Dharamshala: - Thousands of Tibetans in exile across the world celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Nobel Peace Prize Day, and marked the 66th International Human Rights Day.
Thousands of exiled Tibetans assembled in the main temple to mark the anniversary. The political leader of the Tibetan government in exile, Dr Lobsang Sangay addressed the crowds followed by the speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in exile, Mr Penpa Tsering.
International Human Rights day was observed on Saturday, 10 December, across the world including the Tibetan community under the theme of "Commemorate Human Rights" against abuse and violations of human values and to mark the anniversary of the presentation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay extended his warmest greetings to fellow Tibetans, friends and well-wishers around the world.
"Today is the Silver Jubilee of the momentous occasion of the conferment of the Nobel Peace Prize on His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama."
Over the past 25 years, His Holiness has unwaveringly continued to confirm and strengthen the ideals of the Nobel Peace Prize. He regards himself as a simple Buddhist monk and continues to prove himself to be a shining beacon of peace, non-violence and compassion to millions of people across the world.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has travelled the five continents, meeting presidents, prime ministers, religious heads, kings, scientists, academics, youths, ordinary citizens, the poor and the underprivileged. He has been lauded with 151 major awards and honours. Even fellow Nobel Peace Laureates refer to him as a "Super Laureate."
His Holiness the Dalai Lama's unswerving pursuit of a non-violent resolution to the issue of Tibet, based on dialogue and mutual benefit, has dramatically advanced the cause. Global citizens of conscience for Tibet have grown from a handful of small groups to a strong international campaign for human rights for Tibetans.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama promotes a mutually beneficial solution for the problem of Tibet, which takes into account the prevailing international environment and China's domestic position. With the adoption of the Middle-Way Approach, more than 20 contacts and consultations were made with the Chinese government from 1979 till formal contacts came to an end in 1993. When talks resumed in 2002, nine formal rounds of dialogue and one informal consultation were held between the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the concerned PRC officials. The Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People sought genuine autonomy within the framework of the Chinese Constitution.
It is ironic that just recently, the Chinese government chose to designate December 4th as National Constitution Day to advance the Rule of Law and promote the Constitution of the People's Republic of China. If the Chinese government really deems the Constitution important, then it must put the document into practice and grant the Tibetan people the genuine autonomy it promises.
The Middle Way Approach has enabled open support from governments and parliaments across the world. Many Chinese scholars and academics have also conveyed their support for the just cause of Tibet...The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) remains steadfastly committed to the Middle Way Approach.
One of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's greatest contributions to and legacies for the Tibetan people has been in building the institution of democracy in exile.... Over the past 25 years, major milestones along this road have included the election of the Kalons by the parliament in 1990, the adoption of the Charter of the Tibetans in Exile in 1991, the first direct election for Kalon Tripa in 2001, and most recently in 2011, the devolution of all political authority by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the directly elected leader.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the life and soul of Tibet and the Tibetan people. The 14th Kashag announced the observation of 2014 the "Year of Gratitude to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama." It is an appeal to all elder Tibetans to engage with young Tibetans in retelling the story of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's life, so that his legacy, vision and mission will be etched in the hearts and minds of Tibetans for generations to come.
Other Peace Laureates have also been successful in turning their efforts and aspirations into actual achievements. The Nobel Peace Laureates summit previously scheduled in South Africa was cancelled due to the boycott of the summit by other Laureates when a visa was denied to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. We appreciate and welcome the summit now being held in Rome.
Today is also International Human Rights Day. China consistently negates the provisions of the declaration, and human rights standards in Tibet continue to deteriorate. Tibet is still under occupation and the Tibetan people suffer political repression, economic marginalization, social discrimination, environmental destruction and cultural assimilation.
Countless demonstrations in Tibet since the Tibetan National Uprising of 1959 have called for human rights and basic freedoms for Tibetans. It is worth noting that, in 2008, the demonstrations spread to all regions where Tibetans reside, indicating that all Tibetans are united and share the same aspirations. It also showed the relevance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's aim to bring all Tibetans under a single autonomous administration.
The 132 self-immolations also include Tibetans of all ages and walks of life. An anonymous testimony by the survivor of a self-immolation protest reads: 'Compared to other countries, we don't have freedom of religious belief, freedom of speech, and our spiritual leader cannot return home. The restrictions are ongoing. I was unable to bear the suffering of living under Chinese aggression, so I thought about a self-immolation protest.'
Today, we pray for those who have sacrificed their lives for basic freedom and human rights in Tibet. We hope for their speedy release and stand alongside them in their aspirations.
All the achievements of Tibetan refugees in reconstructing a cohesive and strong community would not have been possible without the constant support of India and we deeply thank all the citizens and Government of India. We especially value the recently announced Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy [of] 2014. We also wish to thank all Indian state governments, especially the beautiful state of Himachal Pradesh, for hosting the CTA.
Finally, we also express our deep gratitude to all friends of Tibet and well-wishers across the globe. We end today with fervent prayers for His Holiness the Dalai Lama's long and healthy life. May all his wishes be fulfilled, including all Tibetans been united together in our homeland.