Dharamsahala: - Speaking at a ceremony marking the 54th anniversary of the 54th Tibetan Democracy Day, Penpa Tsering Speaker of Tibetan Parliament in Exile Tuesday praised His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his commitment to peace and nonviolence, and called him "a champion of world peace and the emblem of the unity of the Tibetan people, and the free spokesperson of the entire people of Tibet."
Giving a detail account on the evolution of Tibetan democracy in exile from 1963-2011, Speaker Penpa Tsering also praised His Holiness for establishing "an authoritative and stable Tibetan administration in exile and ensured its continuance for as long as it would be necessary to sustain a leadership directly elected by the people until the just Tibetan cause prevails."
"In order to ensure that the exiled Tibetan system will be fully democratic in all its diverse fundamental and other aspects, and as an outcome of an initiative which was for long close to His holiness the Dalai Lama's heart, a democratic constitution for a future free Tibet consisting of 10 chapters and 77 Articles was promulgated on 10 March 1963," Speaker Tsering he said while addressing thousands of people gathered to celebrate the 54th Tibetan Democracy Day at the main Tibetan temple.
"Democracy in the process of the historical evolution of the human civilization has meant the elimination of discrimination in society between the powerful and weak, rich and poor, men and women, or between different races of people," he said, adding: "It has thereby meant giving primacy to the wishes of the general masses of people in society as a whole based on equality."
"Tibet has existed among the countries of central and eastern Asia, including its neighbours India and China, as a powerful country with an extremely long, millennia-old history and a highly developed culture which fully satisfied all its people's requirements," Speaker said, adding "it has been endowed since very ancient times with all the attributes acknowledged in every part of this world as indubitable evidences of an independent nation."
Tibetan Speaker Penpa Tsering said, "For the realization of this great system of government and politics, the histories of not a small number of countries in this world show that they were victorious outcomes made possible only as outcomes of protracted turbulence of war, revolution, and other forms of internal struggle. Such efforts through use of people's power to successfully realize the transformation of the country's political system is a continuing trend to this day."
"In the case of the great democratic system that prevails in the Tibetan society, there was no need for a slightest bit of any such strife or struggle by the ordinary masses of people. Rather, it was gifted by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the temporal and spiritual leader of Tibet, with great happiness and affection to the general masses of Tibetan people," he added, saying "this is the reason why if the Tibetan people as a whole fail to properly carry out their democratic responsibilities, one cannot predict what the adverse consequences will be."
"It therefore concerns the very essence of the matter that there should be no laxity on the part of everyone on any aspect of every part of his or her responsibility, bearing in the core of one's heart the gratitude one owes to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the expectations that's He has of us for the realization of both the immediate and long term Tibetan spiritual, political, and ethnic aspirations," he added.
Tsering further criticized China for using its repressive policies in Tibet through racial discrimination to impair the linguistic heritage of the Tibetan people and imposed severe limits on its study and use." He said "over the past 60 years, implementation of authoritarian system by the government of China had resulted in the death of over 1.2 million Tibetans. It also introduced coercive reform measures designed to counter everything that is unique and noble about the Tibetan people: their fine customs, religions and culture, and idealism."
"China destroyed and plundered Tibet's ancient historical objects and distorted the narratives of its history. In the so-called central government as well as the hierarchy of party leaderships, the Chinese have adhered to the ideology of never giving equal power to people from ethnic minority groups," he added.
"In the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region, no ethnic Tibetan has ever been appointed as its top leader, it said, adding that "over the past several years, serving ethnic minorities were removed from their positions of power one after another in the so-called ethnic minority autonomous regions, autonomous prefectures, and autonomous counties of the People's Republic of China. They were all transferred to other, lesser posts. Exemplifying the old saying which bemoans the fact that one's home had been usurped by one's guest, ethnic Chinese officials have been continuing to grab the posts with power in these administrative levels."
Speaking about the environmental destruction in Tibet, he said China keeps mining and plundering all types of mineral resources, carrying out reckless exploitation, sacred mountain sites and even ancestral crematoriums are being ploughed or dug up without any care or concern for the local Tibetans' sensitivities. Rivers have been dammed and their flows diverted to distort the natural balance of the environment.
Speaker Tsering said the environmental destruction have "led to natural calamities such as earthquakes and their accompanying catastrophic consequences. Trees have been cut from huge tracts of land in defiance of all kinds of limits from areas across Tibet, converting once vast grasslands and virgin forests into desolate desert wastelands. These have led to catastrophic landslides and floods. And because the government of China uses sites in Tibet to store nuclear materials and test atomic weapons, various kinds of previously unknown epidemic diseases have hit Tibetans in those areas."
China's response to Tibetan protests against environmental destruction, he said "the government has hurled all kinds of false accusations against innocent Tibetans and executed or otherwise illegally imprisoned" many of them "through a policy of habitual bullying, debasement, criticism, and utter contempt."
Many Tibetans have been taken away on unknown or undisclosed accusations and have been rendered disappeared. Implementation of such and other utterly reprehensible policies continue to this day. He said: "In the course of doing so, the Chinese authorities have subjected the Tibetan people to inhuman beating and torture."
Tibetan Parliament in exile its statement said that Tibetans continue to make clear their total rejection of these policies of the government of China. "This could be discerned especially from the great peaceful protests of 2008. From 2009 - 2014, a total of 130 Tibetan clerical and lay people, including men and women, have carried out self-immolation protests in Tibet. They felt compelled to sacrifice their very lives and everything else that is of value to the living in their attempts to free fellow-Tibetans from their unbearable and prolonged period of suffering."
Tsering further condemned the recent firing by Chinese police on peaceful protesters in Karze and reiterated that the government of China should bear full responsibility for all of these developments.
"Many Tibetans, including village head Wangdak, of Denma Shugpa Village in Kham Dege area of Tibet, were forcibly taken away and kept in detention without any explanation of any reason. Some of them were killed in the detention centre through torture. Such and other tragic developments, including the self-immolation protests, continue to take place in Tibet today and we remain greatly concerned about them."
"The middle way policy is designed to ensure the preservation of Tibet's unique religious and cultural heritage, habits and customs, ethnicity, and other aspects of the Tibetan identity while the territory remains under the sovereign framework of the Constitution of China so that the two sides can coexist and get along with each other on the basis of equality,' he said while calling its beneficial not only to Tibet but also to China.
Despite the tragic situation continues in Tibet, he said "China does not look upon Tibetans as a people endowed with dignity rightfully due to a human being. All its actions, wherever profitable, are geared towards benefiting and ensuring the well being of the communist Chinese government."
Tibetan speaker said China 'ignores and tramples on every provision of the international bill of human rights. Because of it and , many governments, private bodies, and organizations have sympathized with the people of Tibet and have, year after year, appealed to, advised, criticized, expressed hopes, and so on, to the government of China, calling on it to end its brutal policy of repression in Tibet.'
'Nevertheless,China has far from heeding their urgent calls, kept on countering them with audacious falsehoods with criticisms such as that they were interfering in China's internal affairs. Such a course of conduct on the part of the Chinese government is extremely incompatible with the norms of conduct among the 21stcentury civilized communities of peoples and nations,' he added.
Describing China as a very regrettable state of affairs today,he called on 'China to reform in a positive direction its extremely leftist way of thinking on the issue- societies of the progressive and morally upright countries of today, urgently and spontaneously lead Tibet too to a new path of becoming an exemplary society of peace in coexistence with China, rooted in a foundation of harmony and stability.'
On behalf of the Tibetan Parliament, Speaker Tsering expressed his heartfelt thanks to the international community, specially the government and people of India who support the freedom cause of Tibet and appealed for their continued support.