February 21, 2011

Tibet: Non-Violence Core Belief for Tibetans

Despite the harsh restrictions imposed after the Lhasa riots in 2008, Tibetans share a strong belief in non-violence and support for continuing negotiations with the Chinese government is strong.

Below is an article published by The Tibet Post:

The Tibetan prime minister Professor Samdhong Rinpoche on February 17th, 2011 - Thursday, voiced his deep concern for the current situation in Tibet: "The restrictions imposed after the uprising in 2008 have not been rolled back. In fact, things have gotten worse." At the moment, intellectuals, journalists, authors, and environmental activists are being targeted for political persecution Samdhong Rinpoche during a press conference held by the German Tibet support group Tibet Initiative Deutschland (TID).

Nevertheless, sees no alternative to His Holiness the Dalai Lama's "Middle Way": "We would like to continue the dialogue with the Chinese leadership. For us, non-violence is not a mere strategy - it is a core belief," he said.

"The situation inside Tibet today is very serious, Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche said when asked to comment on the present situation inside Tibet. 2008 peaceful uprising was forcefully repressed. This repressive measure continues. Tibetans and other minorities are in constant fear. Detention and disappearance are order of the day. Tibetan poets and writers are under attack."

He expressed his admiration for the younger generation of Tibetans. "They have the greatest patience and determination," he said. Only a small percentage of the youth talk about violence but so far, no individual have advocated violence.

The Tibetan prime minister also gave his view on the future resignation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama: „At some point, the Tibetan people must learn to govern themselves without the support of the Dalai Lama", said the Tibetan prime minister. He further explained that, considering the progressing process of democratization of the Tibetan community in exile, His Holiness the Dalai Lama's announcement should be taken very seriously.

Professor Samdhong Rinpoche also made clear that in large part the Tibetan people want the Dalai Lama to remain as their political leader: "We received hundreds of petitions calling on His Holiness the Dalai Lama to stay in his position as leader of the Tibetan People". The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile echoed the sentiment. Nevertheless, Professor Samdhong Rinpoche considers the timing of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's planned resignation to be consistent with his plans for democratic reform. It will strengthen the government and the new prime minister who will be elected on March 20th, 2011.

The Tibetan prime minister Samdhong Rinoche's visit with politicians in Berlin was organized by TID. "We demand strong support from our politicians for the legitimate rights of the Tibetan people and open lines of communication with their democratically elected representatives in exile," said Wolfgang Grader, chairman of the TID.

TID, founded in 1989, advocates for the Tibetan people's right to self-determination and the protection of human rights in occupied Tibet. With 60 regional groups and nearly 2,000 members througout Germany, the TID is a strong voice for Tibet. Primary funding for the TID comes from membership dues and private, individual donations.