March 12, 2002: Today, we are gathered here to commemorate the 43rd anniversary of the Tibetan women’s uprising Day. On behalf of all the Tibetan women both in and outside Tibet, I take this opportunity to salute all the brave women who have sacrificed their precious lives. It is sad to note that recently one of our such lady Ani Palchen Dolma passed away on the 2nd of February 2002. We therefore salute and observe one-minute silence to pay our respect to those who have laid their lives for the cause of our Nation.
Under the guidance of our supreme leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Women’s Association was re-instituted in exile in 1984. We truly appreciate all the wonderful work done by our brave women in the past and from our side we would give our very best in shouldering our responsibilities. With great respect and much sense of joy, we would follow the noble direction of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Government-in-exile. We are here to preserve our cultural heritage and are determined to work harder than ever before in our quest to realize our national goal.
In order to bring up amicable solution to the Tibetan issue, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has drawn out a broadened and farsighted vision for both the China and Tibet in the principles of peace and non-violence. He has presented the Five Point Peace Plan through middle way approach. These are historical documents, which enshrine the working basis and the interest of both the Tibetans and the Chinese. These proposals are highly respected by many governments and individuals across the globe and consequently the support for the Tibetan cause has been growing year by year. With our continuous struggle and pressures from international community and governments that the Chinese Government has recently some thought to the political prisoners. Still our struggle has not yet finished and we should give great importance to pressure the Chinese authorities that the political prisoners such as Phuntsok Nyidon and Ngawang Sangdrol could be released. The most prominent among the prisoners of conscience under the Chinese thumb is the young Panchen Lama.
The International Commission of Jurists has clearly explained in its reports that Tibet was an independent nation with clear legal jurisdiction away and distinct from China. The august body has recognized both de facto and de jure independent status of Tibet. These reports also contain that the free Tibet conducted its foreign relations without any interference from any foreign nation. The Tibetan cause has now emerged as an international issue with close implications to the peace of Asia and the world at large.
When we review the Chinese policy on Tibet, it is obvious from the campaigns launched from time to time that in the ultimate analysis she has the evil designs to annihilate Tibet and the Tibetans. After destroying all the distinctive characteristics of the Tibetan people along with its religious and cultural heritages, the Chinese intend to merge them in the sea of Chinese. The most recent development concern the railway line from Gormo to Lhasa and the water dam project on the confluence of Drichu river. Through these programs the Chinese aim to transfer a large number of Chinese immigrants to Tibet which will eventually make the Tibetan people only secondary citizens in their own country. Male chauvinism has been a part of the Chinese Society and if you look from the cultural perspective it takes little imagination to understand the depressing life of the Tibetan women in Tibet. Their right to produce children has been strictly regimented and they have to pay high monetary penalty for breaking the Chinese rule. The Chinese authority has sterilized many Tibetan women against their will.
I also like to take this opportunity to call upon all our compatriots both in and outside Tibet that its high time that we put collective efforts and work united for the common cause. We are very lucky to have His Holiness the Dalai Lama as our supreme leader and should always remember his kindness and hard work for our nation and people. It is our responsibility to follow His direction and timely guidance. I can assure that we would be successful in our mission when our people follow the guidance of our beloved leader in words and sacrifice being made by our people in Tibet for the common cause. Our time in the free world should be used for the national cause by adhering to the advice of our kind leader. The Tibetan Government-in-exile is functioning within the framework of democratic principles. We should be steadfast and march from strength to strength defying petty politics and parochialism in our society.
We Tibetans are highly grateful to the Government and people of India for the timely assistance and kindness showered on us during our time of need by providing ‘a home away from home’. As the Government of India is fully aware of Tibet issue, we once again appeal for your concrete support to our cause and not to submit to the illogical and illegal assumptions of the Chinese authority. The Tibetans have also been lucky with much support from international communities, governments, NGOs and individuals and we would like to express our deep gratitude to all of them and request your continued support. Since we are looking for a peaceful solution to our problem, we appeal to you all to pressurize the Chinese government to respond to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s initiative and start the dialogue at the earliest.
The Tibetan women have a very important place in our society and so far we have a commendable record. Our sisters both in and outside Tibet have been working shoulder to shoulder with our brothers for the preservation and promotion of our culture and tradition. Since our Association has grown both in terms of its number and its socio-political activities. We are determined to work harder than ever before and pledge to continue our endeavor until we realize our national goal.
With this I conclude my profound prayers for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and may peace prevail on earth. May the sun of Independence shine on Tibet and may peace prevail on our earth.
LONG LIVE H.H. THE DALAI LAMA FREE TIBET