Document no. 6
OFFICIAL SOLIDARITY RESOLUTION ON CRITICAL SITUATION INSIDE TIBET
It is a historical fact that thousands of years of history of Tibetan Buddhism have been in existence since the establishment of the Purgyal Dynasty in 127 BCE. With the subsequent Peace Treaty signed in the 8th century declaring the famous dbon zhang (Nephew-Uncle) relationship between Tibet and China, a friendship stone pillar was erected in which carved the statement, “Tibetans shall be happy in the land of Tibet, and Chinese in the land of China.”
Consequent to the mutual agreement, Tibet established and practised its own political and legal governance proclaiming Tibet’s national sovereignty and independence indisputable and that continued until the illegal military annexation by the Chinese government in 1949. By 1959, the CCP has occupied the whole ecology of Tibet and took complete control over Tibet’s political and religious affairs. The repression forced His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the temporal and spiritual leader of Tibet, to flee into exile in India along with an entourage of distinguished religious heads and thousands of Tibetans.
Under the military invasion by the Chinese government, at least 1.2 Tibetans were killed and an estimated 6000 monasteries were destroyed. In addition, large-scale extraction of mineral resources and deforestation were carried out causing a grave impact on Tibet’s environment. Since the invasion, the Chinese government enacted unlawful detention and imprisonment of Tibetans, torture of detainees, repressed religious freedom, and essentially deprived Tibetans of their fundamental human rights through the implementation of policies that are in complete violation of international human rights law.
Though China strongly refutes accusations of religious persecution of Tibetan people, it continues to impose severe punishment on Tibetans who are found in possession of photographs and portraits of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Tibetans inside Tibet continue to go through unimaginable suffering and brutality under Beijing’s repressive policies. To resist Beijing’s implementation of draconian measures and policies, Tibetans have resorted to self-immolation and the number of such forms of protest has been unprecedented particularly since 2009 when a young monk named Tapey self-immolated in a marketplace. Similarly, on the early morning of 27 March 2022, 81-year-old Taphun self-immolated in front of a police station located near Kirti monastery in protest against the Chinese government’s oppression. It was reported that the police took Taphun away after his self-immolation attempt. However, he died later in custody.
In May 2022, a Tibetan monk from Kanlho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture died in protest against the intensified restriction on religious activities in the region. A young Tibetan language activist from Seshul county, Thupten Lodoe, also known by his pen name Sabuche was arbitrarily arrested in October 2021 and was later sentenced to 4 and half years imprisonment for “inciting separatist acts and creating disorder in society’ on 13 or 14 June 2022. In a similar case of relentlessly targeting Tibetan intellectuals and writers, the Chinese government detained renowned poet and author Rongwo Gendun Lhundup on 2 December 2020. He was sentenced to four years’ fixed-term imprisonment and two years’ deprivation of political rights on 1 December 2021 by the Xining Intermediate People’s Court. In another similar case, on 24 May 2019, 52-year-old philanthropist Tenzin Choephel was sentenced to 18 years in prison and five years of deprivation of political rights on false charges of “illegally sending intelligence overseas” and “financing activities that endanger state security”. In addition, the Chinese authorities have confiscated all of his private property. Another case includes the sentencing of a Tibetan businessman Tenzin Tharpa to two and half years on charges of aiding a family member in sending money to relatives in India. Tharpa is from Driru County, Kham Region of Tibet. Tenzin Sherab, a 33-year-old nomad from Yushul in eastern Tibet’s Kham province set himself on fire in May 2013 in an apparent protest against the Chinese government’s policies in Tibet. He died on the spot. A former political prisoner Jigme Gyatso known for his remarkable courage in standing up for Tibet and Tibetans’ rights passed away on 2 July 2022 due to poor health since released from prison. In another highly publicised instance following the self-immolation of one of Tibet’s famous singers Tsewang Norbu, the father of the late singer reportedly committed suicide due to constant threats and harassment by Chinese officials.
Despite the perpetual detainment and imprisonment of Tibetans under false indictment perpetrated by the Chinese Communist Party, the Tibetans have remained resolute in their resistance to the repression. Since 2009, a total of 157 self-immolation cases inside Tibet have been reported. All of those self-immolators have in unison repeatedly raised slogans calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet, independence, and unity among the Tibetan people.
To honour the sacrifices of Tibetan martyrs and immortalize their courageous efforts, the Central Tibetan Administration, civil society organisations and private individual persons have expressed and continue to express by passing resolutions of Solidarity with the suffering and the continuing efforts of the Tibetan people. Internationally also, many nations have passed official resolutions of support for the Tibetan people and issued statements of support and concern for the situation inside Tibet. As such, we strongly appeal to the Chinese government to put an end to their policy of repression inside Tibet and engage in dialogue with the representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to resolve the Sino-Tibetan conflict.
In July this year, the 8th World Parliamentarians’ Convention was held in Washington, USA which was attended by U.S House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other distinguished members of the international community. The forum unanimously issued a Washington Declaration and passed a Washington Action Plan. Additionally, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China held a hearing on ‘Tibet: Barriers to Settling an Unresolved Conflict’ during which, historical experts on Tibet’s history presented their testimonies and based on their findings, firmly established that Tibet was never a part of China.
Since the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus originated from Wuhan in late 2019, millions of people contracted, and more than hundreds or thousands died. However, at the time, the Chinese government’s official data entailed only 90,000 cases of covid in all parts of the PRC out of which, the death count estimates to be some 4000. Moreover, the official record in Lhasa at the time reported a single case of covid, a Chinese traveler from Wuhan. The persistently low figures released by the official data prompted skepticism and questions from global data analysts. Not only was travel restriction from Wuhan to Tibet not imposed during the peak of the covid outbreak, but even when the virus gradually spread to other parts of the country, travel restriction to Tibet was still not imposed. At a time when the world is still dealing with the epidemic, China and parts of occupied Tibet recorded a new surge in cases enforcing China to implement the ‘Zero Covid Policy’ for their political needs, under which, strict lockdowns were imposed in various parts of Tibet and Tibetans were compelled into gathering, beaten up, and subjected to immense suffering through curtailing the supply of food and clothing.
As elucidated above, political tension continues to exist in Tibet, and the ecology of Tibet is deteriorating as a result of the implementation of damaging policies. Therefore, the successive Tibetan Parliament in Exile has passed a series of official resolutions of mourning and solidarity. We strictly urge the implementation of those resolutions and feel it imperative that the 17th Tibetan Parliament during its fourth session pass this official resolution of Solidarity.
- Reaffirms and expresses its highest respect to all the brave Tibetans who have sacrificed their sacred lives under the brutal oppression of the Chinese government in Tibet, and pray that they are reborn in Tibet and continue to offer their noble contribution towards the Tibetan polity. We also express our profound condolences to their families and relatives.
- Expresses solidarity to Tibetans for their unprecedented suffering under China’s repressive Zero Covid Policy while urging China to put an immediate end to such policies for political gains and coordinate the normal life of Tibetans.
- The Chinese government’s policy of repression and tyranny in Tibet, which violates the fundamental rights of the Tibetans, must be stopped immediately and the human rights of Tibetans in Tibet must be protected.
- The Chinese government should take responsibility for the physical welfare of the Eleventh Panchen Lama Jetsun Tenzin Gedhun Yeshi Trinley Pelsangpo ( Gedhun Choekyi Nyima) as well as all the other Tibetan political prisoners. We urge the Chinese government to release them immediately and provide them with their basic human rights.
- Although Tibet was never a part of China historically, the key to resolving the Sino-Tibet conflict is the mutually-beneficial Middle Way Approach proposed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Therefore, we should make efforts to resolve the Sino-Tibetan conflict through the Middle Way Approach.
- The Tibetan Parliament also expresses its heartfelt gratitude to the people and government of India for its kind hospitality and support. We also express our gratitude to the international community including governments, parliaments, non-governmental organizations, and private individuals for extending their continued support towards Tibet.
- Tibetans inside Tibet have been forced to endure hell on earth since the occupation of Tibet by Chinese forces. However, the determination and spirit of the Tibetan people have been unflinching and from them, Tibetans in exile should take inspiration and should strive to resolve the Tibet issue. Tibetans in exile should unite their concerted effort to preserve the Tibetan religion, culture, and Tibetan language. And so be it adopted accordingly with the unanimous approval of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile on 7 September 2022.
The above resolution was passed with unanimous approval by the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile at its 4th session on 7 September 2022.
* This is an English translation of the Tibetan original, in case of any discrepancy the latter should be considered authoritative and final for all purposes.