Clarifications on H.H. the Dalai Lama's Remarks

October 28th 2008

During celebrations of the 48th founding anniversary of the Tibetan Children's Village on 25 October here in Dharamsala, His Holiness the Dalai Lama made some remarks on the issue of Tibet that are now being quoted out of context in some media reports.  Consequently, to clarify the situation we are issuing the gist of His Holiness' remarks below as well as a separate translation of a transcript of what he really said. 

His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that Tibetans have long been pursuing a path to find a solution to the issue of Tibet that would be mutually acceptable to Tibetans and Chinese.  This has received widespread appreciation from the international community, governments included. More importantly, it has gained the support of many Chinese intellectuals.   

His Holiness went on to say that, unfortunately, the Chinese leadership has so far not responded positively to our overtures and does not seem interested in addressing the issue in a realistic way.  Beginning in March this year, a series of protests and demonstrations erupted in Lhasa and in many other traditional Tibetan areas.  These were clearly a spontaneous expression of the Tibetan people's deep-seated resentment and dissatisfaction over more than five decades of repressive Chinese communist rule.

Since the Chinese Government has accused His Holiness of orchestrating these protests in Tibet, he called for a thorough investigation to examine these allegations, even offering access to Central Tibetan Administration files and records here in India.  So far, this offer has not been taken up, but the situation in Tibet becomes graver by the day.  Therefore, His Holiness said that it is difficult for him to continue to shoulder such a heavy responsibility when the present Chinese leadership does not seem to appreciate simple truth, reason and common sense.  In the absence of any positive reciprocal response from the Chinese leadership, His Holiness feels that if he cannot help find a solution, he would rather not hinder it in any way.  His Holiness feels he cannot afford to pretend that his persistent efforts to find a mutually satisfactory solution to the Tibetan problem are bearing fruit.

Therefore, on 11 September His Holiness called a special meeting of Tibetans from all parts of our community in exile to engage in wide-ranging discussions with the aim of identifying realistic and non-violent options for the future course of our struggle.  His Holiness concluded that when all is said and done it is for the Tibetan people themselves to decide about their collective future.  

Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama

28 October 2008


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His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Sino-Tibetan Relations and
the Special Meeting in November


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