Statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the Fifth Anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day

For over nine years the peace-loving people of Tibet have tried their utmost to come to an amicable settlement with their invaders; but nothing that they could do would satisfy the ambition and avarice of the Chinese conquerors. Tyranny and oppression prevailed over Tibet, and finally the unarmed citizens of Lhasa rose in a body against the violence of the Chinese authorities, and the torch of freedom was lit once again in every corner of Tibet. Since then my unfortunate people have made great sacrifices. Thousands of them have been massacred. Thousands of them have been rendered homeless. Thousands of them have been escaping to neighbouring States. But the barbarous atrocities, even to the extent of exterminating the race and religious belief of the Tibetans, still continue, and the struggle of the people still goes on. Today marks the fifth anniversary of the spontaneous upsurge of my people, we must pay our humble tribute to all those stalwart champions of liberty and faith who have fallen victims to the armed might of the Communist government of China. Today I send my special blessings to all those who are engaged in a bitter campaign against the opponents. I congratulate all my people for their courage and determination in their struggle for political and religious freedom and pray for their success. Our way may be a hard and long one, but I believe that truth and faith must ultimately prevail.

Many thousands of our people have found refuge and shelter in the neighbouring States, particularly in India which we have always regarded as our Holy Land. The problem of the refugees has been extremely difficult, but with the ready assistance of the government of India and other friendly countries we have been able to solve their difficulties to a large extent. However, a great deal still remains to be done, particularly for the unfortunate children who have been deprived of the love and care of their parents. But I hope and trust that with the help and encouragement of many of our friends here in India and elsewhere we shall be able to arrange for their proper education and upbringing. On this occasion I would like to impress on all those who have been fortunate enough to escape from the persecution of the Chinese authorities not only to strive for their own benefit but also for all those friends and relations who have been left behind. At this critical juncture in our history it is our duty to do all that we can do to help our fellow countrymen in Tibet and to render them every possible assistance in their ceaseless struggle for freedom and justice.

I must also take this opportunity to express on behalf of my people our deepest sense of gratitude to all those freedom-loving States which have so generously espoused our cause in the United Nations. I would particularly mention the representatives of Malaysia, Thailand, Ireland and El Salvador. The first resolution which was passed by the General Assembly called for respect for the fundamental human rights of the Tibetan people and for their distinctive cultural and religious life. The second resolution renewed the call for the cessation of practices which deprived the Tibetan people of their fundamental human rights and freedoms including their right to self-determination. It also expressed the hope that member States of the United Nations will make all possible efforts towards achieving the purposes of the resolution. I have myself also made appeals to the Chinese government to bring an end to the inhuman persecution of the people of Tibet and to agree to a peaceful settlement of the Tibetan problem. But I deeply regret to say that these appeals have failed to have the slightest effect on the attitude and policy of Communist China. On the contrary, in order to enlist the opinion of the world in their pretensions, they have come forward with a proposal against imperialism and colonialism. I, therefore, consider it necessary to point out that the present Chinese regime in Tibet has been described by an eminent statesman as “the worst form of colonialism”. The free nations of the world have rightly condemned the suppression of the coloured people in South Africa, but the form of oppression and persecution which the Chinese invaders have adopted against the people of Tibet are a thousand times worse than the system of apartheid. Nowhere in the world, even under colonialism of the worst type, has a government ever used public torture as a political deterrent as the Chinese have and are still doing in Tibet. In this connection, I would like to emphasise the fact that the Tibetans are a distinct people, speaking a language unrelated to Chinese and possessing a religion and culture of their own. Moreover, before the Chinese invasion, the Tibetans had remained free and independent for decades. In the circumstances, I, respectfully beg of all progressive and freedom-loving countries of the world not to be misled by the propaganda of the Communist government of China, and, in all fairness and justice, continue to help the unfortunate people of Tibet.

I pray for the blessings of the Lord Buddha upon all peoples and communities of the world.

The Dalai Lama
March 10, 1964