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

Wherever there is oppression there will always be opposition. Not wanting to be under the rule of another people, the Tibetans rose against the Chinese rule in Tibet and since then sixteen years have passed. Today, when we commemorate the sixteenth anniversary of this struggle, I send my warm greetings to the Tibetans, in and outside Tibet.

During these last sixteen years, we the Tibetans in exile have made commendable progress in material well-being, both individually and collectively. Especially in the education of our youth we have done remarkably. We enjoy full rights and live as complete human beings like others do in the rest of the world. However, the situation of our people in Tibet is just the opposite to our own in exile. It is common knowledge that the horrible conditions in Tibet are beyond description.

The Chinese aggressors have killed and jailed countless innocent Tibetans. Without caring for the starving people all around them the Chinese are channellising the productivity of the country into armaments. Through guilt, the Chinese are digging trenches in the hillsides and to cover up their crimes and misdeeds, are churning out publications splashed with photographs of dance and drama performances and a few factories, which state that the Tibetans in Tibet are enjoying unprecedented happiness. This is done to fool the world public opinion. But a mere palm of the hand cannot hide the sun. Responsible and informed people everywhere in the world know that there can never be happiness in a society which is given the name of "new" and in which there is not even the material basics of adequate food, shelter and clothing. The elderly Tibetans through their own experience know, since they have gone through both societies, where there is greater happiness, in the old or the new society.

The Chinese are not only committing barbarous acts in Tibet far removed from normal international behaviour, but they are also trying to sabotage the stability of the Tibetan community in exile. There is a saying: you reap what you sow. One suffers the consequences of one's actions. No one will be able to change this. This is a natural law. Wherever there is oppression, there will always be opposition and the Chinese actions mentioned above provide strength and inspiration to the Tibetan people's struggle.

The Tibetan people in Tibet, without caring the least for their personal welfare or safety, are courageously carrying on their struggle for the freedom of Tibet. Naturally this unremitting struggle of the Tibetans in Tibet is causing untold anxiety to the Chinese authorities. Consequently we the Tibetans in the free world, keeping our stand in conformity with the thinking of the masses of Tibet will never stop our movement for the independence of Tibet. Apart from this we have no reason to interfere in the internal affairs of other people.

The issue of Tibet is deeply linked with the changes in international politics and especially with the progress of the peace process in Asia. As such, we must steer the ship of our struggle according to the shifting directions of the winds of international relations to reach the shore of Tibetan freedom and happiness. To attain this goal we must not only, by mere words, but through our acts and thoughts persevere and become ever more united.

The Dalai Lama
March 10, 1975