The Tibetan Parliament in Exile released an open letter to China’s President, Hu Jintao, on January 27, 2012; this has been made available online. The letter urges the president to take seven steps that the Parliament in Exile believes would help bring unity between China and Tibet at this time. The full text of the letter appears here.
27th Jan 2012
HE Hu Jintao
President of China
On behalf of all the Tibetans inside and outside Tibet, the Tibetan Parliament in Exile wishes to express our deep anguish and concern at the prevailing critical situation inside Tibet. As a human being, we are sure you will very much understand why people resort to extreme measures such as self-immolation. However, the harsh and brutal repressive measures adopted by your government on the peaceful demonstrators leave us in no doubt that your government has no value for fundamental human rights, dignity or lives.
As President of PRC, you have professed harmonious relationship between nationalities as one of the cardinal principles for nation building. However, what you said and what is implement is self contradictory. You very well know that Harmony can be built only through mutual understanding and trust and not through brute force and repression.
China has grown economically and militarily over the years and is considered a world power to reckon with. China’s growing influence globally has turned itself into a brash and arrogant monster with no regards for other’s sentiments and welfare. Material wealth alone does not bring happiness. Development has to go hand in hand with respect for human freedom and human dignity.
We have heard your leaders, over and over again that the western world does not treat China on an equal footing. And may we ask, do you treat your nationalities on an equal footing? Your leaders quote Confucius ‘Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do to you’. But do you apply the same principles to the Tibetans, Uighurs, Inner Mongolians, Manchurians and others?
As a world power, you have to earn respect by respecting others but not through force. You can earn this moral power only by granting basic human rights and resolving conflicts through dialogue. That is for the long term benefit of China as a nation and Tibetans and others as people. His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration have for several decades taken a very pragmatic, mutually beneficial, long lasting solution to the Issue of Tibet by not asking for separation. But your leadership has always turned a blind eye, stalled dialogue on flimsy grounds and expected the Tibet issue to die a natural death. By now, you must have realized that the Tibetan spirit remains indomitable and it shall remain till a mutually agreeable solution is found.
Every time Tibetans manifest their frustration by way of peaceful protest, instead of looking into the causes of these incidences, your government has always chosen to clamp down violently. Any human rights violations by the State are cloaked under national security, barring transparent and independent investigation.
For the larger and long term interest of China and Tibet, we urge you to undertake the following:
1. Withdraw the large reinforcement of military to reduce tension immediately and take measures to give due consideration to the aspirations of the Tibetan people.
2. Allow independent, non-partisan fact finding delegations to ascertain the ground realities. If you have issues with that, allow a Tibetan fact finding delegation to visit Tibet.
3. Stop the policies and programs aimed at destroying the identity of the Tibetan people. Provide religious freedom and undertake reconciliation measures to assuage the hurt sentiments of the Tibetan people.
4. Stop sedentarization of Tibetan nomads and include Tibetan participation in environmental stewardship by using their centuries old wisdom of having lived on the Tibetan Plateau.
5. All developmental activities in Tibet must give due consideration to Tibet’s fragile environment and should accrue due benefit to the native Tibetans.
6. Release all political prisoners including Panchen Rinpoche Gedun Choekyi Nyima, just as Burma did so to create more trust between the people and the government.
7. Resume dialogue with the Tibetans with the commitment and conviction to seek a lasting solution to the Issue of Tibet, and peace and stability in the whole geo-strategic region.
Given the present day realities and the interdependence of the globalized world, it is high time that your government give serious consideration to a peaceful transformation of China that provides freedom, respect and dignity to all. Otherwise, the day may not be far when the Chinese nation and its people become victims of its own creation. That will be the saddest moment in Chinese history.
We express the above sentiments with hope in our hearts that positive sense will prevail over you and your colleagues and immediately respond to the legitimate concerns, failing which you and your government will be held solely responsible for any adverse consequences if the matters are not addressed in a humane way.
Tibetan Parliament in Exile