As the Tibetan community-in-exile celebrates the 24th anniversary of conferment of the Nobel Peace Prize to the spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, Sikyong (Tibetan PM-in-exile) Lobsang Sangay on Tuesday said the award catapulted Tibetan struggle to greater international visibility and made Tibet synonymous with non-violence and justice.
Paying reverence to the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, who was awarded the Noble Peace Prize on this day in 1989, the PM-in-exile said the spiritual leader's global stature directly and positively impacted on the image of the Tibetans and fundamentally strengthened the Tibetan cause.
“This day is also observed as World Human Rights Day to celebrate the proclamation and adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations in 1948 as the common standard to measure the freedom to which all peoples and nations should live,” said Sangay.
“Unfortunately, even after 65 years of proclamation there is not much for Tibetans to celebrate given the deteriorating human rights condition in Tibet,” he added.
Accusing China of continuously negating principle of universality of human rights by violating the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Sangay said, “Tibet continues to suffer from political repression, economic marginalisation, social discrimination, environmental destruction and cultural assimilation.”
“Worst is the mass Chinese migration to Tibet which has turned Tibetans into second-class citizens in their own homeland,” Sangay said, adding that living under such a repressive environment with no space for conventional methods of protest, Tibetans from all walks of life are forced to take drastic measures to express their outrage and despair in form of self- immolation.
“China cannot deny the blatant human rights violations which are the causes for the self-immolation,” he added.
Reiterating the government-in-exile's commitment to the middle-way approach, Sangay said dialogue was the most realistic approach and the only way to find a mutually beneficial solution to the Tibet issue.
He said the middle-way approach neither seeks separation from the People's Republic of China nor “high degree of autonomy”, but genuine autonomy for all Tibetan people under a single administration.
He said for these reasons, the moderation and pragmatism of the middle-way approach has attracted worldwide support even from Chinese scholars, writers and Chinese Buddhists.
Calling upon his fellow Tibetans to remain united for Tibetan cause, Sangay expressed hope that Tibet's struggle for human rights would triumph and it would be success of non-violence and peace.
To his fellow Tibetans living in Tibet, Sangay said, “Though your suffering is unbearable and seems endless, the only certainty in life is change. Things never stay the same forever. Though we remain separated by political force, we will never stop working to be reunited with basic freedoms and with His Holiness in Tibet.”