Statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the Twenty-Fourth Anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day

On the occasion of the 24th anniversary of the March 10th Uprising, I earnestly pray for the complete cessation of the unwholesome karma of the Tibetan people and for the fulfillment of their wishes. The Tibetan people during the past twenty-four years, under such names as “revolution” and “progress”, as well as through various other means, have had to undergo unimaginable suffering, including the loss of many precious lives. On this occasion we solemnly remember them and convey to them our greetings. We also express our deep admiration for their ever-increasing determination.

As a result of some changes in the policy in Tibet since 1979, slight improvements in food and working conditions and the usage of the Tibetan language have given the Tibetan people a breathing space. However, these improvements not only did not uniformly cover all towns, villages and various parts of Tibet, but even in the areas where these improvements are being implemented, they are temporary, corrupted and inconsistent. Even now the general living conditions have not reached the level that existed before 1959 in spite of various movements initiated to make the poor rich. On top of this, there is a widening gap and increasing difference between Tibetans and Chinese. There also exists a constant feeling of resentment, fear and suspicion and the need to show two faces by one person. Tibetans continue to live in this very sad, unhappy depressed state of mind.

The right to express one’s ideas and to make every effort to implement them enables people anywhere to become creative and progressive. This engenders human society to make rapid progress and experience genuine harmony. When differences of opinions are frankly expressed thoroughly discussed, instead of keeping them within one’s breasts, there is no need to grab an opportunity to topple one another with deep-rooted hatred. Just as every people have the right to such freedom, in accordance with the basic principle of morality and justice, we Tibetans, too, definitely have an equal right to it. The deprivation of freedom to express one’s views, either by force or by other means is absolutely anachronistic and a brutal form of oppression. There is bound to be continuous problems of dissatisfaction and unrest in any region where an act of oppression takes place. The people of the world will not only oppose it but will also condemn it. Hence, the six million Tibetan people must have the right to preserve, and enhance their cultural identity and religious freedom, the right to determine their own destiny and manage their own affairs, and find fulfillment of their free self-expression, without interference from any quarter. This is reasonable and just. Through this it is possible to overcome temporary and long-term problems and thus enjoy the fruits of one’s aspired goals.

The Dalai Lama
March 10, 1983