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

We commemorate March 10 once more, for it records in history a significant nation-wide expression of the Tibetan people to free themselves from the shackles of foreign domination. It is also a day when one remembers all those who have lost their lives in this violent upheaval and of the thousands who have suffered, physically and otherwise, during these many years of cruel subjugation.

The past period of over a decade has been a time of great test for the people of Tibet, especially for those who are still the victims of this monstrous and alien onslaught on the very way of life that Tibetans cherish. Young Tibetans, both under Chinese control and in the lands where they have sought refuge, are becoming more conscious of their national identity – there is this new awareness in them of the Tibetan nation and the culture that once flourished there.

The truth about Tibet is spreading as each year passes by. And although this is happening much too slowly compared to the urgency of the actual situation, it is reaching nations and peoples of this world irrespective of the system of governments they follow or the continents to which they belong. This, I believe, is happening because more and more people are beginning to recognize the justice and strength behind the people of Tibet's fight for freedom, and also because truth and justice can never be hidden. In fact they must ultimately prevail and triumph if justice at all exists in this world – and I believe that justice does exist. One recent, encouraging example is the birth of a new nation in Asia – the emergence of Bangladesh. This indeed was a triumph of justice and a triumph of a people's determination. It is another historic landmark in man's never ending pursuit for the freedom to live as they wish.

Although the freedom of Tibet cannot be predicted, changes are bound to come. Even in the international scene great changes, unexpected a decade ago have occurred. China, too, is changing and she is compelled to do so. She must break away from her isolation and outmoded ideas, for today, she is a responsible member of the United Nations and thus capable of doing much for the peace of mankind. We hope that is what she will do, and we also hope that she will one day recognize the true status of Tibet and the indomitable spirit of our people.

When we see the determination of the people; the national spirit of the youth; and the growing support for our cause; we can see that the future of Tibet is not dark. As long as there is determination, this national awareness, and this growing support, there is hope for Tibet.

The Dalai Lama
March 10, 1972