International Campaign for Tibet Statement

Beginning on March 10, 2019, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people will mark the 60th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising against Chinese rule, the escape of His Holiness and his eventual crossing over into India, and the re-establishment of the Tibetan governance system in exile. The Tibetan people will also mark the 60th anniversary of the direct occupation and control of Tibet by China.

The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) would like to take the opportunity to honor the tenacity, courage and determination of the Tibetan people who, despite great challenges, continue to peacefully resist China’s oppression and make great efforts and sacrifices to preserve and promote their identity, culture, language and traditions.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama had the farsighted vision to establish institutions in exile that have empowered the Tibetan people to preserve and disseminate to the world their religion, traditions and way of life while at the same time pursuing modern education. The Dalai Lama’s commitment to keeping the Tibetan struggle nonviolent in the face of tremendous challenges continues to be an inspiration to nonviolent movements throughout the world.

The Tibetan people and their culture have much to contribute to the development of the world. Their culture of compassion and nonviolence has shown the international community that there is a different way to exist, one that is in tune with human nature and that respects the fundamental oneness of humanity.

As the Tibetan struggle enters its 61st year, ICT expresses solidarity with the Tibetan people and their quest for freedom. ICT re-dedicates itself to promoting human rights and democratic freedoms for the people of Tibet. We will continue to work with governments to develop policies and programs to help Tibetans and to mobilize individuals and the international community to take action on behalf of the Tibetan people.

On this occasion, we call upon the Chinese government to understand that resolving the issue of Tibet through negotiations with the representatives of the Dalai Lama is the only viable solution to this decades-long problem. Today there is a new generation of Tibetans who have grown up in Tibet. Despite the fact that they do not have any direct experience of life before the Chinese occupation, these people take pride in their language, culture, traditions and spiritualism, which are constantly targeted by the Chinese government.

The fact that, after 60 years of occupation, the Tibetan people still display their loyalty to the Dalai Lama and the values that he represents should be a strong message to the Chinese government.

On March 10, 1959, the people of Tibet rose up as one to defend their rights and freedom. Today, 60 years later, they continue to be denied those rights. China should realize that the human spirit cannot be extinguished merely by force, but that it can be won over by understanding and by the redress of issues.

March 7, 2019