tibet. The reality, on the contrary, is that during those past 50 years, China has kept on violating its own laws, never remained true to its own words or promises, dismembered Tibet to divide its territory, and has been on an uninterrupted course of trying to completely destroy Tibet’s religion and culture under the name of campaigns such as the Cultural Revolution. The Tibetans who remained behind in their occupied homeland have continued to remain under a policy of violent repression, deprived of all their human rights, including the freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of religious faith, and freedom even over one’s body. It was thus a period of 50 years during which the authoritarian government of the communist ruled China has, by destroying all bases for the exercise of self-determination in Tibet, confined its people in a dungeon of utter darkness. Such being the reality, the past 50 years have certainly been a period that we must act to remember and because of it consider it extremely important to adopt a resolution.
- The Tibetan Parliament in Exile expresses admiration for the courageous and heroic men and women who had been inspired by their sense of patriotism to sacrifice their lives by means of self-immolation for the sake of the religion, nationhood and people of Tibet. Likewise, it also expresses admiration for the courageous and heroic men and women who have been inspired by their sense of patriotism to struggle for the sake of the religion, nationhood and people of Tibet and who therefore continue to suffer under imprisonment. With a sense of solidarity, we seek to offer solace and condolences to their families and other near and dear ones. And we pray with ardent devotion that those who have passed away, being taken up by the Lotus-Holding Supreme Bodhisattva, be reborn in the Snowland of Tibet where the sunshine of freedom and happiness may definitely prevail once again. And we also pray with ardent devotion that those who continue to suffer torture and ill-treatment under the violent repression of the Chinese government may gain as speedy a release as possible.
- The Tibetan Parliament in Exile calls on the leaders of the government of China to move away from its hardline policies on Tibet and the Tibetan people of ethnic assimilation, colonialism and so on to embrace positive changes by which the reality of the situation in Tibet is taken into account and the true aspirations of the Tibetan people are recognized so that a solution that is mutually beneficial to both China and Tibet could be implemented. We deem it imperative that innocent Tibetans, including especially the young Panchen Rinpoche reincarnation, who had been arrested, imprisoned and so on and who thereby continued to suffer torture and ill-treatment should be released forthwith and their universally recognized human rights fully respected. And the issue of Tibet should be resolved at the earliest possible moment on the basis of an emphatic appreciation of the overall issue of Tibet through cordial contacts and discussions between the two sides.
- The Tibetan Parliament in Exile will never accept the so many distortions of facts that are contained in the two white papers brought out this year by the Information Office of the State Council, or China’s cabinet. As regards the so-called China’s Sixth Forum Meeting on Tibet, as well as the so-called 50th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the Tibet Autonomous Region, they were no more than showpieces designed to make the outside world to falsely believe that Beijing was truly concerned about the interest of Tibet. They were repetitions of efforts to present the case that Tibet remained an inseparable part of China. It is our understanding that there was nothing in those efforts to contribute in any meaningful way towards the resolution of the Sino-Tibetan dispute.
- To the United Nations Organization, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, governments, parliaments, government leaders, and numerous non-governmental organizations and private individuals who have been as supportive as they could be towards Tibet and the Tibetan people and who continue to remain committed to do so, the Tibetan Parliament in Exile offers appreciation and gratitude. And we call on them to continue to extent support in whatever way they possibly could towards freeing the Tibetan people in Tibet who continue to endure unbearable hardship through a clear understanding and exposure of the Chinese government’s brutal and deceptive evil policies. We make this appeal with utmost urgency.
The above resolution was adopted unanimously by the Tibetan Parliament in Exile on 15 September, 2015