In his annual statement on the 46th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising of 1959, the Dalai Lama called upon China to adopt a more confident policy in resolving the problem in Tibet and in dealing with the country’s emergence as a major player in the world.

The statement, delivered in Dharamsala, India, the headquarters of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile and released simultaneously internationally, reiterated the Dalai Lama’s commitment to his “Middle Way Approach” and said he had asked the elected Tibetan leadership in exile to follow up on the discussions between his envoys and the Chinese leadership held in September of last year. Contact between the Dalai Lama’s envoys and Chinese envoys was re-established in September 2002 after an impasse of nearly a decade.

“With clear recognition of Chinese violations against his people, the Dalai Lama directly challenges China to adopt policies that would allow it to take its place legitimately as a world leader,” said Mary Beth Markey, Executive Director of the International Campaign for Tibet. “The Dalai Lama is determined that dialogue between his envoys and Chinese officials should achieve an agreement on Tibetan self-rule and a more respectable and confident China,” Markey concluded.

In his statement, the Dalai Lama said China’s image is “tarnished by her human rights records, undemocratic actions, the lack of the rule of law and the unequal implementation of autonomy rights regarding minorities, including the Tibetans.”

“The lack of true ethnic equality and harmony based on trust, and the absence of genuine stability in Tibet clearly shows that things are not well in Tibet and basically there is a problem,” the Dalai Lama said.

The Dalai Lama also referred to the upcoming 40th anniversary celebrations of the Tibet Autonomous Region terming such events meaningless and not reflecting ground realities.

He added, “In my view, it is important that as China becomes a powerful and respectable nation she should be able to adopt a reasonable policy with confidence.”

This year’s statement refers to the views of Tibetan leaders inside Tibet, including the Panchen Lama and a prominent Tibetan Communist Phuntsok Wangyal, and their feeling of dissatisfaction with the current situation in Tibet to highlight the fact that the Tibetan struggle is not something initiated by the minority of Tibetans residing outside of Tibet.

“Prominent and respected Tibetan leaders in Tibet have spoken out on this from time to time and even suffered because of their courageous acts,” the Dalai Lama said. “It is clear that most senior Tibetan officials in Tibet deep in their hearts are extremely dissatisfied,” he added.

In an apparent response to charges leveled by a section of the Chinese leadership that the Dalai Lama is thinking of reviving the old Tibetan society, the Dalai Lama has once again said that it will be the Tibetan people inside Tibet who will shoulder the main responsibility of administering Tibet even after a solution and that the present Tibetan Government-in-Exile would then be dissolved. He said, “My involvement in the affairs of Tibet is not for the purpose of claiming certain personal rights or political position for myself nor attempting to stake claims for the Tibetan administration in exile.” The Dalai Lama reiterated his desire not to hold any political position upon the resolution of the Tibetan problem and his return to Tibet.