Re-affirming its resolve to work in unity to fulfill the aspiration of Tibetans living in Tibet, the Kashag (Cabinet) of Tibetan government in-exile on Monday expressed hope that the Chinese leadership would take note of the merits of the middle-way approach and resolve the half-a-century-old issue.
Addressing the community on behalf of Kashag in a programme organised to mark the 53rd anniversary of Tibetan Democracy Day, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay said, “We firmly believe that the middle-way approach is the only way, as the basis for negotiations, to peacefully resolve the issue of Tibet.”
Sangay said the middle-way approach traverses the middle path between the two positions: one, accepting the current repression in Tibet and two seeking separation from the People's Republic of China and such an arrangement does not challenge PRC's sovereignty and territorial integrity, two of its core concerns.
“We hope that the Chinese leadership will take note of the merits of this approach and resolve the Tibet issue, so that we can end the suffering of Tibetans living in Tibet,” said Sangay, adding that it was also in China's interest to peacefully resolve the Tibet issue as it would help boost its international image and add to its much-needed soft power. He said the 26th meeting of the task force on negotiations would be held in the coming days.
Offering reverence and gratitude to the 14th Dalai Lama for instilling democracy in Tibetan set up in-exile, Sangay said 53 years ago, it was on this day that the first Tibetan people's representatives took oath of office at Dharamsala.
“This was the initial step towards a future in-exile, guided by the principles of democracy envisioned by His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet,” he said.
He said in wake of the historic devolution of political authority by the Dalai Lama to elected leadership two years ago, the present Kashag faced a formidable challenge of ensuring a smooth transition and of taking the Tibetan struggle forward and thus presented a CAN strategy: Consolidation, Action and Negotiation.
Maintaining that the international community took note of this transition Tibetan administration in-exile, Sangay said most significant expressions of approval and support came from Tibetans in Tibet through their songs, thangkha paintings and offerings of prayers.
Expressing concern over the alarming incidents of self- immolations in Tibet, Sangay said the only way to end this heartrending and grave situation is for China to respect the aspirations of Tibetans.
“Tibetans in-exile and the diaspora must rise to the occasion. We urge all of you to exercise your democratic rights and responsibilities diligently, bearing in mind the need for solidarity and unity with the sufferings of Tibetans in Tibet,” said Sangay.
Meanwhile, the artistes from the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) presented a colourful programme showcasing the Tibetan culture on the occasion.