Official Resolution to Express Solidarity
Ever since it began the forced occupation of Tibet, the government of China carried out various kinds of sinister campaigns and policies designed to deceive the Tibetan people. And, especially, during such times and periods as the Great Cultural Revolution, it carried out such brutal and violent repressions, devoid of even a wisp of human kindness or concern, that they resulted in more than 1.2 million Tibetans being killed in an untimely manner. Thousands of religious centres were plundered and destroyed. Natural resources were dug up and exploited. Forests were sheared of all their trees. Wild lives were killed or captured. By numerous kinds of depraved practices such as these, China wreaked inestimable destruction on Tibet and its human and natural resources. And it became dangerous from every kind of consideration for the Tibetan people to continue to live in their own land. In particular, the religious traditions, culture, language, and so on, which are the identifying characteristics of the Tibetan people, were sought to be obliterated through endless series of vicious strategies. The situation in Tibet today is extremely critical, with the land of the Tibetan people in real danger of being soon transformed into just another Chinese territory under Beijing relentless moves. In particular, since the year 2008, China has been openly carrying out a policy of unprecedented and unrestrained violent repression, killing, torture, and beating against Tibetans across the three traditional provinces who carry out peaceful protests. Instead of being open minded and acting impartially in investigating and trying to understand the demands raised by the Tibetan people in their peaceful campaigns, learning truth from facts based on the actual situation in Tibet and adopting an appropriate policy to solve them, the Chinese government continues to act with utter thoughtlessness to crack down on them with brutal violence, thereby remaining steadfast in refusing to change its hardline policy. Rendered utterly helpless and unbearable to live under such a situation, Tibetans one after another have felt driven to resort to self-immolation, shouting their demands in a new campaign of protest.
Since the year 2009, until the eighth session of the 15th Tibetan Parliament in Exile, a total of 130 patriotic Tibetan men and women in Tibet have martyred themselves by self-immolation. Thereafter six more heroic Tibetan men and women, including from the religious orders, have immolated themselves in acts of great sacrifices, protesting against the Chinese government’s continued hardline policy on Tibet, demanding freedom for the Tibetan people, insisting that His Holiness the Dalai Lama be invited back to Tibet, and so on. They were acts of great selflessness and courage representing a high level of non-violent protest.
Since 17th September 2014, six men and women in Tibet – two patriotic Tibetans in Sangchu County of Domey, one in Gade County of Domey, two in Ngaba County, one in Tawu County of Dotoe Kardze Prefecture – have carried out self-immolation protests. Five of these Tibetans have lost their lives. Though the remaining one person was taken to hospital at the time of the self-immolation, his fate remains unknown so far. The situation in Tibet today continues to be that it is extremely difficult to find out in full detail how many innocent Tibetans had been taken into detention under China’s policy of leveling false charges, how many had been killed in different parts of Tibet, and how many had been jailed and tortured. And it is even more difficult to find out in which places Tibetans had been jailed or placed in detention.
Apart from the fact that there are no indications that China is going to change its hardline policy on Tibet, the actual situation remains that the restrictions and controls are continuing to increase. One can discern this by citing by way of example some of the events which have occurred in Tibet over the past six months. At the end of September last year, a China’s ethnic affairs work meeting and the 6th meeting of the State Council for awarding outstanding contributors to the national ethnic unity was held in Beijing. At that meeting China’s top and other leaders said that the fact that China was a multi-ethnic country was a characteristic feature of the nation. And they expressed opposition to the ideas of great Han chauvinism and narrow local nationalism. Nevertheless, it has totally ignored all suggestions aimed at seeking genuine autonomy to a territory encompassing all the Tibetan inhabited areas in accordance with the provisions of the basic features of the constitution of the People’s Republic of China. On the contrary, imposing a security clampdown on Tibet under its policy of colonialism, it has not only left the Tibetan people bereft of any political freedom but also denied them all human rights as well as freedoms of religious practice, movement, the use of their own language, and so on. Besides, it stifles Tibetans who through great efforts come to possess financially profitable undertakings with the result that the situation has become more critical than ever before.
Likewise, on the 4th of November last year, during a Standing Committee meeting of the Tibet Autonomous Region Committee of the Communist Party of China, it was stated that an examination was made of a report of the findings from a tour of the Tibet Autonomous Region undertaken by the fourth Central government inspection team. That report was stated to recommend that the campaign to oppose separatism should be strengthened and, on that basis, cadres who harbour fantasies about the 14th Dalai Lama Group, who follow the Dalai Lama Group, and who participate in or support separatist infiltration and sabotage activities should be strictly and severely punished according to the law. All this was despite the fact the government of China was fully aware of the fact that there had been no change in the mutually beneficial middle way proposal led by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and made by the Central Tibetan Administration for the purpose of resolving the just cause of the Tibetan people. It sought to avoid talks for a peaceful negotiation by falsely accusing the Tibetan side of campaigning for separatism. In connection with this stratagem, it also started a campaign of taking down Tibetan cadres under this charge and thereby helping to benefit ethnic Chinese cadres at their expense.
On the 7th of November last year, the website of “China’s Tibet” magazine featured a report about the holding of a function in Beijing for the inauguration of a project to make a “realistic” film about the Tibetan Buddhism’s system of recognizing the reincarnations of tulkus. The report stated that the work for the supervision of the system in Tibetan Buddhism for the recognition of the reincarnations of tulkus had now been brought under legal regulations. It also stated that in 2007, China’s State Administration of Religious Affairs had announced a set of “Regulation on Reincarnation of Living Buddhas in Tibetan Buddhism”. It added that these regulations had laid down in clear terms the fundamental points underlying the system for the recognition of the reincarnations of tulkus, the hierarchy of state authorities empowered to determine the fulfillment of conditions for the recognition and to grant permissions thereby. But it is entirely incompatible with the current historical stage for an atheist communist party government of China to lay down statutory rules and regulations on the question of the recognition of reincarnations of tulkus of Tibetan Buddhism. It is obvious that China has made this law only for its own political purposes and there is no way anyone can accept it. Besides, China also continued to falsify the actual history of Tibet and put it on television propaganda show.
And this year, the head of the Tibet Autonomous Region Discipline Inspection Commission said, “Last year the Discipline Inspection Commission of Tibet Autonomous Region investigated people among cadres who were suspected of having made contact with Tibet independence groups, who gave intelligence information to Dalai Lama Cliques and others, or who gave funding support to those who had carried out illegal activities that endangered national stability and security. Fifteen Tibetan cadres were found guilty and punished.” And so on. Likewise, the head of the Chinese communist party in the Tibet Autonomous Region told a meeting of the Tibet Autonomous Region Discipline Inspection Commission that there should be a simultaneous crackdown on corruption and on separatists.
And during the so-called the third plenary session of the 10th Tibet Autonomous Region People’s Congress, a six-point agenda for work during 2015 was announced under the title of “The twin foundations of inter-ethnic friendship and social stability should be strengthened, the inter-ethnic friendship should be made stronger than before, supervision should be carried out over religious matters in accordance with the law so as to accomplish the implementation of the 10-point agenda directed at safeguarding stability.” If one examines these matters, the conclusion becomes inescapable that by using the pretexts of ensuring the region’s economic development and maintenance of stability, China is not only launching a crackdown on the Tibetan people but it also emerges as having been made very obvious that the situation in Tibet will become ever more critical during the new year, especially in the area of religious freedom.
Speaking about other matters, China has been continuing to embark on a vicious spree of destroying Tibet’s natural environment, the world’s last unspoiled region, through mineral extractions by mining, clear cutting of forests, damming of rivers, pollution of lakes big and small, and so on. In this milieu, it, during last year, completed the construction of a hydro-electric power dam called the Zamchu Power Station along the Yarlung Tsangpo and began generating electricity from it. This project presents enormous dangers to the environment of Tibet as well as to the downstream countries of India and Bangladesh and has become an area of great attention and concern to their experts and so on.
Likewise, China has rendered the religious centres and the Tibetans committed to religious way of life bereft of any religious freedom and put them under unprecedented restrictions. It was under such a situation that in September last year, many Chinese cadres arrived at the Jhada Nunnery in Kham Driru County in the form of a work team and issued coercive orders to the nuns to commit blasphemy against His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It led to 26 nuns being expelled from their nunnery. This clearly shows that the government of China had been continuing to impose restrictions and carrying out repression on the Tibetan people’s religious freedom more intensely than before.
Likewise, according to the annual report of the Tibetan centre for Human Rights and Democracy at Dharamshala for the year 2014, there were a total of 2,110 Tibetans who were serving jail sentences after they had been arrested and tried by the Chinese government for alleged political offences. It also said that in 2014 alone, a total of 137 Tibetan were known to have been arrested for alleged political offences and sentenced to jail terms.
It is an inescapable duty of all Tibetans living in exile in whichever countries of the world they reside, especially in India, to publicize what is going on in Tibet to the global audiences. And it was with an understanding of this duty that publicity efforts have been made and petitions submitted on successive occasions before all sorts of global forums. In the recent past too, members of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, divided into various groups of delegations, called on as many members of the Indian parliament as they could arrange meetings with. During those meetings, as well as during their first ever lobbying tours of Taiwan and Thailand, successful efforts were made to create an understanding of the justness of the Tibetan people’s cause in general and especially of the current tragic situation in Tibet, including the self-immolation protests being carried out by Tibetans in Tibet.
From the year 2009 until the 5th of March 2015, a total of 136 lay as well as religious robed Tibetans in Tibet have carried out peaceful protests by setting themselves on fire. They were all one in voicing demands that said: “Invite His Holiness the Dalai Lama back to Tibet, let there be freedom in Tibet,” and so on. Such a form of protest is continuing and we undertake to redouble our efforts to fulfil the aspirations of the Tibetans both in Tibet and in exile.
Whenever Tibetans in Tibet carried out campaign actions, the Central Tibetan Administration based in exile, as well as exile Tibetan associations, individuals, and so on have continued to carry out campaign actions designed to show solidarity with them. Since the third session of the 14th Tibetan Parliament in Exile, official resolutions expressing mourning and solidarity have been adopted at successive sessions of the Parliament in Exile. In the international arena too, official resolutions expressing support for the Tibetan people’s struggle were adopted in many countries, declarations were issued and comments made expressing concern over the ongoing tragedy in Tibet. Through actions such as these, the international community strongly called on the government of China to end its policy of repression in Tibet and urged it to enter into peaceful talks with a view to resolve the issue.
In view of the continuous deterioration in the already tragic current situation in Tibet, it is pertinent as well as timely and important that an official resolution be adopted expressing solidarity with the Tibetan people in Tibet.
- The Tibetan Parliament in Exile expresses deep appreciation for the courage shown by the heroic men and women who have set themselves on fire for the sake of the religion and people of Tibet and, likewise, by the heroic men and women who have struggled for the sake of the religion and people of Tibet and as a consequence have been jailed by the Chinese government and continue to suffer hardship and pain. Along with these, we offer our condolences to the survivors and the next of kin of these people with an offer of our solidarity. And we pray with great solemnity that those who have died be kept in mind by the lotus-holding supreme Bodhisattva and be reborn in the Snowland of Tibet again where the sunshine of freedom and happiness shall definitely rise very soon; that those who continue to suffer ill-treatment and torture under China’s restrictions and imprisonment may win release as soon as possible.
- Leaders of China stress the importance of seeking truth from facts; they should therefore accept that the problem of Tibet deserves to be solved, needs to be solved, and can be solved. It should therefore earnestly start forthwith peaceful negotiations between the two sides on the basis of the mutually beneficial Middle Way Approach. The government of China should change its hardline policy and appreciate the aspirations of the Tibetan people and we reiterate the imperative of this by this resolution.
- On the fundamental causes underlying the current critical situation in Tibet in general, and, especially, the continuing losses of precious lives to self-immolations by Tibetans, the government of China should hold an impartial inquiry. Leaders of the world, international journalists, government bodies as well as non-governmental organizations, human rights monitoring groups and so on should send delegations to Tibet and explain to the leaders of China what the truth of the matter is. We appeal to them with great vehemence to give us immediate and definite, result-oriented support and solidarity to help the Tibetans realize their aspirations and save their lives.
- So far governments across the world have expressed concern over the critical situation in Tibet and shown solidarity with the Tibetan people. Parliaments have adopted resolutions. Likewise, Tibet Support groups, international non-governmental organizations, Chinese democracy campaign groups, and truth and justice loving individuals have all extended support by means of various kinds of non-violent campaign actions. We offer our thanks to them all. Along with it, we request them to continue to extend their support, as before, to our just cause and lend us their solidarity in efforts directed at resolving the issue of Tibet in general and, especially, for the purposes of resolving the current emergency situation and hardship in Tibet.
In particular, we also reiterate our appeal to the United Nations Organization that it too should immediately constitute and send a fact-finding delegation to investigate the current highly critical situation in Tibet.
Adopted unanimously by the Tibetan Parliament in Exile on 16 March 2015.
The above resolution was passed unanimously by the 9th sessions of the 15th Tibetan Parliament in Exile. 18 March, 2015.