Tibetan Spiritual Leader, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje has urged China to acknowledge the real human distress of Tibetans and take full responsibility for what is happening in Tibet.
“It would lay a wise basis for building mutual trust between Tibetans and the Chinese government,” said the Karmapa. His corrected statement was issued by his office in Dharamsala.
Calling upon China to see past the veneer of wellbeing that local officials present, the Karmapa said rather than treating this as an issue of political opposition, it would be far more effective for Chinese authorities to treat this as a matter of basic human welfare.
Giving reference to the reports coming out of Tibet, the Karmapa said three more Tibetans set themselves ablaze within a single day in eastern Tibet shortly after four Tibetans immolated themselves and others died in demonstrations in Tibet during the month of January.
“As tensions escalate, instead of showing concern and trying to understand the causes of the situation, the Chinese authorities respond with increasing force and oppression,” he said.
Expressing his pain on the current situation, the Karmapa said each new report of a Tibetan death brings him immense pain and sadness and three in a single day is more than the heart can bear.
“I pray that these sacrifices have not been in vain, but will yield a change in policy that will bring our Tibetan brothers and sisters’ relief,” the Karmapa said.
Maintaining that Tibetan demonstrations and self-immolations were a symptom of deep but unacknowledged dissatisfaction, the Karmapa said if Tibetans were given a genuine opportunity to lead their lives as they wished, preserving their language, religion and culture, they would neither be demonstrating nor sacrificing their lives.
“China speaks of having brought development to Tibet, and when I lived there it was materially comfortable. Yet prosperity and development have not benefited Tibetans in the ways that they consider most valuable. Material comfort counts for little without inner contentment,” the Karmapa said.
Taking a hard stance on China’s vilification campaign against the Dalai Lama, the Karmapa said the Chinese authorities persistently portray the Dalai Lama as enemy while the Tibetan people regard him as their guide and refuge not only for this life, but for life after death and they fear that they will be forced to act against their conscience and denounce His Holiness.
Tibetans live with the constant suspicion that they will be forced to act against their conscience and denounce His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Chinese authorities persistently portray His Holiness as the enemy. They have rebuffed his repeated efforts to find a peaceful and negotiated solution to the Tibetan-Chinese problem. They dismiss the heartfelt faith and loyalty with which the Tibetan people universally regard His “Constantly depicting His Holiness the Dalai Lama in hostile terms is an affront that benefits no one. In fact, striking at the heart of Tibetan faith damages the prospect of winning Tibetans' trust. This is neither effective nor wise,” he said.
He however, maintained that as he belongs to centuries old reincarnation lineage that has historically avoided any political engagement and he had no intention of changing.
“Yet as a Tibetan, I have great sympathy and affection for the Tibetan people and I have great misgivings about remaining silent while they are in pain. Their welfare is my greatest concern,” he said.
“In these difficult times, I urge Tibetans in Tibet: Stay true to yourselves, keep your equanimity in the face of hardship and remain focused on the long term. Always bear in mind that your lives have great value, as human beings and as Tibetans,” he added.