Tibetan Community of Switzerland&Liechtenstein observed 63rd Commemoration of Tibetan National Uprising Day in Bern.

Bern: 10th March, 2022: More than hundreds of Tibetans and supporters attended the demonstration organised by the Tibetan Community of Switzerland & Liechtenstein, in Bern, capital city of Switzerland to observe the 63rd Commemoration of Tibetan National Uprising Day, on 10 March 2022.

The Event was presided over by Ms.Karma Choekyi, President of Tibetan Community of Switzerland & Liechtenstein. While addressing the gathering, the President said that this time Ukraine is invaded by Russia, and more than a million residents fled and fleeing. The same tragedy happened in our Country, Tibet 63 years ago. At that time, our ancestors also experienced the same suffering.

Tibet has been illegally occupied by the Chinese government, and since then there have been tragic situations such as academic sabotage, the eradication of language and culture and the eradication of ethnic and religious beliefs. A few days ago, the famous young Tibetan singer, Tsewang Norbu, self immolated himself in front of Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet amid extraordinarily tight repression, against grossly inhuman brutality in Tibet. Today, human rights in Tibet are the second worst in the world, and we the Tibetans sympathizes with the Ukraine people.

The demonstration was joined by Swiss parliamentarian Hon’ble Fabian Molina addressed the gathering on behalf of Swiss- Parliamentary Group for Tibet. Speaking at the gathering, he expressed solidarity and assured the Swiss-parliamentary group for Tibet continued attention and support for the just cause of Tibet.

Other dignitaries who addressed the gathering were: Municipal Councillor of the city of Lausanne (Greens) IIias Panchard , Tsering Youdon Marsen, President of Swiss Tibetan Woman Association,  Ms.Tashi Shitsetsang,President of Tibetan Youth Association in Europe , Golok Jigme, Political Prisoner.etc.

Mr.Chhhimey Rigzen, Representative of His Holiness the dalai Lama,Tibet Bureau Geneva,read the Kashag`s Statement:on the day:

Bern: 10th March, 2022: More than hundreds of Tibetans and supporters attended the demonstration organised by the Tibetan Community of Switzerland & Liechtenstein, in Bern, capital city of Switzerland

In the next two decades, Tibet experienced the darkest period in its history. The advent of the “democratic reforms” in Tibet’s Kham and Amdo provinces in 1956 led to the destruction of monasteries and arrests of lamas and monks. At that point in time, the Chinese government had no clear policy on ethnic issues. However, that was soon to change when Mao Zedong taking cue from the 1958 revolt by Tibetans and Salars in Yadzi county in Amdo province, pointed out that the nationality issue is essentially a class issue. He unleashed an unending cycle of disastrous campaigns in the name of suppression of the revolt, democratic reforms and Cultural Revolution. It was the actual beginning of cultural genocide in Tibet, leading to the death of 1.2 million Tibetans and destruction of over 6,000 monasteries.

Today, our greatest concern is the ongoing systematic Sinicization of the new generation of Tibetans in Tibet. In 2011, some policy advisors of the Chinese Communist Party called for the abrogation of the national regional autonomy system and adoption of the so-called “Second Generation of Ethnic Policies” to weaken the identities of the 56 nationalities and strengthen a single Chinese national identity. They called for revocation of the preferential policies for the ethnic minorities, encourage ethnic assimilation, enforce the use of Chinese language and closure of schools for nationalities. These measures are now being actually implemented in Tibet.

Despite the Tibetan people having their true aspirations made clear in the last 63 years, the Chinese government continues to pursue policies to the contrary. Today, in the name of building infrastructure and construction of natural reserves, Tibetan nomads and farmers are forced to relocate, thereby, forcibly altering their traditional living environment. The relocation is also pushed under the guise of alleviating poverty, and training and transfer of the ‘rural surplus labourers’. The Tibetan students are sent to work in China as part of its assimilation drive. Likewise, marriages between Tibetans and Chinese are encouraged under the slogan of “role models for ethnic harmony”.

The atheist Chinese government continues to interfere in Tibetan Buddhist tradition of reincarnation, control of the monasteries, and restrict the academic learning and free movement of monks and nuns. Under the banner of making “Tibetan Buddhism adapt to socialist society and develop in the Chinese context,” the Chinese government has banned dissemination of religious content online and continues to demolish Buddhist statues in Drakgo, and forcibly shut down Kharmar monastery in Kham. Similarly, arbitrary arrests and imprisonment of Tibetan intellectuals, such as Go Sherab Gyatso, writers, teachers, students, human rights and environmental activists continue unabated. There are also reports of destruction of Tibetan Buddhist temples and stupas in China, stripping them of traditional architecture, Tibetan writings and murals.

The Central Tibetan Administration hopes to find a mutually-agreeable solution to Tibet’s future status through dialogue based on the Middle-Way Approach, and particularly, by urging the Chinese government to correct its wrong policies. We are ready to engage in discussion to seek a lasting solution based on equality, friendship and mutual benefit.

Despite China’s repression, Tibetans inside Tibet remain unwavering in their determination and courage to preserve their religion, culture, language, and protect the natural environment. Their spirit is the backbone of our determination. The responsibility being taken by our compatriots in Tibet is an inherent human right and also in accordance with the Chinese constitution. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to continue the struggle for the right to preserve our identity with unwavering determination. Keeping in mind the Chinese government’s policies in Tibet, the Tibetans in exile must redouble our efforts to preserve our culture and identity.

Tibetans in exile have made outstanding achievements in building an effective administration under the guidance and leadership of His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama. We must direct our efforts to sustain it.

Taking the opportunity, we wish to offer our heartfelt thanks to various nations, above all the Central and State Governments of India, and Tibet Support Groups for supporting the Tibetan cause for the last 60 years. We thank the US government for its recent appointment of the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues. We urge the like-minded nations to support the Middle-Way Approach to resolve the issue of Tibet by recognising the true historical status of Tibet.

As Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, is scheduled to visit Xinjiang in May, we urge the High Commissioner to also visit Tibet.

We also mark this day under the shadow of war triggered by the invasion of Ukraine. We express our prayers for those who lost their lives and those injured in this conflict, and stand in solidarity with over 2 million Ukrainian refugees. We also pray for the immediate end to the global pandemic and other man-made conflicts, and may humanity live in peace and happiness.

Some extracts from Statement of Tibetan Parliament in Exile on 10th March 2022

Over the past more than six decades, the government of communist China has, under such brutally repressive policy campaigns as the so-called “quelling the rebellion”, “Democratic Reform”, “Class Struggle”, “People’s Commune” system, “Cultural Revolution” movement, and “Military Control Committee” system of governance, executed or otherwise directly caused the untimely death of well over one million people of Tibet thus far. Including with the destruction without a trace many thousands of places of worship and religious study of the Tibetan people, the occupying power’s pogrom of destruction, plunder, and takeover of Tibet, encompassing both the Tibetan territory and its inhabitants, was horrifying beyond imagination. In addition, the government of China has been relentless in its continued pursuit of a design to obliterate the very ethnic identity of the Tibetan people, along with their religion, culture, language and everything else. In this way the government of China deprived the Tibetan people, the rightful owners of their national territory, of everything they ever owned, including the most basic of their human freedoms while subjecting them to such degrees of persecution and torture as if they stood condemned to live in hell on this land of the living itself. There is no mistake about the fact that the ultimate objective of the government of China is to turn Tibet into Chinese both in its outer form and internal substance. Such then is the seriousness of the extremely distressing situation in Tibet today.

Xi Jinping, the current President of China, has embarked on a new propaganda drive to promote the communist ideology and in a bid to control or restrict the way the people of his country think. In order to prevent the occurrence of any obstacle to the centralised authoritarian power of the communist party leadership under him, the monitoring and controlling of internet access of the people has been greatly strengthened. Considerable investment surpassing previous allocations has been directed at the development of ever newer high-level technological gadgets that were designed to strengthen the effectiveness of all-round control on the people of China’s freedom of access to and use of the internet. The move has also been designed to ensure a stricter control on people’s freedom of speech. Besides, the fact that China is pursuing a policy of imposing a ban on carrying out religious activities over the internet is a subject being currently reported about. By means of employing the latest, high-level internet technology of various kinds, the government of China has multiplied the degree of control it exerts on the people belonging especially to the ethnic minority groups, including the Tibetan people, in terms of their psychology and on all aspects of their behaviour – their movement, their stay, and their activities. Subjected to such tightly planned and supervised control measures by the Chinese government, the whole society is being turned into a dystopian one devoid of any meaningful basic freedom.

Policies of so-called ideological education and a two-language formula in education are being implemented in Tibet by the government of China. Under it, hundreds of thousands of Tibetan students are taken away to China, deprived of any opportunity to maintain contact with their families, taught all their subjects in their schools only in Chinese language with a view to Sinicize them in their personal character and behaviour. In order to strengthen the achievement of this design, the government of China has implemented measures to shut down privately run Tibetan schools. This is accompanied by the Tibetan students being especially made to study the policies of the Communist Chinese government and speeches of its leaders.  By such means, the government of China has embarked on a sinister plot to render the Tibetan people devoid of anyone who had inherited their ancestrally rich language and culture. Likewise, the government of China is presently also seen to be implementing in Tibet a recruitment policy under which people with qualification in Tibetan language find it almost impossible to get a job in the government or its institutions.

On the 26h of October in 2020, China’s public security personnel arrested and took away in Chengdu City eminent Tibetan writer Go Sherab Gyatso. And for more than one year, there was no information on the whereabouts of this scholar monk. Later in February 2021, a Chinese court in Tibet’s capital Lhasa tried and sentenced him for having allegedly engaged in separatist activity to a jail term of 10 years. His health condition remains precarious today as he already had a lung ailment at the time of his arrest and this has been worsened by poor conditions in jail as well as due to the beatings he was subjected to in prison. Likewise, there has been no word whatsoever from the government of China on the whereabouts and the condition of the 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima Rinpoche ever since it kidnapped this totally innocent person more than 25 years ago. Along with them, the government of China should release as soon as possible all Tibetans it has imprisoned thus far for political reasons. Including the United Nations Organisation, The Tibetan Parliament in Exile also calls upon human rights organisations, governmental bodies and non-governmental organisations across the world to take serious interest in the situation of political prisoners, the human rights situation, and the state of religious freedom of the people in Tibet, East Turkestan, and Inner Mongolia as they continue to suffer persecution under the repressive rule of the government of China by raising questions and holding discussions with its leadership. The purpose should be to make efforts to encourage the government of China to relax and liberalize its hardline policy on them.

In December 2021, the government of China began to carry out a series of religious and related destructions in Drakgo County in the traditional Tibetan province of Kham. They included a 99-feet statue of the Buddha built at the Gaden Rabgyal Namgyal Ling Monastery, an imposing statue of the Maitreya Buddha, prayer wheels each containing a hundred million rounds of the text of the six-syllable Tibetan Buddhist mantra for the invocation of the Avalokiteshvara bodhisattva, and a monastic school.  And then again, just recently, the government of China demolished at the Chanang Monastery belonging to the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, also located in Drakgo County, a three-storey high statue of the Padmasambhava Buddhist master. During the destruction carried out at the Drakgo Monastery, abbot Paga and many other Tibetan people were arrested or kept under detention in other ways. By such actions, the government of China not only severely curtailed the religious freedom of many Tibetan people but also implemented in Tibet what amounted to a revival of the brutalities of the Cultural Revolution movement in China.

The plateau territory of Tibet was a fully independent country from any characteristic point of view – its history, territoriality, ethnicity, culture, linguistic heritage, customs and traditions, and so forth. Nevertheless, it has been under the rule of an expansionist China for over seventy years now.  However, the world is dynamic and many changes have been keeping on taking place across it all the time. Eventually, this trend of continuing change is bound to reach Tibet too. This is the basis on which we take the opportunity provided by this occasion to again reiterate our call on the leadership of the government of China to enter into a substantive dialogue on the basis of the mutually beneficial Middle Way Policy which is in keeping with the desire of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and which has also been adopted by the Tibetan parliament in Exile.

Over the past more than ten days, the people of Ukraine have been put through a great deal of misery. And their suffering today is somewhat similar to what the people of Tibet had been put through some seventy years ago when People’s Republic of China invaded Tibet and unleashed a campaign of violent repression under its occupation rule. It is therefore pertinent that the Tibetan Parliament in Exile conveys to the innocent people of Ukraine its feeling of common cause and expression of solidarity with them. And we pray that the people of Ukraine may be freed from their current spell of hardship and misery as soon as possible.

And finally, the Tibetan Parliament in Exile fervently offers prayers that His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the common treasure of the Tibetan people, may live for a hundred aeons, that on this basis all his wishes may be seen fulfilled with utmost spontaneity, and that the just cause of the Tibetan people may be seen achieved with absolute certainty, culminating in the sunshine of happiness dawning in Tibet, with the Tibetan people in Tibet and in exile being reunited.

The Slogans were raised by the Tibetans and Tibetan supporters with deep emotions. The peace march/ Demonstration concluded successfully with a vote of thanks by Mr.Tenzin Wangdue,Vice President of Tibetan Community of Switzerland&Liechtenstein.

Tibetans all over the world organized demonstrations against 63 years of illegal Chinese occupation of Tibet. As an extraordinary gesture to express continued solidarity for the Tibetan people, many Tibetan supporters hoisted Tibetan National flag. And for Tibet`s struggle for freedom and justice, Tibetan supporters all over the world express their solidarity and support the voices of people against authoritarian aggression.

 

Nyima Arya

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