Thirty-four years ago to this day – on the 10th of December in 1989 – the Nobel Peace Prize, which is renowned across all the ten directional spheres of this world, was conferred on His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama, the master of the entire corpus of teachings of the Buddha, the apex ornamental pride of all spheres of existence including the heavenly realms, the most exalted noble one who manifests as a lotus-holding being, who exudes great motherly affection for all sentient beings despite the absence of any prior intimacy, who is the very embodiment of compassion, a champion of world peace, the destined patron deity of the Snowland of Tibet, the unsurpassable protector and guide of all beings in all lifetimes, an edifying guiding light, and whose full name is Jetsun Jampal Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso Sisum Wanggyur Tsungpa Mepey-de Pel-Sangpo. And so, on this momentous occasion of the 34th anniversary of that great event, the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile wishes to pay solemn homage to His Holiness for His kindness with joy, faith and sense of gratification on behalf of all Tibetans in Tibet and in exile, greeting Him with infinite utterances of words of auspiciousness and wellbeing.
In this connection, it is worth recalling what Tertön Nyima Drakpa’s catalogue of prophets, the Great Compassionate One, Dispelling the Darkness of Ignorance, says: “Through the powerful force of the aspirations of this Dharma King, a son of a courageous bodhisattva, a refuge and protector of beings, a sole ally of the teachings, will appear from the centre and will uphold the teachings of sūtra and mantra. And the deeds of one named Gyatso will spread in all ten directions.” It is thus seen that His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama was clearly prophesied by name long ago as a reincarnation of the Dharma King Trisong De’u-tsan and as someone whose deeds for the sake of sentient beings will spread far and wide across all the ten directional spheres of this world. From a tender age, His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived in Central Tibet. He assumed temporal and spiritual leadership of Tibet of great weightiness at a time when the situation in the country was such that it was teetering on a critically endangered interregnum which threatened its very survival. Ever since that moment, His Holiness has devoted himself entirely for the wellbeing of others in general, but particularly after coming into exile when He committed himself to helping and benefiting people across the world by means of promoting and reviving, as the case may be, the culture of the Tibetan people with its great potential to serve humanity. For this purpose, He relied solely on the method of non-violence based on the profound Buddhist religious teachings and Mahatma Gandhi’s principles while directing His efforts towards realizing the just cause of Tibet. Furthermore, acting on the basis of mutual respect, friendship, fairness, and kindness, His Holiness has made fruitful positive contributions while making efforts directed at helping to resolve international conflicts, promote human rights, and protect the natural environment with the aim to achieve meaningful peace and wellbeing across the world. His marvellous efforts in these endeavours have earned him admiration from people all across the world, and it led to Him being honoured with the global renown of the Nobel Peace Prize.
His Holiness has travelled to countries and regions across the world in order to carry out deeds of unsurpassable merits. That is why even to this day, prominent people as well as others from everywhere across the world – East as well as West – irrespective of the question whether or not they are believers in the Buddhist religion, keep coming to Dharamshala to meet with Him and seek His guidance whenever they can find the opportunity. And He treats them all without any attitude of favouritism or partiality while interacting with them with compassionate concern and providing them with the nectar of His words of advice. These have had great transformative effects in the mental attitude of many people, leading to positive developments in their day-to-day life and enabling them to adopt an approach of helping other living beings. His engagements in activities directed at helping others in these and numerous other ways in efforts directed at ensuring the wellbeing of all sentient beings have proceeded like the continued waxing of the moon to attain a level of fullness where He has come to be recognized as a champion of world peace. Not only that, His Holiness has also become an eminent leader who is greatly admired and held in high esteem by people and organizations in countries across the world, both in the East and West. His Holiness the Dalai Lama frequently reiterates that He has dedicated His life to carrying out four principal commitments: The first is to make efforts to realize the commonality of the happiness of all human beings by means of promoting human values; the second is to promote harmony among the different religions; the third is to uphold, preserve and impart Tibetan culture and spirituality; and the fourth is to restore classical Indian culture and secular ethics in conjunction with modern education. We all should engage in studying these four commitments with the objective of internalizing and adopting them in our day-to-day conduct on the basis of the ideas and guidance provided by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This is the best grand offering of gratitude we can make to please Him.
The Nobel Peace Prize for the year 2023 has been awarded to Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi. She has been awarded the prize for her indefatigable courage in fighting against the oppression of women in Iran and for her resolute adherence to her vow to fight to promote human rights and freedom for all. Therefore on behalf of the Tibetan people in Tibet and in exile, the Tibetan Parliament in Exile wishes to express its admiration for her remarkable accomplishments while extending its congratulations to her. Likewise, the Parliament-in-Exile also wishes to express its admiration and offer congratulations to the other distinguished winners of this year’s Nobel Prizes in the fields of literature, economics, physics, chemistry, medicine and so forth.
Today is also observed as the World Human Rights Day. Sadly, to the people inside Tibet, even the most fundamental of human rights exist only in absolute denial. What is more, far from making any move to relax the hard line policy it has continued to pursue so far, the government of China keeps adhering to its routine, single-minded practice of distorting the truth and lying about the real situation there in its relentless efforts to delude people inside the country as well as governments and peoples across the world.
On the 10th of November this year, the State Council Information Office of the government of China publicized in Tibetan and English languages a white paper titled “CPC Policies on the Governance of Xizang in the New Era: Approach and Achievements.” Since 1992, the government of China had already released a total of 16 white papers on Tibet alone. The essence of the contents of these so-called white papers is to try to establish as existent what does not exist in Tibet and that which is not true as true about the situation there. Even more than that, to whitewash the hidden reality of its policies and so forth in Tibet has been the sole objective behind the issuance of those white papers.
The content of the latest white paper on Tibet is seen to be filled mainly with nothing but brazen lies about the achievements of the government of China since its takeover of the country. It is obvious that the survival or extinction of the Tibetan people rests on the lifeblood of their culture and religion. But on these matters, there has not been any meaningful achievement. Rather, China has politicised issues concerning them under slogans and rhetorics such as “Suffering turned into happiness with the arrival of the Communist Party!” “Motherland, Welcome!” “The hearts of the Tibetan children are with the Communist Party!” and so forth, to cite just a few examples. From the point of view of “achievements” in the field of religion, the Chinese government slogans and rhetorics included one which said that “As of the end of 2022, 164 monks had been accredited as Geshe Lharampas … ranking”, to cite just one example taken from the white paper itself. This figure is seen to be cited as the number of Geshe Lharampa degrees awarded thus far since the revival of this religious academic award system in Tibet. Continuing its distortion of the reality, the white paper has continued that the reincarnation of the Dalai Lamas and Panchen Rinpoches “must be looked for within the country, decided through the practice of lot-drawing from the golden urn, and receive approval from the central government.” Such a method can never be acceptable to the Tibetan people or followers of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions. Not only does it not accord with the established Tibetan Buddhist traditions, but it is also nothing more than a reiteration of China’s old and distorted narration of the history of Tibet. The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile wishes to again remind the government of China that the discovery and recognition of the reincarnation of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama should be based on respect for the wishes of the Tibetan people, on whatever decision His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama himself may make, and the decision of the concerned officers of the Dalai Lama’s Gaden Phodrang Trust. No country or group has any power whatsoever to interfere in it. In particular, no recognition or acceptance should be given to a candidate chosen for political ends by anyone, including those in the People’s Republic of China. The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile wishes to make it absolutely clear that any such politicization of this reincarnation issue will not lead to any reposing of faith in or recognition of any candidate chosen in such a manner.
It bears pointing out that organs of the United Nations Organization, the United States of America, as well as countries in Europe, Asia and so forth have been continuous in criticizing the government of China for its record on the human rights situation in Tibet and in calling for the immediate release of the 11th Panchen Jetsun Tenzin Gedhun Yeshe Thinley Pal-Sangpo (Gedhun Choekyi Nyima) as well as other Tibetan people who have been imprisoned for political reasons and who therefore continue to be subjected to all manners of cruelty. Likewise, they have also criticized and called for an end to the government of China’s ongoing programme of using coercive means to put Tibetan children in colonial style boarding schools for the ulterior purpose of assimilating them. And they continue to extent support to the Tibetan people by means of calling on the government of China that it must grant those in Tibet their rights to learn and use or practice their own language and script, religion, and culture. Additionally, during their meeting on the sidelines of the recently concluded summit of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders, held in the United States city of San Francisco, US President Joe Biden raised concerns regarding the People’s Republic of China’s human rights abuses, including in Tibet, with President Xi Jinping of China. The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile wishes to express its appreciation for this gesture. Besides, the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile wishes to take the opportunity provided by this occasion to again remind the government of China that it has become a matter of utmost importance for it to make efficient use of the current moment as regards the issue between the peoples of Tibet and China. In view of this fact, the government of China must review its stand on the issue of Tibet on the basis of the ground reality, bear accountability in the international community, pay heed to the actual feelings of the Tibetan people in Tibet, and make efforts to resolve the Sino-Tibetan dispute through a negotiated settlement based on the proposal made by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
In addition, governments, peoples, parliaments, and leading figures and officials of groups and associations in countries that included the United States of America and those in Europe have provided solid support on the issue of Tibet on the international stage. To all of them, and especially to the most gracious people and government of India, the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile wishes to express its heartfelt gratitude.
In conclusion, the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile wishes to pray that the supreme leader of the Tibetan people, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, may remain as the protector of all sentient beings throughout the three realms of the universe, and especially those of our Land of Snows, for a hundred aeons; that all His wishes may be fulfilled with spontaneity, unhindered by obstacles; that all the violent conflicts in this world may subside so that all beings find peace; and that on this basis the truth of the Tibetan cause may come to see its daylight in all speediness.
By the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile
10 December 2023
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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.