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Honouring 60 Years of Tibetan Nonviolent Struggle, World Leaders call China to Embrace Dalai Lama and Middle Way Approach

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(Clockwise) Shri Shanta Kumar, former Chief Minister, Himachal Pradesh; MEP Thomas Mann; MP Michael Brand; MP Antonella Incerti; Lucia Duris Nicholsonova, Deputy Chairman of the Slovak National Council; MP Garnett Genuis; MP Albeto de Belaunde; MP Mei Nu Yu; MP Sandy Kalyan; Dr. Yang Jianli, President, Citizen Power Initiatives for China.

By  Shyamal Sinha

(Clockwise) Shri Shanta Kumar, former Chief Minister, Himachal Pradesh; MEP Thomas Mann; MP Michael Brand; MP Antonella Incerti; Lucia Duris Nicholsonova, Deputy Chairman of the Slovak National Council; MP Garnett Genuis; MP Albeto de Belaunde; MP Mei Nu Yu; MP Sandy Kalyan; Dr. Yang Jianli, President, Citizen Power Initiatives for China.

The Middle-Way Approach is proposed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to peacefully resolve the issue of Tibet and to bring about stability and co-existence between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples based on equality and mutual co-operation. It is also a policy adopted democratically by the Central Tibetan Administration and the Tibetan people through a series of discussions held over a long time.

In a symbolic display of support and solidarity with the Tibetan people inside Tibet and exile, an array of Members of Parliament from India, EU, Germany, Canada, Slovakia, Italy, Peru, Taiwan gathered at the courtyard of Tsuglagkhang in a sombre ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising.

Marking the momentous anniversary, the leaders pledged to champion the voices of brave Tibetans inside Tibet and declared renewed support for the political leadership led by the Central Tibetan Administration and its earnest efforts to resume dialogue with the Chinese government based on the Middle Way Approach. As they conveyed their highest admiration for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the lawmakers urged that China would only benefit in embracing His Holiness’ vision for Tibet and the world.

Speeches by the Members of Parliament and acclaimed Chinese intellectual on the 60th anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day in order:

Honourable Shri Shanta Kumar, former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Sitting Member of Indian Parliament

“First of all, I welcome all the 13 members of parliament here in Dharamshala, my hometown. My dear friends, you have come from other countries but for me, you don’t belong to other countries. In the great Vedas, it is said Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam which means the whole universe is one family. You are from my family of one community, I welcome you here. Today, I as a Member of Indian Parliament and as convenor of All Forum Indian Parliamentary Group for Tibet request all countries of all the world, all the parliaments of the world to mobilise public opinion, to request China to give justice to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the people of Tibet. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is urging for genuine autonomy of the Tibetan people based on the Middle Way Approach and dialogue. The day before, I received an official communication from the Chinese Ambassador to India asking me not to attend the commemorative ceremony of Tibetan National Uprising Day in Dharamshala. The letter said, doing so would threaten the national sovereignty of the People’s Republic of China. In response, I would simply say that China is a powerful country in the world while I, on the other hand, am a simple man who belongs to this tiny state of Himachal Pradesh. However, neither China nor any other global power will decide where I shall or shall not go.

The late Jayaprakash Narayan has said, “Is Tibet lost forever? No. A thousand times no. Tibet will not die because there is no death for the human spirit.” Today the spirit of Tibet is still alive and thriving. Tibetans shall return to their homeland in dignity and freedom.”

Mr. Thomas Mann, MEP, President of Tibet Interest Group (TIG)

“Tashi Delek. Dear Tibetans, Tibetan supporters, Dr Lobsang Sangay, the high ranking excellencies here from Botswana, India, other parts and my colleagues from different parliaments in European Union, Europe, South Asia, South Africa, Northern America, Latin America and members of organisations and media who are here to demonstrate their solidarity with the people of Tibet. Today we come together for this special day, the commemoration of March 10th as the 60th anniversary of Tibetan uprising against China in Tibet. We demonstrate our solidarity with Tibetan people inside Tibet and exile.

Dr. Yang Jianli, the President of Citizen Power Initiatives for China

“Your honourable Mr President Dr Lobsang Sangay, distinguished guests, dear brothers and sisters, Tashi Delek! What an honour to be with all of you on this special day!

Sixty years ago today, the Tibetan people rose up against the occupation of the Chinese Communist regime at a time when their culture, religion, property, indeed, their very existence was being seriously threatened. His Holiness the Dalai Lama was forced into exile, as the uprising was brutally suppressed. The CCP turned Tibet into a “hell on earth”. The sufferings the people of Tibet have endured in the past 60 years at the hands of the CCP are almost unparalleled in the history of mankind. But the Tibetan people, under the guidance of His Holiness, both in and outside Tibet, have never given up hope. They have never stopped their struggle for beliefs, national identity and freedom. Their courage, tenacity and sacrifices have won them worldwide respect and admiration.

Despite being without land, army or police, the 150,000 Tibetans in exile, under the leadership of His Holiness and the Central Tibetan Administration, have built dozens of settlements around the world. While maintaining their shared memories and beliefs, they have developed the miracle of a highly cohesive spiritual state which includes all Tibetans. Going beyond mere survival, they have reached out to people around the world, presenting an image of tolerance, loving-kindness open-mindedness, and optimism, while embracing universal values and implementing democratic practices, putting to shame those who rely on violence to pursue their goals.

Today, we honour our brotherhood, friendship and solidarity with the people of Tibet by redoubling our efforts on their behalf. We will walk every step together with His Holiness on the way home, and we will continue to fight side by side with our Tibetan brothers and sisters for their religious, cultural and political freedom.

The Tibetan people do not accept the present status of Tibet under the People?s Republic of China. At the same time, they do not seek independence for Tibet, which is a historical fact. Treading a middle path in between these two lies the policy and means to achieve a genuine autonomy for all Tibetans living in the three traditional provinces of Tibet within the framework of the People?s Republic of China. This is called the Middle-Way Approach, a non-partisan and moderate position that safeguards the vital interests of all concerned parties-for Tibetans: the protection and preservation of their culture, religion and national identity; for the Chinese: the security and territorial integrity of the motherland; and for neighbours and other third parties: peaceful borders and international relations.