Dharamshala, India — Tibetans and Tibet supporters around the world celebrated the Anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize conferred to His Holiness the Dalai on December 10 that commemorates International Human Rights Day. Speaking on the 70th anniversary of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Parliament Speaker said "The Dalai Lama has developed His philosophy of peace from a great reverence for all things living and upon the concept of universal responsibility embracing all mankind as well as nature."
“Today is a momentous occasion marking the 29th anniversary of the day on which the omniscient His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama, the head ornament in the domains of cyclic existence and of Nirvana including the heavenly abodes, the spiritual lord of the three realms, champion of peace in this world, the master of the corpus of all the teachings of the Buddha on this earth, the destined deity of the people of the Snowland of Tibet, the supreme Bodhisattva reigning the world emanated in human manifestation, the saviour of all the Tibetan people and their supreme leader, was conferred the most renowned of awards, the Nobel Peace Prize,” Tibetan Parliament in Exile said, adding: “on behalf of the entirety of the Tibetan people in Tibet and in exile, offer my greetings and congratulations to His Holiness with a feeling of joy, faith and contentment, remembering the gratitude we all owe to Him.”
The Tibetan Parliament in Exile released a statement expressing its deep gratitude and reverence for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama on the morning of December 10 in celebration of the 28th annual Nobel Peace Prize Day. “Today is an important day worthy of being rejoiced with celebrations for people across the world who value democracy, freedom and peace.”
Nobel Peace Prize Day is dedicated to celebrating the presentation of the Nobel Peace Prize to His Holiness the Dalai Lama by the Nobel Committee in 1989 in recognition of his non-violent campaign lasting over 40 years to restore independence for Tibetans within Tibet. In honor of this historical event, the Parliament in Exile reiterated its content throughout its statement.
Reflecting on the history of the Nobel Peace Prize, Parliament recalled the speech given by the Norwegian Nobel Committee during the presentation ceremony for His Holiness: “‘the Dalai Lama in His struggle for the liberation of Tibet consistently has opposed the use of violence. He has instead advocated peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect in order to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of His people.’”
The Parliament also reflected on the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s comments on His Holiness’ philosophy. “‘The Dalai Lama has developed His philosophy of peace from a great reverence for all things living and upon the concept of universal responsibility embracing all mankind as well as nature. He has come forward with constructive and forward-looking proposals for the solution of international conflicts, human rights issues, and global environmental problems.’”
The Tibetan Parliament in Exile also recalled His Holiness’ acceptance speech from 1989, which recognized the significance of the Prize for the Tibetan people’s liberataion. “‘I believe the prize is a recognition of the true value of altruism, love, compassion and non-violence which I try to practice, in accordance with the teachings of the Buddha and the great sages of India and Tibet.I accept the prize with profound gratitude on behalf of the oppressed everywhere and for all those who struggle for freedom and work for world peace. I accept it on behalf of the six million Tibetan people, my brave countrymen and women inside Tibet, who have suffered and continue to suffer so much... The prize reaffirms our conviction that with truth, courage and determination as our weapons, Tibet will be liberated.’”
Throughout the statement, the Parliament in Exile emphasized His Holiness’ reliance on nonviolent practices, teachings of the Buddha, and on the profound values taught by Mahatma Ghandi. They also discussed the central causes His Holiness works towards, which include the importance of mutual understanding, friendship, fairness, and compassion in effectively carrying out conflict resolution; promoting human rights; and working for the protection of the environment both in Tibet and globally in order to ensure the “realization of a meaningful state of peace.”
The statement also offered recognition and praise to this year’s recipients of the award, which were female activist Nadia Murad of Iraq and physician Denis Mukwege of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It referenced His Holiness’ congratulatory remarks, which commended them for “having put compassion into action” and said their work done to restore the well-being of others demonstrated the strength of compassion today.
Parliament’s statement touched on The Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, which was founded by the Dalai Lama in November 1990 using the Nobel Peace Prize fund awarded to him. “Through this foundation His Holiness has sought to promote universal human values across the world; to strive to ensure that people across the world coexist in a state of nonviolence and peace; to work towards realizing mutual understanding and fraternity among the different religions of this world, the rights of women as well as the rights of everyone without any gender discrimination, and the protection of the natural environment; to carry out discussions and conference between science and Buddhism; and engaged in the promotion of Tibetan Buddhism and culture, especially the Nalanda tradition on which it is based.” They noted that through these and other means, His Holiness has continued his engagement with the issue of Tibet and world peace.
His Holiness has continued to engage with peace through other means, including his adoption of four commitments: “Bringing about happiness as the common lot of the entire humanity; fraternal relationship among the different religious traditions; the maintenance, preservation and development of the Tibetan Buddhist culture; and the revival of the noble traditions of ancient India inherited by the Tibetan people.” International Buddhist Peace Conferences, meetings with international students, teachings, and education development were also referenced as ways His Holiness has continued to engage with global peace.
Parliament pointed out in its statement that due to His Holiness’ deeds, the number of global supporters of the Tibetan cause continues to increase substantially. They cited the United Nations Human Rights Council review, which adjourned in Geneva, Switzerland this November, as a measure of international support for Tibet. A total of 12 state parties- Australia, Canada, Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America, Denmark, France, and Japan- “made clear their strong concern about the human right situation in Tibet in general and the situation concerning Tibet.” The above state parties also recommended that China allow a delegation of officials from the United Nations to travel to Tibet in order to undertake an investigation of all relevant issues in Tibet, and suggested that China resume the “mutually beneficial bilateral dialogue on the basis of the Middle Way Approach.”
The statement went on to call on China to act in favor of Tibet. “We accordingly call on the government of China to acknowledge its wrongdoings and, on that basis, imperatively hold discussion on the issue so as to extend help to fully address the hardship of the Tibetan people in recognition of its primary responsibility to solve these problems of our compatriots. Besides, we call on the government of China to release all Tibetan political prisoners, including the language rights activist Mr. Tashi Wangchuk. And we also reiterate our emphatic call on the government of China to dispense with its existing cruel hardline policies and make efforts to resolve the Sino-Tibetan dispute on the basis of the mutually beneficial Middle Way Approach.”
The statement discusses the means by which the Tibetan Parliament in Exile has pursued this cause recently, including the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile’s tour of several countries in Europe in order to raise awareness of and win backing for the issue of Tibet from governments, parliaments, and organizations throughout the international community.
Reference is given to the 153 Tibetans who have staged self-immolations in the name of the Tibetan cause, 131 of which have died as a result.
The statement is concluded by expressing gratitude to the Indian government and local administrations for its help, protection, friendship, and generosity extended to the Tibetan people. “There is no way our gratitude to them could ever be forgotten.” They also expressed thanks to the global community that has supported their cause thus far. “Likewise, I... also wish to express heartfelt thanks to all the governmental as well as private entities, and peoples across the world who have thus far extended support to us with great concern for our just cause.”