TWA 2007 Women Uprising Day Statement

March 12, 2007: Atrocities committed by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in Tibet have scarred the past 48 years for the Tibetan people. Still rampant as before, the agitprop of the Chinese government obscures the ongoing tragedy inside Tibet to the rest of the world. Nevertheless, the Tibetan Government-in-Exile under His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s leadership has repeatedly sought peaceful means to resolve the Tibet issue. Delegations of His Holiness the Dalai Lama have met five times with Chinese heads of state since 2002 without reaching a concrete solution.

Despite every effort of the Tibetan Government to create a conducive environment for dialogue with China, there has been no reciprocity on the Chinese end. The Chinese government continues its ironclad rule even in the Tibetan Autonomous Region, only further restricting Tibetans’ inalienable right to a happy life and to practice religion. The Chinese policy of mass population transfer into Tibet threatens the very existence of the unique Tibetan culture, religion and heritage. The Golmud to Lhasa railway, notwithstanding inclement weather, geographical obstacles and political uproar against the construction of the railroad, was so diligently constructed only to expedite the population and military transfer that will marginalize Tibetans to a minority in their own land.

The Chinese Government vehemently denies all accusations of human rights violations perpetrated by the Chinese military inside Tibet. The Dalai Lama has repeatedly called for the transparency of China’s policy and has continually clarified his position on seeking a positive future for Tibet within the Chinese framework. All efforts for a mutually-beneficial solution have been resisted; the Chinese constantly accuse the Dalai Lama of being a splittist and of harboring a hidden agenda behind the calls for dialogue. The Chinese have defamed the Dalai Lama time and again over the course of past decades, most recently in May 2006. The Dalai Lama’s picture still remains an illegal possession in most parts of Tibet.

Although the ruthless policies in Tibet have the power to control the bodies, no amount of pressure can control the minds and hearts of the Tibetans inside Tibet. Tibetans all over Tibet demonstrated solidarity and support for the Dalai Lama when they burned clothes made of animal products at His behest last year. Also, last year on September 30th, Chinese border police left the world aghast when they shot at Tibetans trying to escape to exile over the treacherous Nangpa-la. Border police claimed their actions were in self-defense, but this position holds no water as footage captured by Romanian mountaineers shows the contrary.

Another cause of concern and continued vigilance is the plight of political prisoners in Chinese-occupied Tibet. The Panchen Lama will be turning 18 after twelve years of abduction by China. His whereabouts remain unknown even though the Chinese government agreed to allow an independent body to confirm Panchen Lama’s status, which never materialized. There is also the unjust sentencing to life of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, a revered monk and leader to Tibetan and Chinese Buddhists alike. Charged with crimes against the state, Tenzin Delek was originally given capital punishment, but international pressure held enough sway on the Chinese government to lessen the severity of the sentence to life imprisonment.

In light of China’s ongoing campaign of terrorism inside Tibet for the past 48 years, the Tibetan Women’s Association recognizes the long struggle to come. At the same time, we wholeheartedly support the Dalai Lama in his belief that a Middle Path can be reached with China to solve the Tibet issue. We urge China in this new age of global community to be aware of the long-term benefit in giving up its exploitation of Tibet’s people and its environment. We finally ask the Tibetans to continue standing in solidarity and know that the force of nonviolence cannot be defeated.

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