Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Statement of the TYC on the 50th Tibetan National Uprising Day

Today, on the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day, the Tibetan Youth Congress pays homage and tribute to the martyrs of Tibet who have sacrificed their lives for the Tibetan people’s birthright. We also honor and stand in solidarity with our brethrens who continue to reassert their right to Independence undergoing intolerable suffering under the tyranny of China.

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s and the Tibetan Government’s escape into exile. On behalf of the six million Tibetans, we would like to thank the government of India, Nepal and Bhutan and its people for welcoming us warmly in their midst. We are grateful for the assistance given to the Tibetan people in rehabilitating, educating and in preserving and promoting Tibet’s culture and religion. We also thank the international community for their unwavering support and appeal to our friends everywhere to intensify their support for Tibet.

In recognition of the significance of our 50 years in exile, a comprehensive review of the last 50 years of Tibet’s struggle for Independence from both inside and outside Tibet must be conducted. In particular, this review should analyze accomplishments as well as failures of the Tibetan government and people in exile vis-à-vis Tibet’s movement, social stability, education and democracy. This reflection will provide an opportunity to take the Tibetan struggle to a higher stage.

We also extend our heartfelt gratitude to the older generation of Tibetans who have served the Tibetan cause with diligent commitment under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. For the younger generation, we humbly remind the youth of our collective responsibility to the Tibetan cause and to reaffirm our commitment to the Tibetan struggle.

TYC as a national movement with the goal of restoring Tibet’s independence is grounded on historical truth. The Chinese government will not be able to distort this basic truth by propagating against TYC with attempts to label it as a terrorist group. Even under extreme pressure and obstacles directed at TYC by the Chinese government, we will remain steadfast in our commitment to truth and in our struggle for complete independence. It is our promise that we will one day hoist the Tibetan national flag on top of the Potala Palace and our leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, will sit on his rightful throne.

We take this opportunity to reiterate that the Chinese government resorting to deceitful propaganda can neither change truth nor can it suppress natural human spirit. As the oppressor masquerades Tibet as a free and happy developing region, in fact, the truth remains that Tibet is under the brutal military occupation of China. In the last sixty years of Chinese government’s colonial policy over Tibet, Tibet’s fragile environment is being destroyed by the uncontrolled looting of Tibet’s natural resources, over a million Tibetans have been killed, and the distinct Tibetan identity is facing the threat of extinction with the mass migration of Chinese settlers into Tibet and the so-called ‘patriotic re-education’ campaign, both aimed at marginalizing the Tibetan populace.

In an unprecedented protest to restore Tibet’s independence, Tibetans from all three provinces of Tibet have risen up in unity since last March 10 Tibetan National Uprising Day demanding in unison for an “Independent Tibet”, the “Return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama”, and the “Release of the Panchen Lama, Gendun Choekyi Nyima”. The expression of the genuine grievances of the past sixty years by the Tibetan people shamed the Chinese government, who used its military might, equipped with the most advanced modern weapons to suppress the peaceful Tibetan protest. As a result hundreds of Tibetans have been killed, thousands have been arrested and still around a thousand have gone missing. The oppression that continues to this day, renders the year 2008, as one of the most atrocious years for Tibet under Chinese occupation.

This year, to mourn the loss of our brothers and sisters last year Tibetans in Tibet opted not to celebrate the Tibetan New Year, but this too was met with pressure from the Chinese government. Tibetans were forced to celebrate the New year and any expression of grief was suppressed.

In an attempt to prevent protest during the 50th year anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising, a 42 day winter ‘Strike Hard Campaign’ was launched in Lhasa on January 18, 2009 and 5766 Tibetans were rounded up as suspects for questioning. 81 Tibetan were arrested. Likewise in January, amongst peaceful protesters, a young Tibetan named Pema Tsepak was beaten to death by the Chinese authorities. Tibet remains under virtual military lock down and the illegal occupation of Tibet has seen ruthless oppression of Tibetans and the destruction of Tibetan culture. Tibetans will never forget the last sixty dark years. In view of the present situation in Tibet, we urge the United Nation as mandated by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to exert meaningful influence on China on the Tibet issue.

Thus far, the Tibetan government has compromised much in hope of achieving a resolution through dialogue with the Chinese government. The Chinese side not only has refused to give in, but also denigrated our government’s effort by categorically rejecting the ‘middle-way’ proposal. Now the Tibetan government and people must follow the historical truth and in unison stride towards the goal of Independence for Tibet. This factor is the most important component of our struggle. To achieve this objective, individuals must utilize the democratic system and take responsibility. Recognizing the invaluable sacrifices made by Tibetans inside Tibet, TYC reminds every Tibetan to shoulder greater responsibility and through individual action, summon collective strength to carry our movement to greater heights.

On this day in Lhasa, on March 10, 1959, thousands of Tibetans rose up against the Chinese occupation to protect our leader, our national identity and defend our history. The Chinese government’s attempts to annihilate Tibetans through force, deceit and lies for the past 50 years have been proved a failure. As the truth about Tibet is prevailing in the world, Tibetan’s spirit and resilience is also becoming stronger. This makes it apparent that brutal force can never over-power truth.

Three generations of Tibetans have fought against the Chinese occupation despite tremendous oppression. As long as the five starred foreign flag remains on Tibetan soil, neither will we waiver, not will we yield. Tibet’s independence is a legacy passed on to us by our great ancestors like the King Songtsen Gampo, Drogon Choegyal Phagpa and the 13th Dalai Lama. We will not compromise this rightful heritage of the future generations of Tibetans yet to come.

On the occasion of the 49th Tibetan National Uprising Day, thousands of Tibetans from all three provinces of Tibet rose up, in the largest protest against the Chinese occupation since 1959. The indomitable spirit of the Tibetan People’s Movement inside Tibet of 2008 is a historic event that jolted the Tibetan movement to a new height.

Restoration of Tibet’s independence is the right of Tibetans and an achievable goal that is neither a philosophical rational, nor an empty dream. This struggle is not for population or military might, but is a fight of justice and human courage. In reliance on truth and with trust in our spirit, we must stride forward in unison to regain Tibet’s independence. With the sacrifices of our countrymen in our mind, and for the future generation of Tibet, we must struggle with greater determination and dedication to regain Independence.

In conclusion, TYC prays for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and for the fulfillment of his prayers. We also believe in and hope for the re-unification of the Tibetan people both inside and outside in an Independent Tibet.

Bodh Gyalo!

Tibetan Youth Congress
Central Executive Committee

March 10, 2009

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