Today is a momentous occasion of outstanding significance, for it marks the 33rd anniversary of the conferment of the most renowned prize for peace in this world, the Nobel Peace Prize, on His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama, which took place on the 10th of December in 1989. With feelings of joy, devotion, and gratification, and with obeisance and admiration, as well as prostrations of gratitude, we offer our greetings of congratulations countless times to His Holiness on behalf of all Tibetans in Tibet and in exile. By this, I am referring to the His Holiness who showers great compassion on all sentient beings, including those in the heavenly realms, irrespective of the absence of any prior interactive relationship; who is the master of the entire corpus of the teachings of the Buddha on this earth; who is a great champion of peace in this world; who is the patron guardian as well as the irreplaceable leader of all the Tibetan people; and who is the omniscient, all-seeing, universally precious one.
His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama is unsurpassed in His implementation of the view of dependent origination and the practice of nonviolence, which He carries out in scrupulous compliance with the terms in which they were taught by the fourth of the perfect guide Buddhas. And this is the basis on which He leads the entire world on the path of nonviolence. In addition, His Holiness has directed the totality of the movement and campaign actions for the realization of the fundamental cause of the Tibetan people towards the means solely of nonviolence. He is therefore a leader whose practice as well as guidance is directed at making efforts to resolve all disputes and conflicts across this world by nonviolent means. This was the reason why His Holiness the Dalai Lama was honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. The award recognized as well as ushered Him in as a great champion of world peace. At the same time, the award brought a tide of new boost to the Tibetan cause with a great increase in international understanding of and attention to it. Hence the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to His Holiness the Dalai Lama has served to convince people to have faith in the method of nonviolence. And it also became an admirable symbol of the recognition of the justness of the struggle of the Tibetan people. Hence the purpose of marking this anniversary will be well served if all Tibetans – those in Tibet and the others living in exile – could reaffirm their faith in and pledge accordingly their commitment to the path of nonviolence in their bodily, speech, and mental conducts on the basis of being fully convinced of its value and effectiveness.
The natural inclination of a human being is such that he is filled with the spirit of competition towards achieving progress by means of acquiring material wealth, undertaking ventures and projects of all kinds for this purpose, and so forth. And in such an utterly degenerate period as today, when people seek to outcompete each other in a constant game of victory for oneself and defeat for others, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the unsurpassed leader of the Tibetan people, has embarked on a mission to develop peace and harmony in this great family of humanity. For this purpose, He has kept emphasizing the point that all human beings in this world are alike in desiring to live a happy life and in having aversion to pain and suffering. On successive occasions, His Holiness has sought to drive home the point that developing harmony and peace in human society should begin, first of all, within one’s family; that it should then be gradually extended to the community in which one lives; and then further on, across one’s country, with the aim to eventually encompass the entire world. People in countries across the world have taken his advice to heart and in gratitude showered him with honorary citizenships, awards, recognitions, and so forth in numbers too numerous to mention. It was in continuation of the conferment of such an endless stream of honours that His Holiness was, on the 19th of November this year, presented with the Gandhi Mandela Award by the Gandhi Mandela Foundation, New Delhi, in recognition of His enormous contributions in such fields as promoting peace, compassion, and kindness. The Governor, Mr. Rajendra Arlekar, of the state of Himachal Pradesh, as well as officials of the foundation especially travelled to the Tsuglakhang, the main Buddhist temple at McLeod Ganj in Dharamshala, o present the inaugural, 2019 Gandhi Mandela Award gold medal to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. During the award presentation ceremony, His Holiness spoke about the importance and advantages of non-violence and compassion in a message to people across the world as well as to those who had gathered at the event. Apart from that, His Holiness preoccupied himself at all times with great concern for the wellbeing of all sentient beings and continuously devotes all his activities to them, for which the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile wishes to extend unqualified solemn gratitude to Him.
The aims of the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize are to promote fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies, the holding and promotion of peace congresses, and for this purpose, to award the prize to those who have made the most outstanding contributions towards achieving them so that it will serve to inspire and thereby influence other people. It was with this end in view that the Nobel Peace Prize for this year has been awarded jointly to the human rights advocate Mr. Ales Bialiatski from the European country of Belarus, the Russian human rights organization Memorial, and the Ukrainian human rights organisation Center for Civil Liberties. The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile offers them congratulations as well as compliments.
Today is also observed internationally as Human Rights Day. It is therefore an occasion marked as such with joyousness and fondness by people in free countries across the world. Unfortunately, however, in Tibet, the government of China continues to exert such severe repression that even people from outside the country are prevented from visiting it freely. This is underlined by the fact that there is a total disregard for human rights there, with the result that the Tibetan people are subjected to grossly unfair judicial trials. They are arrested, jailed, or disappeared after being falsely accused as criminal offenders. They are also ill-treated and tortured. The Tibetan language, religious traditions, culture, and other aspects of Tibetan heritage are being sought to be destroyed, including with obliteration. The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, therefore, wishes to appeal to the leaders of this world to take responsibility to bear upon the government of China to bring these practices to an end.
The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile also sees it as incumbent to reiterate our concern that even in this twenty-first century, the totalitarian system of government continues to exist and flourish. Apart from that, it bears pointing out that as regards the communist Chinese government, it is also the most serious source of danger to order and stability not only in Tibet but also to the entire world. Additionally, for a period starting from some months ago, the government of China, by making use of the pretext of the spread of the Covid-19 global pandemic – which initially broke out from the central Chinese city of Wuhan – imposed an additional regime of immense hardship on the Tibetan people in their everyday activities, whether they are standing, sitting or walking, so to speak. The Tibetan Parliament in Exile wishes to call on the government of China to forthwith end the measures under which the Tibetan people continue to suffer enormous additional hardships.
Recently, after the conclusion of the 20th five-yearly National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese public, and especially students, teachers, and others in universities in provinces and cities across the People’s Republic of China came out to assemble and hold protests. It is noteworthy that one set of slogans they raised during those protest events included those such as “we do not need autocracy, we need democracy!” “Down with the Communist Party of China! Step down Xi Jinping!” “We want freedom of speech!” “We want uncensored news!” “We do not wish to be slaves!” and so forth. The large-scale peaceful protests which took place recently were therefore also expressions of dissent against the current policies of the government of China. With regard to these developments, the Tibetan Parliament in Exile wishes to call on the government of China to reflect on its past history and ensure that the situation does not end with a repetition of the horrors of the brutal crackdown on the 4th of June 1989 protests. The Tibetan Parliament in Exile also calls on the international community to refrain from adopting a short-sighted view of only seeking opportunities for economic gains and instead pay proper attention to the ongoing developments in China so as to strive to achieve a noteworthy improvement in the human rights situation there.
After the 8th World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet held this year in the United States Capital Washington, DC, a Tibet Support Group called Friends of Tibet was launched in the Parliament of Mexico under the leadership of Mr. Salvador Caro Cabrera, a member of the Parliament’s Chamber of Deputies, on the 8th of November. The Tibetan Parliament in Exile wishes to extend its greetings on the success of the launch of this group. In order to achieve even more such high level of support for the issue of Tibet, the Tibetan Parliament in Exile will continue its efforts towards even more success in establishing Tibet Support Groups in the parliaments of more countries across the world. Over the past several months, two delegations of members of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile have toured parts of the countries in Europe to lobby support for the issue of Tibet and they have achieved notably successful outcomes.
The communist Chinese government has used armed aggression to keep Tibet under its occupation rule since 1959. As regards the question of how serious the situation in Tibet has continued to remain ever since the facts are a matter of common knowledge. Even today, the situation of the Tibetan people in Tibet continues to remain severely grim under the egregious design and repression of the Chinese government, as a result of which they continue to suffer such ill-treatment and torture as to render it excruciating to them to get on with their daily lives through day as well as night. The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile wishes to express its heartfelt fellow feeling and sense of empathy with them. We have nothing but wholehearted admiration and praise for the Tibetan men and women in Tibet, whether they are alive or deceased, for their utter selflessness, patriotism and determination, and for the peerless actions they have carried out thus far for the Tibetan cause. Accordingly, the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile wishes to reiterate its appeal to the Tibetan people living in free countries of the world to prize the opportunity they thus have, to act with united solidarity towards publicizing and lobbying international support directed at ensuring a just resolution of the issue of Tibet.
Likewise, it bears emphasizing as of utmost importance that the Tibetan people should time and again bring to mind the purposes underlying the speech delivered by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in His acceptance at the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony in Oslo, the capital of Norway, and, likewise, the illuminating addresses for the sake of the religious, political, and ethnic interests of the Tibetan people given by Him on successive occasions, and, in particular, the four sacred commitments to which His Holiness has dedicated his life.
On this joyous occasion when we are celebrating the conferment of the Noble Peace Prize on His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama, we are elated to have among us today three MPs from Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, also among us, we have Shri Tashi Gyalson, Chairman/Chief Executive Council of LAHDC Leh, and distinguished delegates from the Union Territory of Ladakh. India and Tibet have always shared a deep and intimate relationship in the field of history, religion and culture from ancient times. Not only that, but Tibet also holds tremendous significance for the security of India. Therefore, we appeal to India and the people of India to extend their support for the Tibetan Cause more than ever. We would also like to extend our gratitude to all our supporters including governments, organizations, individuals, and especially to India and the people of India.
In conclusion, the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile wishes to offer solemn prayers that His Holiness the Dalai Lama may continue to remain with us in perpetuity; that all His wishes may be seen fulfilled with spontaneity; and that the just cause of Tibet may be seen fulfilled with utmost certainty.
The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile
10 December 2022
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* In case of any discrepancy between this English translation and its Tibetan original, the latter should be considered authoritative and final for all purposes.