Today is a momentous occasion of an outstanding event in our annual calendar, marking the 32nd anniversary of the conferment of the world’s most renowned and prestigious award, the Nobel Peace Prize, on His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama, the crown ornament of the material and spiritual world including the heavenly spheres, the spiritual lord of the three world realms, a champion of peace in this world, the master of the entire corpus in this world of the teachings of the Buddha, the destined deity of the Snowland of Tibet, the most exalted protector of the world who has appeared in human manifestation, the protector of the entirety of the Tibetan people and their irreplaceable leader, a common treasure of mankind, and the omniscient victorious one. Such is the auspiciousness of the occasion on which we with joy, faith, and gratification offer our greetings and congratulations to His Holiness on behalf of the Tibetan people both in Tibet and in exile. It is no doubt an occasion on which we fondly remember the immense debts of gratitude we owe to His Holiness.
Today, the 10th day of December 2021, is not only the 32nd anniversary of the day in 1989 when the Nobel Peace Prize Committee honoured His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama with the Nobel Peace Prize, which is the world’s most outstanding award. It is also marked as the Human Rights Day across the world. It is therefore incumbent on all Tibetans to be aware that this is a distinctly important day of great grandeur and solemnity. In presenting the Nobel Peace Prize to him in 1989, the Noble Peace prize Committee said that in pursuing his struggle for the just cause of Tibet, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama had consistently opposed the use of violence and instead advocated peaceful solutions that are fundamentally based on tolerance and a mutually beneficial middle way approach. The Committee lauded His Holiness for having come forward with constructive and forward-looking proposals based on negotiations for the solution of international conflicts, human rights issues, and global environmental problems. It also said His Holiness had developed his philosophy of peace from a great reverence for all things living and upon the concept of universal responsibility embracing all mankind as well as nature. It was with offering of admiration and praise for these contributions that the Nobel Peace Prize Committee honoured His Holiness with this globally most prestigious of award. Year by year, the renown and activities of His Holiness have been expanding like the waxing of the moon towards the luminosity of its fullness. This in turn has meant that multitudes of countries, groups and associations across the world – both in the East and West – welcomed and honoured him with awards, honours, compliments and certificates numbering many hundreds. As a result, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has today come to be recognized as one of the most revered great leaders of the world.
While accepting the Nobel Peace Prize His Holiness said: “I feel honoured, humbled and deeply moved that you should give this important prize to a simple monk from Tibet. I am no one special. But, I believe the prize is a recognition of the true values of altruism, love, compassion and nonviolence which I try to practice, in accordance with the teachings of the Buddha and the great sages of India and Tibet. I accept the prize with profound gratitude on behalf of the oppressed everywhere and for all those who struggle for freedom and work for world peace. I accept it as a tribute to the man who founded the modern tradition of nonviolent action for change – Mahatma Gandhi – whose life taught and inspired me. And, of course, I accept it on behalf of the six million Tibetan people, my brave countrymen and women inside Tibet, who have suffered and continue to suffer so much.” The conferment of this most prestigious of award on His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama resulted in enormous increase in the number of people from numerous countries across the world, both in the East and West, taking interest in and lending support to the issue of Tibet. This in turn led to the issue of Tibet and the struggle of the Tibetan people spreading to the realm of the environment of awareness all across the world. And that was not all, for it also led to the vigour of the benefits of the Tibetan culture and spiritual tradition percolating to every nook and corner of the world.
The Nobel Peace Prize for the year 2021 has been awarded to two journalists – Ms. Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Mr. Dmitry Andreyevich Muratov of the Russian Federation. And in its official announcement of the award, the Nobel Peace Prize Committee said the prize was awarded jointly to Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and sting peace.” On behalf of the entire Tibetan people – both in Tibet and in exile – the Tibetan Parliament in Exile wishes to extend its greetings in admiration, compliment, and congratulations for the contributions of these two outstanding personages.
Based on the philosophy and practices of the Buddhist religion, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has preoccupied himself with the enormous challenge of seeking to help ensure the wellbeing of all sentient beings. In particular, he has, undaunted by multitudes of difficulty and hardship, overseen the wellbeing of all the sentient beings of the Snowland of Tibet with great kindness. With this in mind and in order that the Tibetan people may realize complete freedom based on liberty, equality, and fairness, His Holiness took the important political decision of presenting to them the gift of democracy. And it is thanks to his efforts in this direction that for more than 61 years thus far, the Tibetan people have been able to proceed on this great highway of democracy. And we owe all this solely to the leadership and kindness of His Holiness.
In a democracy differences based on opinions are bound to arise, leading to all sorts of disputes. This is a common phenomenon in all democratic countries, whether in the East or in the West. Nevertheless, whenever differences arise in the views of the people in responsible positions in the Central Tibetan Administration and in the views of broad masses of the Tibetan public, the issues should be settled through the test of thorough public discussions under the inimitable leadership and guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Such an approach will be in accord with the wishes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and is also a great merit of the democratic way. This is also critically important from the perspective of the Tibetan people’s struggle for their fundamental cause. We therefore especially reiterate our call on all concerned people to be extra-vigilant in keeping this firmly in their minds.
In keeping with his life-long activities for the sake of sentient beings, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has listed four principal commitments of his life. His first principal commitment is his effort as a human being to enhance secular ethics or universal values. His Holiness says adhering to secular ethics in a person’s conduct is the basis for ensuring the happiness of everyone – the concerned private individual, his family, and his community as a whole. Secondly, as a person devoted to the Buddhist religion, he is committed to encouraging harmony among the world’s different religious traditions. He says that despite the differences in their ideologies and doctrines, all the religions of the world are same in their teaching of the practices of compassion, love, tolerance, contentment, and ethical conduct. Likewise, they are alike in their capability to lead their devotees towards the enjoyment of a life of happiness. Thirdly, as a Tibetan, as someone with the status of the Dalai Lama, and especially as a person who is the repository of the hopes and trust of both the lay and religiously ordained communities of the Tibetan people – both those living in Tibet and in exile – His Holiness has committed himself to take an active interest in the fundamental cause of the Tibetan people and the natural environment of Tibet, and to act as a spokesperson for the freedom of the people of Tibet living under subjugation. Fourthly, as a follower of the ancient Indian spiritual traditions, His Holiness has devoted himself to reviving the ancient Indian knowledge in the fields of psychology, logic, meditative practices based on philosophical postulations, and secular ethics by combining them with the modern education system. The goal of this is to strive to develop a global human society that is rooted in compassion and loving-kindness.
The immense kindness His Holiness the Dalai Lama has shown to all sentient beings in these fields means that it is incumbent on all Tibetans, especially those of us living in exile, to make whatever efforts we can at the individual level, through other people, and by means of inspiring people of other ethnicities toward realizing his objectives behind taking up these commitments. This will be in keeping with the especially intended purposes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and is therefore an unavoidable duty of all Tibetans. Each and every one of us should therefore undertake a study in these enormously great commitments of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, implement them in practical terms, and propagate them. This is of crucial importance whether we view it from the perspective of the world as a whole or of each concerned individual among us, as well as from the perspective of both this life and the next.
Today is also the world Human Rights Day. Though having used armed aggression to invade and occupy Tibet, China claims to have peacefully liberated it and commemorated its 70th anniversary of that occasion this year. Along with it, the government of China published a so-called white paper titled “Tibet Since 1951: Liberation, Development and Prosperity” which was nothing but a compendium of lies and distortions of historical facts of various kinds. The Winter Olympic Games for the year 2022 is scheduled to be held in China’s capital Beijing. Giving this honour to the capital of communist-ruled China is neither just nor morally justifiable. The Tibetan Parliament in Exile is resolute in never endorsing this event being held in the Chinese capital. We are also of the view that the time has come for the international community too to think likewise and act accordingly.
The government of China remains relentless in carrying out immeasurable oppression and torture on the Tibetan people in Tibet. Likewise, it remains continuous in paying no respect at all to the fundamental human rights of the people of East Turkestan (Xinjiang), South Mongolia (Inner Mongolia), and Hong Kong. In particular, it has imposed enormously tight restrictions on people throughout the three traditional provinces of Tibet. Under it, Tibetan political prisoners are still being subjected to immeasurable ill-treatment and torture. Numerous places of religious worship and study have been destroyed. At both monasteries and in communities throughout Tibet, people are being forced to put on display portraits of top leaders of the Communist Party of China. And they are being routinely subjected to indoctrination sessions of various kinds of the Communist Party of China with the objective of wiping out the cultural and religious traditions of the Tibetan people. Likewise, in all the major areas of Tibet, influxes of Chinese immigrants are being encouraged to transfer as much as possible of them for permanent settlement. The aim is to turn the Tibetan people into an insignificant minority in their own homeland and to transform them into Chinese people in their nature and character. The Tibetan Parliament in Exile wishes to urge the government of China to put an immediate end to the ongoing implementation of this heinous policy.
Both the government and people of Tibet remain unwavering in their commitment to the mutually beneficial middle way policy which reflects a profoundly envisioned, forward looking desire of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. To firmly remain within the bounds of non-violence in seeking a resolution of the issue of Tibet is the desire and plan being still pursued by all of us on the Tibetan side. Just recently, the government of China again sought to make the antithetical point that it was open to discussing with His Holiness the Dalai Lama only matters concerned with his personal status, while denying the very existence of the issue of Tibet as such. It thus became ever more clear that the leadership of the government of China had no firmness of desire or determination to resolve the issue of Tibet. Nevertheless, thanks to the expansive kind deeds of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and the courage and patriotic loyalty of the Tibetan people in Tibet, there is an ever growing awareness of and attention to the issue of Tibet. The Tibetan people living in exile will make good use of the opportunity provided by these developments in campaigns to internationally raise the understanding of the issue of Tibet to an ever higher level and in efforts towards seeking a resolution thereof. The aim will be to garner even more international support for the struggle of the Tibetan people, for strengthening the foundation of the status of the Tibetan people’s organizational set up, and for the preservation – without any danger of loss – of the Tibetan people’s religious and cultural heritage, and their ethnic identity. Every effort by whatever means will be directed at taking the issue of Tibet forward on this basis.
All the members of the 17th Tibetan Parliament in Exile have now already taken their oath of office. And they will shortly be undertaking visits to the different Tibetan settlements and communities. After that, they will be divided into groups with the allocations of settlements and communities for their inspection tours. The Tibetan public in the concerned settlements and communities are accordingly urged to take as much part as they could in cooperating with their tour programmes. Likewise, it is important that people elected to the Local Tibetan Assemblies and other elected officials to different local posts have a clear understanding of their jobs and responsibilities. The Tibetan Parliament in Exile plans to organize training workshops at as many Tibetan settlements and communities as possible for this purpose. We appeal to all the elected leaders and officials in these settlements and communities to show a high level of interest to take part in them.
Finally, we pray a countless times that with His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the core, all the great religious leaders of Tibet, irrespective of their sectarian affiliation, may live for a hundred aeons, that their noble wishes may be seen fulfilled with spontaneity, and that the just cause of Tibet may be seen resolved, so that the very fortunate event of Tibetans in Tibet and in exile being reunited will be seen definitely accomplished.
The Tibetan Parliament in Exile
10 December 2021
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* In case of any discrepancy between this English translation and its Tibetan original, the latter should be considered as authoritative and final for all purposes.