'Expect No Miracle, But Strengthen Sino-Tibetan Friendship'
His Holiness the Dalai Lama Urges Tibetans and Chinese Scholars to Be Ever Determined in Finding a Just Solution
His Holiness the Dalai Lama delivers his keynote-address to the opening session of the Tibetan-Chinese conference
in Geneva, Switzerland, 6 August 2009
Geneva, 6 August – “The issue of Tibet needs to be solved. How to do it is something we need to discuss,” His Holiness told a gathering of Chinese and Tibetan scholars and officials at a conference organized jointly by the International Fellowship of Reconciliation and the Swiss-Tibetan Friendship Association. (Click here for full text of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's speech)
His Holiness the Dalai Lama said he wanted to hear new ideas and suggestions from the Chinese brothers and sisters on how the issue of Tibet can be resolved based on the Middle-Way Approach. His Holiness said, “The purpose of our meeting is that obviously there is a problem. In Tibet, there is a crisis. Huge demonstrations were there all over Tibet. Severe restrictions were imposed. These demonstrations grew out of grievances through the generations. Most of the people who participated in the demonstrations are young. There is a need for a realistic response.”
On the other hand, His Holiness said, “Our contacts with the Chinese government is becoming difficult. So we are reaching out to our Chinese brothers and sisters. There is growing support.” His Holiness said that to date there were more than 600 articles written in Chinese, all positive, on the issue of Tibet. “So it is our mutual responsibility to solve this issue without separation,” His Holiness the Dalai Lama said.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Chinese delegates
His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that it is important for those Chinese scholars who understand the issue of Tibet to write and make things clear on the issue of Tibet to the rest. For the Chinese scholars to understand the issue better His Holiness said he made it a point to frequently meet as many Chinese as possible. His Holiness said, “This is an enlarged meeting. I expect no miracle. But this forum is one to strengthen friendship between Chinese and Tibetans.
In the morning His Holiness held two meetings, one with the Chinese and the other with the international media. In the after His Holiness inaugurated conference called Finding Common Ground. This conference will go on till 8 August. His Holiness the Dalai Lama inaugural address was followed by an address by Yan Jiaqi, a leading social scientist and served as a senior adviser to Zhao Ziyang, the ousted prime minister of China who passed away in 2005.
Yan Jiaqi said His Holiness the Dalai Lama represented not only Tibetans in exile but Tibetans in Tibet. Yan Jiaqi listed all the qualities of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, his selflessness, his sense of compassion and his ability to promote non-violence. Yan Jiaqi said all these qualities gave great strength to the Tibet movement. He said, “In China I did not realize the power of religion. Now I realize the power of religion.” He added that it is the right of every Tibetan to return to Tibet.
from left to right: Mr. Yan Jia Qi, Jonathan Sisson (IFOR), His Holiness the Dalai Lama,
Dr. Tashe W. Thaktsang (STFA) and Kalon Tripa Prof Samdhong Rinpoche
Professor Samdhong Rinpoche, Kalon Tripa, also addressed the delegates. (Click here for full text of Kalon Tripa's speech)
After the inaugural session, Professor Samdhong Rinpoche spent about two hours fielding questions on a wide-range of issues from the Chinese audience, which all said was very useful to their understanding of the nature of the Tibetan struggle and the approaches made by the Central Tibetan Administration.
The next two days the plenary will be split into smaller groups so that fresh ideas can be discussed to help resolve the vexed issue of Tibet.
There are over 100 Chinese and Tibetan scholars attending this conference from more than 12 countries across the globe.