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Tibet-Deputy-Speaker-Parliament-2017Dharamshala — 'So long as China does not change its hardline policies on the Sino-Tibetan political issue, the international community's perception of China will become considerably more negative,' the Parliament in-Exile said in a statement, adding: "Naturally it will become impossible for the government of China to be ever viewed with respect by others."

On the occasion of the 58th anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day on the 10th of March, the Parliament in Exile issued a statement remembering the lives sacrificed for the Tibetan cause and calling for Tibetans to "rededicate our commitment with a renewed sense of determination in our efforts to accomplish our fundamental objective."

Today is a day of great importance in the history of the Tibetan people. It was in 1959 on this day that the communist government of China revealed the stark devious face of its policy to take over Tibet by use of armed occupation rule. The violent repression it unleashed on the Tibetan people was beyond all imaginations. This had the spontaneous effect of galvanizing the people from all the three Provinces of Tibet to come together to stage a great national uprising in capital Lhasa.

The Central Tibetan Administration also observes this day as the Tibetan Martyrs' Day in memory of the heroic men and women of patriotism. Therefore, on this day we, first of all, commemorate with gratitude the spirit and deeds of the heroic Tibetan men and women whose sense of patriotism prompted them to sacrifice their all, including their precious lives, for the sake of Tibet's religious heritage, nationhood and people. Also on this day we express our solidarity with those in Tibet who even today continue to suffer torture and oppression of various kinds under the brutal policies of the communist Chinese government.

It is a fact and a self-evident too, that 'Tibet' and 'China' are in terms of their histories, geographies, ethnicities, languages, customs and traditions, and so on, are totally different. Nevertheless, by using brute force the communist Chinese invaded and brazenly took over the territory and all its resources. Not only that, the communist Chinese invaders also killed, and subjected them to torture and oppress hundreds of thousands of Tibetan people without any sense of limit or restraint. They also set out to annihilate Tibet's religion and culture as well as to destroy its natural environment.

These oppressions severely tested the Tibetan people's capability for endurance and ultimately compelled them to hold peaceful protest campaigns which have continued one after another to this day. The generation of the Tibetan people growing up today under the Chinese occupation rule too continue to hold protest campaigns on successive, continuous occasions to express their rejection of the implementation of the brutal policies on them.

In the year 2008, large-scale peaceful protest campaigns were launched one after another in all the three traditional provinces of Tibet, beginning from Tibet's capital Lhasa. China responded by unleashing on the Tibetan people its paramilitary People's Armed Police Force as well as it regular People's Liberation Army troops who used their weapons to carry out brutal repression, showing not a bit of kindness towards anyone. As a result, many Tibetan men and women, including monks and nuns, lost their lives. In particular, under China's colonial policy rule in Tibet, the Tibetan people, far from enjoying any political right, never had any of the basic human rights. The invariable use of policies like these in a continuing stream of brutal repression, which were in stark opposition to their aspirations, convinced the Tibetan people to the very depth of their being of the utter futility of entertaining any hope for a viable future under the Chinese rule. It drove the Tibetan people to a more desperate course of peaceful protest actions.

Since the year 2009, until the 8th of December 2016, there have been a total of 145 verified cases of patriotic Tibetan men and women of courage who set themselves on fire in protest against the Chinese rule. Their two main slogans as they carried out those fiery protests were: "Let His Holiness the Dalai Lama be invited to Tibet!" "Let the Tibetan people enjoy freedom and the basic human rights."

Even today, Tibetans, the rightful owners of the territory of Tibet, continue to remain deprived of their political rights, as well as their freedoms of religious belief, language, culture, natural environment protection, and so on. Because of it, Tibetans continue to take recourse to peaceful protest campaigns to raise their demand that these rights be respected. But these innocent Tibetans are being arrested with false accusations of having committed criminal offences and taken away by force. Such Tibetans are subjected to all manners of brutal persecution and torture, including with executions, prison sentences, and so on.

This remains an endless, continuing trend. In this connection one may recall the recent, ongoing case of the Tibetan businessman Tashi Wangchuk. In keeping with the provisions of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, which emphasizes the need to guarantee the protection of the language of the ethnic minorities, he pleaded for respect for and education in Tibetan language for the Tibetan people in parity with the status accorded to the mandarin Chinese language. But the Chinese government responded with a false criminal offence charge against him and on that basis put him in jail. This makes it abundantly clear how China brutally deals with innocent Tibetans if they seek to even so much as to raise their demand for respect for their rights.

Because of China's policy of resolute adherence to the use of absolutely nothing but savage force, Tibetan political detainees often die unnatural deaths. And even if some of them remain alive to be eventually released from prison, they die shortly afterwards due to serious and chronic ailments they suffer from as a result of years of ill-treatment in prison.

Since the recent past, a policy of severe destruction and restrictions on the freedom of religious practice of the Tibetan people has been enforced. When His Holiness the Dalai Lama, a champion of peace across the world, conferred his 34th Kalachakra teaching at Buddhism's holiest site of Bodh Gaya in India in January 2017, the government of China refused to issue passport to a large number of Tibetans who wished to receive the empowerment. A few Tibetans who had already been issued their passports were given dire warnings that their land and housing entitlements would be confiscated, that their family members and those who had stood surety for the issuance of their passports would be punished if they failed to return home before the commencement of the kalachakra teachings. The obstruction and distress it brought on the Tibetan believers was limitless.

There has been no change whatsoever in the existing hardline policy of the government of China in the way they respond to the activities of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and in their attacks on the Central Tibetan Administration. In fact, over the past several years, the policy has kept getting ever more severe. It has been the ardent wish of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and resolute stand of the Central Tibetan Administration that the issue of Tibet should be resolved by the middle way approach. Although the efforts to revive the Sino-Tibetan dialogue with this end in view have been transparent and universally known, there has so far been no responsible requisite response of any kind from the Chinese side.

The courage and fortitude of the Tibetan people living in Tibet remains resolute and unwavering. Thanks to these and the efforts of the Central Tibetan Administration and the Tibetan public in exile, the number of people in the outside world who support the Tibetan people's struggle for their just cause keeps multiplying year after year. During the immediate past year, His Holiness the Dalai Lama met with the President of the European Parliament Mr Martin Schulz, as well as with the Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic, and the President of Slovakia Mr Andrej Kiska. Likewise, in New Delhi, the capital of India, His Holiness the Dalai Lama not only met with the President, Mr Pranab Mukherjee but also attended with him a summit of Laureates and Leaders for the benefit of the children of the world in his presidential palace of Rashtrapati Bhawan.

The positive and encouraging trend in developments like these show that there is a widespread acknowledgement across the world of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's endeavours and strong support for and attention to the issue of Tibet.Likewise, speeches have been delivered, press statements issued and resolutions adopted in or by the European Parliament at Strasbourg as well as Brussels, in the Parliament of France, in the United States Congress, in the British Parliament at Westminster, in the Parliament of Italy, by the Vice-President of the German Parliament, by members of the Australian Parliament, and by Members of Parliament in the host country India, expressing support for the Tibetan struggle. Moreover, in the Parliament of Taiwan, a cross-party Tibet Caucus was newly set up. In Japan too, an All Party Japanese Parliamentary Group for Tibet was newly launched. These show that support for the Tibetan people and their cause continue to rise and keep getting stronger than ever before.

"Furthermore, Prince Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Swizterland has expressed concern on the human rights situation in Tibet and clearly revealed how extremely poor it is," the statement said. "In January 2017, the non-governmental human rights organization-Freedom House, which is based in Washington, DC, U.S.A. published its annual report on the state of civil and political rights in the world during the year 2016," it said, adding that "The report found that in its list of 18 countries with worst records on human rights, China's position came 15th. The report also found that when it came to the question of respecting civil and political rights of citizens and territorial subjects, China's position was the worst."

The statement further added: "So long as the government of China does not change its hardline policies on the Sino-Tibetan political issue, the contradictions between the government of China and the people of Tibet will only worsen and the international community's perception of the government of China will also become considerably more negative. Naturally it will become impossible for the government of China to be ever viewed with respect by others."

"It is up to China alone to decide whether the Sino-Tibetan dispute should be settled. Hence, we take this opportunity to remind the current President Mr Xi Jinping of China, the need to open talks on the basis of the middle way approach proposed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and give consideration to making efforts to implement in Tibet, a policy of meaningful autonomy in governance," it added.

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