Author Topic: DL's open letter to chinese everywhere  (Read 3821 times)


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DL's open letter to chinese everywhere
« on: April 01, 2008, 04:27:55 PM »
An Appeal to the Chinese People from
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Today, I extend heartfelt greetings to my Chinese brothers and sisters round the world, particularly to those in the People's Republic of China . In the light of the recent developments in Tibet , I would like to share with you my thoughts concerning relations between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples, and to make a personal appeal to you all.

I am deeply saddened by the loss of life in the recent tragic events in Tibet . I am aware that some Chinese have also died. I feel for the victims and their families and pray for them. The recent unrest has clearly demonstrated the gravity of the situation in Tibet and the urgent need to seek a peaceful and mutually beneficial solution through dialogue. Even at this juncture I have expressed my willingness to the Chinese authorities to work together to bring about peace and stability.

Chinese brothers and sisters, I assure you I have no desire to seek Tibet 's separation. Nor do I have any wish to drive a wedge between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples. On the contrary my commitment has always been to find a genuine solution to the problem of Tibet that ensures the long-term interests of both Chinese and Tibetans. My primary concern, as I have repeated time and again, is to ensure the survival of the Tibetan people's distinctive culture, language and identity. As a simple monk who strives to live his daily life according to Buddhist precepts, I assure you of the sincerity of my motivation.

I have appealed to the leadership of the PRC to clearly understand my position and work to resolve these problems by "seeking truth from facts." I urge the Chinese leadership to exercise wisdom and to initiate a meaningful dialogue with the Tibetan people. I also appeal to them to make sincere efforts to contribute to the stability and harmony of the PRC and avoid creating rifts between the nationalities. The state media's portrayal of the recent events in Tibet , using deceit and distorted images, could sow the seeds of racial tension with unpredictable long-term consequences. This is of grave concern to me. Similarly, despite my repeated support for the Beijing Olympics, the Chinese authorities, with the intention of creating rift between the Chinese people and myself, assert that I am trying to sabotage the games. I am encouraged, however, that several Chinese intellectuals and scholars have also expressed their strong concern about

Since ancient times, Tibetan and Chinese peoples have lived as neighbors. In the two thousand year-old recorded history of our peoples, we have at times developed friendly relations, even entering into matrimonial alliances, while at other times we fought each other. However, since Buddhism flourished in China first before it arrived in Tibet from India , we Tibetans have historically accorded the Chinese people the respect and affection due to elder Dharma brothers and sisters. This is something well known to members of the Chinese community living outside China, some of whom have attended my Buddhist lectures, as well as pilgrims from mainland China, whom I have had the privilege to meet. I take heart from these meetings and feel they may contribute to a better understanding between our two peoples.

The twentieth century witnessed enormous changes in many parts of the world and Tibet , too, was caught up in this turbulence. Soon after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the People's Liberation Army entered Tibet finally resulting in the 17-Point Agreement concluded between China and Tibet in May 1951. When I was in Beijing in 1954-55, attending the National People's Congress, I had the opportunity to meet and develop a personal friendship with many senior leaders, including Chairman Mao himself. In fact, Chairman Mao gave me advice on numerous issues, as well as personal assurances with regard to the future of Tibet . Encouraged by these assurances, and inspired by the dedication of many of China 's revolutionary leaders of the time, I returned to Tibet full of confidence and optimism. Some Tibetan members of the Communist Party also had such a hope. After my return to Lhasa , I made every possible effort to see

Unfortunately, tensions, which began to escalate in Tibet from around 1956, eventually led to the peaceful uprising of March 10, 1959, in Lhasa and my eventual escape into exile. Although many positive developments have taken place in Tibet under the PRC's rule, these developments, as the previous Panchen Lama pointed out in January 1989, were overshadowed by immense suffering and extensive destruction. Tibetans were compelled to live in a state of constant fear, while the Chinese government remained suspicious of them. However, instead of cultivating enmity towards the Chinese leaders responsible for the ruthless suppression of the Tibetan people, I prayed for them to become friends, which I expressed in the following lines in a prayer I composed in 1960, a year after I arrived in India: "May they attain the wisdom eye discerning right and wrong, And may they abide in the glory of friendship and love." Many Tibetans, school children

In 1974, following serious discussions with my Kashag (cabinet), as well as the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the then Assembly of the Tibetan People's Deputies, we decided to find a Middle Way that would seek not to separate Tibet from China , but would facilitate the peaceful development of Tibet . Although we had no contact at the time with the PRC - which was in the midst of the Cultural Revolution - we had already recognized that sooner or later, we would have to resolve the question of Tibet through negotiations. We also acknowledged that, at least with regard to modernization and economic development, it would greatly benefit Tibet if it remained within the PRC. Although Tibet has a rich and ancient cultural heritage, it is materially undeveloped.

Situated on the roof of the world, Tibet is the source of many of Asia 's major rivers, therefore, protection of the environment on the Tibetan plateau is of supreme importance. Since our utmost concern is to safeguard Tibetan Buddhist culture - rooted as it is in the values of universal compassion - as well as the Tibetan language and the unique Tibetan identity, we have worked whole-heartedly towards achieving meaningful self-rule for all Tibetans. The PRC's constitution provides the right for nationalities such as the Tibetans to do this.

In 1979, the then Chinese paramount leader, Deng Xiaoping assured my personal emissary that "except for the independence of Tibet , all other questions can be negotiated." Since we had already formulated our approach to seeking a solution to the Tibetan issue within the constitution of the PRC, we found ourselves well placed to respond to this new opportunity. My representatives met many times with officials of the PRC. Since renewing our contacts in 2002, we have had six rounds of talks. However, on the fundamental issue, there has been no concrete result at all. Nevertheless, as I have declared many times, I remain firmly committed to the Middle Way approach and reiterate here my willingness to continue to pursue the process of dialogue.

This year the Chinese people are proudly and eagerly awaiting the opening of the Olympic Games. I have, from the start, supported Beijing 's being awarded the opportunity to host the Games. My position remains unchanged. China has the world's largest population, a long history and an extremely rich civilization. Today, due to her impressive economic progress, she is emerging as a great power. This is certainly to be welcomed. But China also needs to earn the respect and esteem of the global community through the establishment of an open and harmonious society based on the principles of transparency, freedom, and the rule of law. For example, to this day victims of the Tiananmen Square tragedy that adversely affected the lives of so many Chinese citizens have received neither just redress nor any official response. Similarly, when thousands of ordinary Chinese in rural areas suffer injustice at the hands of exploitative and corrupt local offi

I had hoped President Hu Jintao's recent statement that the stability and safety of Tibet concerns the stability and safety of the country might herald the dawning of a new era for the resolution of the problem of Tibet . It is unfortunate that despite my sincere efforts not to separate Tibet from China , the leaders of the PRC continue to accuse me of being a "separatist". Similarly, when Tibetans in Lhasa and many other areas spontaneously protested to express their deep-rooted resentment, the Chinese authorities immediately accused me of having orchestrated their demonstrations. I have called for a thorough investigation by a respected body to look into this allegation.

Chinese brothers and sisters - wherever you may be - with deep concern I appeal to you to help dispel the misunderstandings between our two communities. Moreover, I appeal to you to help us find a peaceful, lasting solution to the problem of Tibet through dialogue in the spirit of understanding and accommodation.

With my prayers,
Dalai Lama

March 28, 2008

Note: translated from the Tibetan original

Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa
Representative of H. H. the Dalai Lama




The Tibet Bureau
Place de la Navigation 10
CH-1201 Geneva
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T +41 22 738 79 40
M +79 533 93 10
F +41 22 738 79 41
[email protected] /
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(The Tibet Bureau, Geneva is the sole official agency of His Holiness the
 Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government-in- Exile in Dharamsala , India for
 Central and Eastern Europe)




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DL's open letter to chinese everywhere
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2008, 12:37:59 AM »
 China has appreciated External Affairs Minister Pranab
Mukherjee's advice to the Dalai Lama not to do anything to hurt
Sino-Indian relations and said it was a "right stand.
 With 23 EU leaders inviting the Dalia lama to talk.
What more do they need know to keep him from harming India's relationship with China.


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Re: DL's open letter to chinese everywhere
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2008, 03:12:20 PM »
Tibet Through Chinese Eyes

Most Chinese think the West's real aim is to deny them the triumph they deserve for their success.
By Kishore Mahbubani | NEWSWEEK
May 5, 2008 Issue

The recent crisis over the Olympic torch and Tibet represent an epic clash: not just between Tibetans and Beijing, but between a self-congratulatory Western worldview and the very different vision of a billion-plus Chinese. Until Western leaders start trying to understand the Chinese perspective, friction is likely to grow, and the victims will include the Tibetans themselves—the very people Western leaders say they want to protect.

According to the current U.S. and European narrative, the popular protests in Tibet and elsewhere were entirely justified. The demonstrators pushed a moral cause: to free the poor Tibetans from an oppressive communist government. And the European leaders who decided to boycott the Olympics' opening ceremonies, like Germany's Angela Merkel, deserved nothing but praise for their courageous stance.

The Chinese view could not be more different. Before describing it, however, it is vital to dispel a major Western misconception. Many Americans and Europeans think that China's furious reaction to the protests—a reaction that has now inspired a massive boycott of Western goods and businesses in China—has been the result of media manipulation and information control by Beijing. If only the Chinese public had access to real facts, Westerners think, their attitudes would be different. This is a huge mistake. The reality is that some of the strongest anger toward the West at the moment is coming from liberal Western-educated Chinese intellectuals who have access to accurate information. China today enjoys the most competent governance it's ever had, and its elites are intelligent, well educated and sophisticated—the exact opposite of the "goons and thugs" described by CNN's Jack Cafferty.

The Chinese are so angry because virtually all of them believe that the Western protests have had little to do with human rights, Tibet or Darfur. Instead, the Chinese think, the West's real motivation is to deny China the triumph it deserves for its enormous successes. According to this view, Westerners cannot stomach the thought that China is poised to hold the best Olympics ever. Such a spectacle would vividly demonstrate how power has shifted from West to East. This would be intolerable, and thus Americans and Europeans are dead set on finding some way to disrupt the Games—and if Tibet or Darfur won't suffice, they'll find some other method. As several Western-educated Chinese friends have whispered to me, "Kishore, this is pure racism. The West cannot bear the thought of China's succeeding."

Chinese skepticism about the Western commitment to human rights is well founded. Indeed, there is something ironic about those who have committed genocide against American Indians or Australian Aborigines now castigating China on Tibet. Furthermore, Guantánamo—which Amnesty International has described as "the gulag of our times"—plus Abu Ghraib and European complicity in Washington's extraordinary rendition program have badly damaged the West's credibility and legitimacy.

Most Chinese also believe that Tibetans have received special treatment from Beijing. After the disastrous Cultural Revolution, in which all Chinese suffered, Deng Xiaoping adopted a more pragmatic approach to the region. Ruined religious sites were repaired, monasteries were reopened, new monks were allowed to join orders and the Tibetan language was permitted to be used more extensively than before. Chinese leaders believe that China has exercised sovereignty over Tibet for 700 years now, ever since the Yuan dynasty—one reason the "Free Tibet" slogan angers them so much. Then there's the recent territorial disintegration of the Soviet Union and memories of how the West seized Chinese territory in the 19th century: still more reasons why Chinese suspicions run deep.
What really frustrates Beijing is the West's apparent lack of comprehension of China's aims for the Olympics. In 2005, World Bank head Robert Zoellick called on China to become a "responsible stakeholder." The Beijing Olympics were meant to symbolize China's willingness to do just that, and the Chinese expected their efforts to be welcomed enthusiastically. But now most Western leaders seem intent on slamming the door in Beijing's face instead. The tragedy is that this will only stoke angry Chinese nationalism, which has already begun to surface. A fire-breathing Chinese dragon will clamp down on Tibet even harder than the current government has, which would serve no one's interests. The West's failure to recognize this fact demonstrates a serious failure of long-term strategic thinking.

If Europe's leaders really want to show political courage, they should attend the Olympics' opening ceremonies. Doing so would encourage China to open up further and engage the world. Over time, this will liberalize Chinese society and even lead to greater political and cultural autonomy for the Tibetans. So far, only one major Western leader has shown the requisite courage and foresight: George W. Bush. It is hoped numerous leaders from other continents will join him in Beijing. When that happens, it will only underscore Europe's growing irrelevance: a tragedy that Europeans are bringing upon themselves.

Mahbubani is dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore and the author of “The New Asian Hemisphere.”

© 2008


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Re: DL's open letter to chinese everywhere
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2015, 12:48:57 PM »
This open letter by HH the 14th Dalai Lama dates back to March 2008, almost 7 years ago. It is quite interesting to read material from the past as it reveals development of the issue and, like Chinese saying goes: when the water recede - the truth will arise, SOME TRUTH.

Since the time the letter was written, little has changed in favor for the freedom or autonomy of Tibet. On the contrary, some of the following major changes have occurred:

-   The Tibetan Government in Exile has been downgraded from a government body to an administration body (Central Tibet Administration – CTA)
-   Tibet and Tibetan has flourished under the governance of China with reducing rate of illiteracy, improved infrastructure and growing GDP. The notion of a free Tibet could be changing as knowledge, improvement living conditions and stability has its own version of freedom. and
-   The political and economical strength of China has further strengthened since 2008 whereby, today, political leaders and commercial movers and shakers are prioritizing alliance with China. If affiliation to the Dalai Lama would jeopardize good relations with China, they would readily choose China over His Holiness.

I do not list the above changes in delight but with sadness and it is a reflection of the degeneration we will experience in our time as predicted by Lord Buddha.

Similarly, relative to China, the Dalai Lama can be said to be in a weaker position. Similar to the position held by Dorje Shugden practitioners (although this is changing as the world is becoming informed, knowledgeable and engaged in the Shugden controversy). The pleas that the Dalai Lama posed are very similar to the requests of Shugden practitioners:

-   In his letter, the Dalai Lama write: “But China also needs to earn the respect and esteem of the global community through the establishment of an open and harmonious society based on the principles of transparency, freedom, and the rule of law”. As a Noble Peace Laureate and icon of harmony, tolerance and spirituality, His Holiness should apply his own requests upon himself in his treatment of the Shugden master, teachers, monks and practitioners.
-   In another statement “It is unfortunate that despite my sincere efforts not to separate Tibet from China, the leaders of the PRC continue to accuse me of being a "separatist". Again, there is similarity with the Shugden controversy as the Dalai Lama and his administration accuses Dorje Shugden as being sectarian despite proof that he is practiced within the Sakya, Gelugpa as well as Nyingma tradition.
-   The Dalai Lama pleas to arrive at a solution with China through negotiation and discussion, which was granted to him (6 meeting although inconclusive). The Shugden practitioners have requested to have an open discussion and debate with His Holiness in relation to this matter for many years to no avail.

My point, why contaminate the spiritual world with the traits of the secular one by infusing politics and economics into the equation? May we open our eyes to see and as it has been said before, the solution to the Shugden issue is pretty straightforward: practice the Dharma as taught to us by Lord Buddha