Official Resolution Expressing Solidarity
In 1949, the totalitarian Communist Party of China took control of the whole of China. However, not contended with this achievement of power, it at once set out to fulfil its hunger for further territorial acquisitions with a great display of avarice and invaded the religiously immersed vast Snowland of Tibet. In the beginning it sought to sweet-talk, lie, and deceive by giving false explanations about being in the country only to liberate what it called the millions of Tibetan serfs. Over the period of time since then, however, it carried out a series of campaigns of brutal repression and persecution of the Tibetan people under all sorts of different names one after another, such as the so-called Quelling the Turmoil; Democratic Reform; forcing on the Tibetan side an agreement under duress; the Cultural Revolution; the Class Struggle, the Three Antis and the Two Exemptions campaigns of 1951-52 and 1959; the Three Great Educations campaign; the Beat One, Oppose Three campaign; the Martial Law clampdown; the Loving the Nation (or Being Patriotic), as well as Loving Religion campaign; the Strike Hard campaign; Clamping down on the Three – One – four Incident, and so on. Under these different campaigns, hundreds of thousands of Tibetans have been killed, thousands of places of worship which were abodes of religiously devoted monks and nuns were destroyed; many Tibetan people were forced to flee their homeland and to live in exile in other lands; and Tibetans left behind in their homeland were forced to suffer hell on earth, being subjected to constant hardship and persecution of unimaginable severity. And the extent of the suffering and psychosis of fear inflicted on them was such that many Tibetans were driven to commit suicide by stabbing themselves with knives; parents and children were driven to commit suicide by holding their hands together and jumping down swiftly following rivers, and there were numerous other manners in which many Tibetans were driven to end their lives. To sum up, large numbers of whole families of Tibetans were killed and destroyed without any surviving descendant. These were all results of the hardline policies of brutal repression pursued in Tibet by the communist government of China.
The communist government of China has been relentless in carrying out the destruction of Tibet and its entire human and natural resources. And the severity of the persecution and ill-treatment it has inflicted on the Tibetan people has also been both relentless and beyond all imaginations. Indeed this was the reason why the Tibetan people in Tibet have felt driven to never stop carrying out their peaceful protest campaigns. In particular, in 2008, the Tibetans in Tibet carried out the great uprising protests of the Earth-Mouse Year. And since the year 2009, until 20 September 2016, there have been 144 verified cases of protest self-immolations by Tibetan men and women who belonged to both the religious and lay communities. Those Tibetans had lost all hope of being able to endure any more the repression and brutal ill-treatment they were being endlessly subjected to by the communist government of China. With vehement shouting on top of their voices of slogans such as those calling for the definite return in all speediness of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to his homeland of the Snowland of Tibet, for freedom for the Tibetan people in Tibet, for the Tibetan people to be able to freely enjoy their linguistic heritage, and, in the case of a section of them, for independence for Tibet and so on, they set themselves on fire. Unfortunately, however, far from giving any consideration towards fulfilling these aspirations of the Tibetan people in Tibet, the communist government of China has taken all sorts of measures to continue to tighten its policy of repression over them. This in turn has left the Tibetan people in Tibet with no other option but to keep carrying out peaceful protest actions of various kinds.
Responding to the series of continued campaign actions of various kinds undertaken by the Tibetan people in Tibet, the Central Tibetan Administration in exile as well as the Tibetan associations, individuals and others in exile have also continued to carry out solidarity movement actions. In this milieu, the Tibetan Parliament in Exile too has, during successive sessions, adopted official resolutions of mourning and remembrance as well as official resolutions expressing solidarity with the Tibetan people in Tibet and on that basis kept launching appeal actions at various forums across the world. And in countries from all corners of the world too, official resolutions of support for the Tibetan cause have been adopted, proclamations issued, and speeches expressing concern over the gravity of the situation in Tibet delivered. Through such kinds of various actions, strongly persuasive pressure continues to be exerted from all spheres on the government of China, urging it to end its hardline policy of repression in Tibet and thereby respect the human rights of the Tibetan people, and calling on it to engage in dialogue with representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to resolve the Sino-Tibetan conflict on the basis of the mutually beneficial middle way policy.
Presently, however, there is no indication whatsoever that China has any intention to change its policy on the issue of Tibet. In fact, the policy has only been continued to be hardened and the gravity of the situation has therefore been becoming ever more serious. Through successive Five-Year Plans China has been building new towns and cities in Tibet in order to further the Chinese colonization of the Tibetan territory. In particular, the government of China has plans to build by the year 2020 new railway lines from the Chinese city of Chengdu to Tibet’s capital Lhasa, from southern Tibet’s Shigatse city to the border town near India of Dromo, also from Shigatse to the border town near Nepal of Kyidong, and from Kyidong to the Himalayan border areas of Nepal. These projects pose long term strategic dangers from China not only to Tibet but also to the southeast Asian countries, and, especially, to Nepal, India, and other neighbouring countries.
China has also been grabbing the land which many successive generations of Tibetan farmers and nomads had freely owned and used to sustain their way of life. Just recently, for example, a Tibetan Buddhist monk named Soepa was arrested from the gateway of the Sershul County government secretariat after he sought to petition the authorities, asking them for a fair redistribution of land which had illegally been confiscated by force from the local Tibetans. After being taken away by the Chinese police, local government officials told him that the land ultimately belonged to the government of the People’s Republic of China, that the Tibetan nomadic community should know that they did not have any ownership right over it. He was also told that if in future Tibetans resorted to petitioning the authorities by refusing to respect decisions of the government of China over land issues, police would be sent to arrest and jail them. Given the situation such as this, it has become extremely difficult for the Tibetan people to live and earn their livelihood in their own ancestral land.
Likewise, at the Buddhist academy called the Serta Larung Ngarig Nangten Lobling in Serta County of Karze Prefecture, China had, in the years 2001 and 2002, carried out forced delimitation of the number of monks and nuns who could remain enrolled there. Pursuant to that decision, a large number of monastic residences were demolished and other kinds of destructions carried out in actual implementation of a policy of great viciousness. This year again, on the 20th of July, China began carrying out destructions at the Serta Tibetan Buddhist academy. The outrageous and unrestrained, still ongoing destruction of the residences of monks and nuns at that place of religious study has drawn attention and expressions of grave concern from governments such as that of the United States of America as well as other major international bodies.
Likewise, on the 28th of July 2016, the government of China distributed to each residence of the monks of Kirti Monastery in Ngaba County a booklet titled “Case-Based Law Learning Textbook for Monasteries” and issued a stern order, saying each monk must intensely study the text. This so-called “Case-Based Law Learning Textbook for Monasteries” made it clear that it was a criminal offence to put on display any Tibetan national flag, to distribute or put up wall posters, to shout slogans while holding up in any public place any picture of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, to carry out self-immolation protests, to instigate the carrying out of any self-immolation protest, to send out to foreign countries by mobile communication devices any information, and so on. The Tibetans were warned that those caught committing those alleged crimes would be severely punished. Thus, Tibetans in Tibet find themselves in such severe situation that whatever non-violent move they make to try to achieve their aspirations is treated as a criminal offence. They are hence devoid of all the fundamental rights and freedoms universally enjoyed by people across the world, rendering their situation extreme and heart-wrenching. This booklet is nothing but an attempt by the government of China to give a veneer of legality to all the cruel and barbaric actions it has been carrying out in Tibet in violation of the international law. The booklet has indeed been explained to be designed as such by the Tibetan people in Tibet. The communist government of China has been bringing out such distorted documents that make baseless criticisms of the Tibetan people as a means to carry out a violent repression of them.
China has been preventing visits to Tibet by official delegations as well as the independent media and others from the United States of America and Europe who wanted to investigate the actual situation there. And even if they were able to visit Tibet, the government of China ensured that it took place only under the supervision and control of official minders. As a result, they have been rendered incapable of finding out about the actual situation in Tibet. Even ordinary visitors to Tibet from other countries are subjected to supervision and control over their movements. The fundamental purpose underlying these restrictions is to prevent knowledge about the actual situation marked by total absence of all freedoms in Tibet from reaching people in the outside world.
The annual international human rights report for 2015 published by the State Department of the United States government said that in Tibet the government of China had continued to subject to indiscriminate arrest, detention, and torture Tibetans in general and especially family members and close relatives of those who had carried out self-immolation protests. The report also found that with deployments of armed forces and police well beyond their actual requirements, China had transformed Tibet into a territory resembling a war zone, thereby subjecting the Tibetan people to severe restrictions. The report also found that the media from foreign countries seeking to know about the actual situation in Tibet were not being allowed to undertake any visit; that even if some foreign journalists managed to visit parts of Tibet, the government of China treated with hostility and subjected to restrictions those who had spoken to them about the actual situation there.
The US State Department’s 2015 annual report also found that there had been frequent cases in which the government of China treated with suspicion and hostility and subjected to restrictions people who had engaged in religious activities, especially those who had indicated faith in and respect and support for His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In this connection the annual report referred to the example of the case of the political prisoner Tulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche who died in prison last year as a result of being denied medical care by the government of China.
The US State Department’s 2015 annual report also especially highlighted the fact that China had subjected areas of the Tibet Autonomous Region to especially higher level of controls and restrictions.
It is a matter of grave importance that everyone pay close attention and confront the government of China for the utterly shameless actions it took in the years 2007 and 2016 to grossly interfere with the reincarnation system of Tibetan Buddhism for the sole purpose of serving its political aim and without any care for the concerns of not only the Tibetan people but also religious believers and Buddhist practitioners across the world.
More recently, the government of China made Gyaltsen Norbu whom it had appointed as the supposed reincarnation of the late Panchen Lama to carry out a Kalachakra ritual at the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery. Not only that, masses of Tibetan farmers from places far and wide were ordered to compulsorily travel to the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery to received the Kalachakra empowerment from him. On the other hand, the government of China has rendered it impossible for the Tibetan people to know anything about the situation and fate of the Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Niyma Rinpoche ever since it took him into custody and held him in detention in 1995. The government of China steadfastly refuses to clarify to the outside world whether he is even alive. Such a course of behaviour is a naked negation of its all too routinely made claims that it respects all the religious freedoms of the Tibetan people.
In admiration and praise of the Tibetan people in Tibet for their patriotism and courage in the face of the relentless pressure, harassment, and repression of the government of China, and in particular, in memory of the heroic Tibetan men and women who have sacrificed their lives for the sake of the fundamental cause of the Tibetan people, and likewise, remembering the ever greater amount of severity of the situation of the Tibetan people who currently continue to suffer in Chinese prisons, this Second Session of the 16th Tibetan Parliament in Exile sees it as vital to adopt an official resolution of expressing solidarity with these Tibetan people.
1) The Tibetan Parliament in Exile hereby expresses admiration for the patriotic Tibetan men and women of heroism who have immolated themselves for the fundamental cause of the Tibetan people and, likewise, for the courage of the heroic Tibetan men and women of patriotism who in the struggle of the Tibetan people continue to endure suffering in Chinese prisons. Likewise, the Tibetan Parliament in Exile hereby expresses solidarity with and offers condolences to the surviving family members, close relatives and so on of these Tibetans. And the Tibetan Parliament in Exile hereby fervently prays that the deceased heroic Tibetan men and women of patriotism may be drawn by the most exalted Bodhisattva Chenresig and be definitely reborn in speediness in the Snowland of Tibet while those who continue to suffer persecution and torture under Chinese government’s repression and imprisonment may win their release and freedom as soon as possible.
2) Because they had reached such a stage of desperation and helplessness that they had run out of all capacity to endure anymore a situation marked by nothing but endless violent repression on their own land inflicted by the communist government of China, Tibetans in Tibet have carried out self-immolation protests, shouting on top of their voices as they torched themselves that His Holiness the Dalai Lama be ushered back to his homeland of Tibet, that the Tibetan people’s freedoms and human rights be respected, and that, in the case of a section of them, the independence of Tibet be restored. These were a tribute of great dignity paid to the Tibetan cause by the self-immolation protesters. They were sacrifices of great magnitude which reflected courage and heroism and the Tibetan Parliament in Exile hereby offers them its unreserved admiration and praise. In this connection the Tibetan Parliament in Exile offers heartfelt obeisance for and solidarity with those who have lost their precious lives as well as those who remain detained or imprisoned and continue to endure untold persecution and torture. At the same time the Tibetan Parliament in Exile hereby strongly condemns the government of China for its resolute recourse to violent repression without showing even a semblance of interest to address the demands raised by the Tibetan people in their nonviolent campaigns.
3) The Tibetan Parliament in Exile demands that the Communist government of China urgently and forthwith end its pathetic policy of violent repression of the kind that it has been carrying out so far, trampling on the fundamental human rights of the Tibetan people, destroying the natural environment of their land, and so on. This Tibetan Parliament in Exile demands that the government of China act with a sense of responsibility and implement in the true spirit of the terms the fundamental rights of the Tibetan people enshrined in the Law on Regional Ethnic Autonomy of the People’s Republic of China. The Tibetan Parliament in Exile also demands that the government of China forthwith start Sino-Tibetan peace talks aimed at ensuring a meaningful implementation of the policy of regional ethnic autonomy for all the ethnic Tibetan people.
4) Most of the Tibetan political prisoners who have been released from Chinese government prisons turn out to be suffering from kidney and liver diseases. The Tibetan Parliament in Exile appeals to the international community and those supporting the Tibetan cause to show particular interest to their cases and try to get help to reach them.
5) The Tibetan Parliament in Exile demands that the government of China grant access to Tibet to impartial international delegates, independent international media persons, and delegates of the Central Tibetan Administration to enable them to find out about the true situation there.
6) The Tibetan Parliament in Exile appeals to the leaders of the world at the United Nations Organization to assume immediate responsibility in a move to try to fulfil the aspirations of the Tibetan people in Tibet and to save the lives of the Tibetan people by convincing the leaders of China about the need for fairness in addressing the situation in Tibet.
7) The 7th International Conference of Tibet Support Groups was organized and held with solemnity and dignity in the Belgian capital Brussels recently. Discussion were held on many issues of great importance such as about the heroic Tibetan men and women of patriotism who had sacrificed their own lives in the struggle for Tibetan freedom, about extending solidarity with the Tibetan people who continued to endure persecution under the repressive rule of the Communist Chinese government, about the sharp and relentless deterioration of the situation concerning the human rights and religious freedom of the Tibetan people in Tibet, about the destruction being wrought on the Tibetan people’s linguistic heritage and culture, about the destruction of Tibet’s natural environment, and so on. And the participants in the conference not only expressed extremely grave concern on these developments but also adopted resolutions which squarely focused on the very essence of the problems and outlined ways to carry them out. The Tibetan Parliament in Exile takes this opportunity to express thanks to all the supporters of the Tibetan cause and appeal to them to continue to extend their support for the movement.
8) The Tibetan Parliament in Exile would also like to express its thanks to governments from across the world who have so far raised their concerns on the seriousness of the situation in Tibet and extended solidarity with the Tibetan people, and for the adoption of resolutions in parliaments on the situation in Tibet. Likewise, the Tibetan Parliament in Exile would also like to express its thanks to the Tibet Support groups, to the various international non-governmental organizations, to the organizations of Chinese people campaigning for democracy, and private individuals who have lent their support to just causes. They have all through various kinds of non-violent actions lent their support to the Tibetan people in all sorts of manners. And we call on them to continue as before to extend their support and make common cause with the just cause of the Tibetan people in our ongoing efforts to resolve the just cause of Tibet in general and especially for the sake of an urgent and forthright ending of the agonizing hardship the Tibetan people in Tibet are still being subjected to today. In particular, we also reiterate our appeal to the United Nations Organization to forthwith dispatch a delegation of representatives to investigate the critical situation in Tibet today. Adopted with unanimous support of all the members of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile on this 20th day of September 2016.
The above resolution was adopted unanimously by the 16th Tibetan Parliament in Exile during its second session on 20th September, 2016.
(In case of any discrepancy between this English translation and the original Tibetan text, the latter should be considered as authoritative and final)