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|Posted: Mon 6 Jul - 12:35 (2015) Post subject: Speech Delivered by the Tibetan Parliament in exile on the Ceremonial Occasion Marking the 80th Universal-Calender Birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
On this 20th day of the 5th month of the Wood-Sheep Tibetan calendar year 2142, falling in the 17th Tibetan Royal sexantry and corresponding to the 6th day of July 2015, the 80th birthday in accordance with the universal-calendar year of the omnisciently, greatly considerate His Holiness the Dalai Lama – the supreme protector of all sentient beings, including the gods in the heavens; the master of all the teachings on this earth of the Buddha; a great champion of world peace; and the protector and supreme leader of all Tibetans – is being marked with great solemnity and grandeur. In keeping with the auspiciousness of this momentous occasion, I, with prior offer of prostrations and with happiness, devotion and joy, offer greetings of good wishes on behalf of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile.
Out of a feeling of closeness arising from a sense of affection towards all sentient beings in general and, especially, towards the downtrodden devotees of the Land of Snows, His Holiness the Dalai Lama took a deliberate decision to enter the realm of our cyclic existence. Accordingly he was born on the 5th day of the 5th month of the Wood-Hog Year in the Tibetan calendar’s 16th Royal Sexantry, corresponding to the 6th day of July 1935, in Tagtser Village of Kumbum area in Domey Province as a son of father Choekyong Tsering and mother Tsering Dekyi. The birth was accompanied by numerous auspicious instances of admirably amazing signs. By the universal-calendar year system, His Holiness the Dalai Lama is now 80 years old. And he has not assumed, on any of his three secret body forms, even a tiny bit of an appearance of ill-health. On that basis, the Wheel of Life of his bodily form reveals all the reasons of one that is unwavering in flourishing in excellent health, like the perfections of Mt Meru, the King of all mountains. Not even a fraction of the gratitude we owe to him for all the advantages of the benefits we have derived thereby could be repaid even if we attempt to do so by offering him all the treasures of The Three Thousand World Realms over many great aeons.
It bears no mentioning that by reincarnating in unimaginable range of births as kings, ministers, scholars and yogis, and so on, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has guided infinite numbers of devotees to the noble path of becoming exalted and enlightened beings, with those who follow his all-pervasive, timeless noble deeds being extant across all The Three Realms of existence. His Holiness the Great Fifth Dalai Lama oversaw the realization of the system of governance in Tibet which combined both temporal and spiritual aspects. Under the soothing cover of this unifying and noble canopy of political governance, all sentient beings of the Snowland of Tibet flourished in happiness and the precious teachings of the Buddha were enabled to flourish and develop in an atmosphere of ecumenism. In particular, His Holiness the Great Fourteenth Dalai Lama, being the timely fruition of the prayers of his successive predecessors, made a physical appearance in this world when the sentient beings in general and the religiously endowed Snowland of Tibet was plunged in such critical period as at present. Attaining all the symbolic appearances of a noble being with perfect physical attributes, he became an accomplished bearer of all knowledge in both the general and specialized fields, including in the aspects of hearing, thinking and contemplating, and in the aspects of teaching, debating, and composing. The supremacy of his scholarship in Buddhism reached such level of accomplishment as to render him the apex ornament among all the learned scholars of the Snowland of Tibet and the precious jewel of their hearts.
In particular, when the barbaric communist forces of China invaded Tibet and, as a result, the country’s political situation became critical, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, though only 16 years old at the time, took into his hands the golden wheel-emblem of being the temporal ruler of the Snowland of Tibet, with its system of combining in him the temporal and spiritual leadership of the country. And he immediately set out to implement as a new measure his cherished desire to initiate democratic reforms designed to try to bring the system then prevailing in Tibet in conformity with the general noble trend of democracy spreading across the rest of the world. In keeping with the requirements of the time, therefore, His Holiness the Dalai Lama newly set up a Reform Commission office and initiated other measures to start implementing his plans. Also, at a time when there was a real danger that the invading communist Chinese forces were planning to carry out their leaders’ rapacious aim of destroying completely in one swift action the religion, government system and the people of Tibet, with the dangers of realizing it being very ominously real, His Holiness employed such strategy and compassionate tact against them through use of non-violent means as to ensure that for the time being many tens of thousands of Tibetans did not need to take up arms and risk their lives. He therefore ensured in an excellent way the saving and protecting of their lives. Nevertheless, under the brutal policies of the invading Chinese forces, which led to the invasion and occupation of Tibet, he was eventually forced to flee into exile.
Immediately after setting foot on Indian soil, His Holiness the Dalai Lama set out to fulfil his pre-existing plans and in 1960 instituted the setting up of a Tibetan parliament in exile whose deputies fully represented all the three traditional province of Tibet as well as all its different religious traditions. Gradually, over time, and in keeping with the prevailing circumstances, as well in harmony with the evolving genius of the Tibetan masses, His Holiness guided the Tibetan community on a path towards genuine democracy. Including after inviting suggestions from the Tibetan public, His Holiness proclaimed a democratic constitution for a future, free Tibet. And by petitioning the United Nations Organization with communications about the justness of the Tibetan cause, he was able to get its General Assembly to adopt a series of resolutions which demanded respect for the Tibetan people’s human rights and recognized their right to self-determination. He established a Tibetan government in exile, including with its head and branch offices. In order to ensure the sustenance of Tibet’s religions, culture and traditions, and for the purposes of integrating the potentialities of the Tibetan people, His Holiness ensured that they did not have to scatter to live in indeterminate places everywhere. For this purpose he worked for the establishment of new settlements in different places where exiled Tibetans could live in compact communities. His Holiness also very graciously helped to set up new offices or departments to ensure the provision of both traditional knowledge and modern education to the upcoming generation of Tibetans who are the future seeds of Tibet; to work for the economic well being of the government in exile and the Tibetan people; for the purposes of providing healthcare services, and so on.
With regard to the flourishing and spreading of the Buddhist religious faith, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has provided leadership and guidance by such means as the holding of 12 conferences thus far of the top lamas of all the religious traditions, with the participation also of other major lamas, tulkus, abbots, geshes and so on. As a result, throughout India, Nepal and Bhutan, as well as in other foreign countries, the precious Buddhist religious faith is held in high esteem and flourishes in prosperity. This, in turn, has ensured that followers of the Tibetan form of Buddhism remain ever more true to their religious vows, like the oneness of the admixture of milk and water, with each side basking in the brilliance of the goodness of the other’s gem-like radiance. His Holiness has also built a golden bridge of friendship and close relationship with other religious traditions of this world.
In particular, in an effort to ensure a spontaneous resolution of the just cause of the Tibetan people, His Holiness, while adhering to the strategy solely of non-violence as a fundamental basis, adopted a position based on a middle way policy. The essence of this policy is that the ordinary masses of the Tibetan people in Tibet, instead of remaining, as they currently do, in a state of enslavement under the current system of rule of the People’s Republic of China, could enjoy self-governance for all the three traditional provinces of Tibet which would be united as a single administrative entity. This would be fully in keeping with the reality of the current situation and circumstances, is mutually beneficial, and is also a most accommodating approach made with the primary aim to resolve the issue. This policy has won admiration and ardent support from the general masses of the Tibetan people as well as from people and governments across the world. Over the years, successive fact-finding and other types of delegations have been sent to all the three traditional provinces of Tibet, while delegations of envoys had been sent to China to hold peaceful dialogues towards settling the Sino-Tibetan dispute.
In this age when practices under the influence of The Five Degenerations keep spreading with rising intensity, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has, with ever increasing vigour, worked to spread knowledge about the noble path towards imbibing the understanding of Emptiness and Compassion, the essence of Buddhism as taught by the Buddha out of kindness towards sentient beings. On that basis, he has at all times, relying solely on the ideology and strategy of practicing a non-violent approach, and in keeping with the peculiarities of places and times, as well as in accordance with the genius and inclinations of the different audiences, assumed multitude of hardship to spread the message of universal responsibility. By this means of showing the way forward, he has, as he continues to, assumed enormous responsibility to bring peace upon the entire humanity. Besides, irrespective of the question whether one believed in any religion or not, he has, through the approach of the idea of secular ethnics, made efforts designed to benefit humanity in general and also the environmental conditions across the world. Likewise, working towards bringing inter-religious friendship, he has adopted a most liberal approach in going out to meet with leaders of different religious faiths and to hold discussions with them in attempts to dispel doubts and suspicions, and to do away with the causes of contradictions among the followers of the different religious traditions. Including, specifically, with his work for the Tibetan religious and temporal causes, His Holiness has thus adopted three main aims as the purposes of his life. And he has been highly praised for his outstanding efforts and achievements in all these noble areas and has been recognized with a series of hundreds of certificates, honours and awards across the world, including especially the world’s most prestigious and famed award, the Nobel Peace Prize; The US Congressional Gold Medal; and the John Templeton Award in Great Britain. His fame as a great champion of peace has thus reached the whole wide world, spreading like a wind across the geographical barriers.
The extent of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s incomparable past and continuing current noble deeds are beyond all estimation. In the past one year alone, he very graciously undertook trips to numerous cities and provinces in a number of countries, including Germany, Canada, the United States of America, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, Japan, Australia, and India. During those trips he met with high level religious leaders, irrespective of their faith affiliations; serving as well as former Presidents and Prime Ministers, as well as members of parliaments and so on. They were all highly prominent political leaders, scientists, artists, intellectuals, and so on. He also interacted with students and the public in those countries, spreading among them his message that the fundamental basis for happiness and well being for now and in the future, and which is beneficial to everyone, is peace and compassion, practice of universal responsibility, positive transformation in inner values, and progress in secular ethics. To put it briefly, it remains impossible to repay His Holiness the Dalai Lama, for the nectar of the inestimable range of curative advisories he has given and continues to give in an attempt to direct the whole world to the path of righteousness, given the sheer magnitude of the gratitude owed to him.
That His Holiness the Great Fourteen Dalai Lama has, as wished by all the Tibetan people, whether presently living in all the three traditional provinces of Tibet or in other countries across the world, has ensured the maintenance of their national unity to such level as now, which is unprecedented since after the times of Tibet’s ancient religious kings; and for the sake of Tibet’s religious traditions and culture; and for the Tibetan race, is a cause for expressing especially high gratitude. Besides, he has also greatly benefited the Tibetan people in various other ways, such as by ensuring the laying down of a strong foundation for carrying on the current struggle for the realization of Tibet’s just cause and its future prospects. To sum up, remembering from the depth of our hearts the gratitude we owe to him for his tirelessly uninterrupted, great, and wide ranging efforts for the purposes of ensuring the freedom, peace, and coexistence for Tibet’s religious traditions, culture, governance, and race, and in other areas, we would like to reiterate a hundred times our offer of words of thanks and unlimited gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. At the same time we also pray that His Holiness, without ever abandoning us, continue to maintain his care and concern for us till the very end of the ocean of aeons, as would parents towards their child. Such have been the words of a unanimous resolution of gratitude to His Holiness the Great Fourteenth Dalai Lama that we have been able to adopt recently.
During the past year, a man carried out a gun attack at a war memorial museum in Canada; Singapore’s former President Mr. Lee Kuan Yew passed away; floods in the Jammu and Kashmir State of India caused calamitous disasters to people and loss of properties; and this year a devastating earthquake hit Nepal and other territories, resulting in enormous losses of lives and properties. They and other such developments resulted in hardships of various kinds. His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in keeping with his Bodhisattva vow of being particularly kind to those who are especially downtrodden offered prayers and messages of condolence, sympathy and solidarity while offering, as he continues to even now, donations whenever seen needed for carrying out relief work.
In the month of April earlier this year, the government of China published a white paper titled “Tibet’s Path of Development is Driven by an Irresistible Historical Tide”. Under it China sought to explain how it was developing Tibet by resorting to misinformation, falsification, and distortion of facts in all sorts of manners under five chapters, namely: 1) The End of the Old System Was a Historical Inevitability; 2) New Tibet Follows a Sound Path of Development; 3) The Essential Intent of the “Middle Way” Is to Split China; 4) A Veneer of “Peace” and “Non-violence”; 5) The Central Government’s Policy Towards the 14th Dalai Lama.
We take this opportunity to reiterate our position that the leadership of the Government of China should change its hardline policy towards Tibet and the Tibetan people with the hope that a positive transformation which is beneficial to both Tibet and China based on the actual situation in Tibet and the aspirations of the Tibetan people will occur. Likewise, we reiterate our call on the Chinese leadership to immediately release all the innocent Tibetans, including especially the 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Niyma, who continue to be persecuted after being detained or arrested, jailed and in other ways and enable them to enjoy the happiness and well being that all human beings are entitled to. And we also reiterate our call on the Chinese leadership to take into account with deliberateness the totality of the issue of Tibet to realize as soon as possible a negotiated solution for the purpose not of separation but, rather, coexistence between Tibet and China.
The communist Chinese government had unleashed a fury of destruction on the whole of Tibet and its environment, resources and inhabitants. It has subjected the Tibetan people to unprecedented ill-treatment and torture. These have continued without any interruption. Unable to accept and endure anymore the hardline and repressive policies underlying them, the masses of the Tibetan people in Tibet have continued to carry out protests. In particular, over the past several years, a total of 140 nationally inspired heroic men and women among them have carried out protest self-immolations. One of the hopes and aspirations of utmost concern to the people of Tibet has been that His Holiness the Dalai Lama should be able to return home to his Land of Snows as soon as possible. If the Chinese leaders are genuine in practice what they outwardly claim about being caring and concerned about the well being of the Tibetan people, they should definitely give high consideration, as a matter of their unavoidable duty, to this thirst-for-water like desire of the general masses of Tibetans in Tibet and to the last messages and testaments left behind by the protest self-immolators. At the same time we take this opportunity to also reiterate our appeal to the entirety of those who are of our Tibetan Land of Snows to bear greater responsibility than before towards fulfilling this aspiration with unwavering selflessness and determination.
On the 25th of April this year and over days after that, Nepal’s capital Kathmandu and many nearby areas were hit by devastating earthquakes, resulting in catastrophic losses in terms of both people and properties. The Tibetan Parliament in Exile was extremely concerned and saddened by this tragedy and expressed profound condolences to the government and people of Nepal. We prayed with a single-minded devotion to the ocean of victorious beings in the realms of the Three Precious Jewels that not only such destructive earthquakes as those may never recur in future but also that all the sentient beings of Nepal may be able to enjoy a life of utmost happiness for all time to come. Nepal is a country with profound historical relationship with Tibet. In particular, since Tibet came under the military occupation of communist China in 1959, until now, the government and people of Nepal have helped, as they continue to now, more than 20,000 Tibetan people to have a livelihood, and in preserving and promoting their religion and culture and so on. We take this opportunity to again offer our condolences to the government and people of Nepal.
Recently, the Tibetan Parliament in Exile compiled and printed a book titled “A Brief Compilation for discerning Dolgyal related issues”. The book brings together texts of speeches meant for enabling one to discern Dolgyal related issues, resolutions on these issues adopted by religious bodies and the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, announcements issued by the Kashag, besides speeches given by prominent current and former public office holders and others. This book is being released and formally publicized on this occasion. We take this opportunity to make an emphatic appeal to Tibetans both in Tibet and in exile to pay special attention to study its contents and to thereby gain a proper discernment of the issue so as to remain on the right path.
It has been 56 long years since Tibetans first sought refuge in foreign countries, including India. In particular, India has become like a second homeland to us. Both the government and people of India have provided the Tibetan people help, benefits, and friendship on a wide-ranging scale. Being mindful at all times to remember the gratitude we owe to them, we take this opportunity to offer unlimited words of deep appreciation to the people and government of India. All Tibetan living in exile must strive to build profound friendship and good relations and coexist in harmony with the people of their respective local host communities. We take the opportunity to reiterate on this occasion that it is extremely important for everyone to subserve what is beneficial to the reputation of the Tibetans as a people.
Finally, we pray that His Holiness the Dalai Lama live for a hundred aeons, that all his wishes be seen fulfilled with spontaneity, and that the just cause of Tibet be seen prevail with speediness.
The Tibetan Parliament in Exile
6th July, 2015
Dans la plupart des pays, les citoyens possèdent la liberté de parole. Mais dans une démocratie, ils possèdent encore la liberté après avoir parlé.