Congressional Record: March 10, 2004 (Senate)
Page S2538-S2539

                          TIBETAN UPRISING DAY

  Mr. BROWNBACK. Madam President, March 10 has been known around the 
world as "Tibetan Uprising Day." Today, as Tibetans remember those 
who died resisting Chinese occupation, we too should reflect on the 
struggles that have faced Tibet since that fateful day 45 years ago. 
The events of that day, followed by over four decades of struggle by 
the Tibetan people, is a plight that has become known to many around 
the world.
  After Chinese invasion in 1949 and despite the 1951 Seventeen Point 
Agreement forced upon the Tibetans by the Chinese Government, it was 
clear by 1958 that they had no intention of securing the preservation 
of Tibetan autonomy and institutions. By March 10, 1959 so many 
Tibetans feared for the Dalai Lama's life that they surrounded his 
compound as a means of protection and began protesting Chinese 
occupation. Only seven days later the Dalai Lama escaped to India 
fearing for the lives of his vigilant people. After the crowds refused 
orders to leave the compound and unaware of the Dalai Lama's escape, 
the People's Liberation Army launched an attack killing thousands of 
innocent civilians. It is estimated that 87,000 Tibetans were killed, 
arrested or deported to labor camps during the uprising. Many attempted 
escaping the communist persecution to India, but only a small 
percentage actually survived the difficult conditions.
  The United States has long supported the Tibetan right to self-
determination and has declared Tibet to be an occupied territory. In 
2000 this very body passed a resolution recognizing March 10 as Tibetan 
Uprising Day. In fact, the United States has supported the Dalai Lama's 
commitment to a dialogue and has commended him for his 1989 Nobel Peace 
Prize recognizing his efforts to work for self-determination through 
non-violent means. In the Dalai Lama's statement today he said, and I 

       My hope is that this year may see a significant 
     breakthrough in our relations with the Chinese Government. As 
     in 1954, so also today, I am determined to leave no stone 
     unturned for seeking a mutually beneficial solution that will 
     address both Chinese concerns as well as achieve for the 
     Tibetan people a life of freedom, peace and dignity.

  I, like the Dalai Lama, hope that this year will be a breakthrough 
year for the Tibetan cause. On the eve of the 60th Session of the U.N. 
Commission on Human Rights, let us not forget or neglect the plight of 
Tibetans who have struggled for too long.
  I ask unanimous consent that the full statement of the Dalai Lama be 
printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

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

                             March 10, 2004

       Today we commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Tibetan 
     People's Uprising of 1959. I pay tribute to the many brave 
     Tibetan men and women who have sacrificed their lives for the 
     cause of Tibetan freedom. They will always be remembered.
       This year marks 50 years since my visit to mainland China 
     in 1954 to meet with the then Chinese leaders, especially Mao 
     Tse-tung. I remember very well that I embarked on the journey 
     with deep concerns about the future of Tibet. I was assured 
     by all the leaders I met that the Chinese presence in Tibet 
     was to work for the welfare of the Tibetans

[[Page S2539]]

     and "to help develop" Tibet. While in China I also learned 
     about internationalism and socialism which deeply impressed 
     me. So I returned to Tibet with optimism and confidence that 
     a peaceful and mutually beneficial coexistence could be 
     worked out. Unfortunately, soon after my return China was 
     embroiled in political unrest unleashed by radical political 
     campaigns. These developments impacted the Chinese policy on 
     Tibet resulting in more repression and rigidity leading 
     finally to the Tibetan People's Uprising in March 1959.
       My hope is that this year may see a significant 
     breakthrough in our relations with the Chinese Government. As 
     in 1954, so also today, I am determined to leave no stone 
     unturned for seeking a mutually beneficial solution that will 
     address both Chinese concerns as well as achieve for the 
     Tibetan people a life in freedom, peace and dignity. Despite 
     the decades of separation the Tibetan people continue to 
     place tremendous trust and hope in me. I feel a great sense 
     of responsibility to act as their free spokesman. In this 
     regard, the fact that President Hu Jintao has personal 
     knowledge about the situation and problems in Tibet can be a 
     positive factor in resolving the Tibetan issue. I am 
     therefore willing to meet with today's leaders of the 
     People's Republic of China in the effort to secure a mutually 
     acceptable solution to the Tibetan issue.
       My envoys have established direct contact with the Chinese 
     government on two trips to China in September 2002 and in 
     May/June 2003. This is a positive and welcome development, 
     which was initiated during the Presidency of Jiang Zemin. The 
     issue of Tibet is complex and of crucial importance to 
     Tibetan as well as Chinese peoples. Consequently, it requires 
     careful consideration and serious deliberations on both sides 
     before taking any decisions. It will take time, patience and 
     determination to lead this process to a successful 
     conclusion. However, I consider it of highest importance to 
     maintain the momentum and to intensify and deepen this 
     process through regular face-to-face meetings and substantive 
     discussions. This is the only way to dispel existing distrust 
     and misconception and to build trust and confidence.
       Consequently, I have instructed my envoys to visit China at 
     the earliest date to continue the process. I hope that they 
     will be able to make this trip without delay. This will help 
     in building trust and confidence in the present process among 
     Tibetans as well as among our friends and supporters around 
     the world--many of whom remain strongly skeptical about the 
     willingness of Beijing to engage in a genuine process of 
     rapprochement and dialogue.
       The current situation in Tibet benefits neither the 
     Tibetans nor the government of the People's Republic of 
     China. The development projects that the Chinese Government 
     has launched in Tibet--purportedly to benefit the Tibetan 
     people--are, however, having negative effects on the Tibetan 
     people's distinct cultural, religious and linguistic 
     identity. More Chinese settlers are coming to Tibet resulting 
     in the economic marginalization of the Tibetan people and the 
     sinicization of their culture. Tibetans need to see an 
     improvement in the quality of their life, the restoration of 
     Tibet's pristine environment and the freedom to decide an 
     appropriate model of development.
       I welcome the release of Ani Phuntsok Nyidrol, even as we 
     recognize the injustice of her sentence and continue to urge 
     for the release of all political prisoners in Tibet. The 
     human rights situation in Tibet has not seen any marked 
     improvement. Human rights violations in Tibet have a distinct 
     character of preventing Tibetans as a people from asserting 
     their own identify and culture. The violations are a result 
     of policies of racial and cultural discrimination and 
     religious intolerance.
       Against this background we are encouraged and grateful that 
     many individuals, governments and parliaments around the 
     world have been urging the People's Republic of China to 
     resolve the question of Tibet through peaceful negotiations. 
     Led by the European Union and the United States there is 
     growing realization in the international community that the 
     issue of Tibet is not one of human rights violations alone 
     but of a deeper political nature which needs to be resolved 
     through negotiations.
       I am also encouraged by the recent improvements in the 
     relationship between India and China. It has always been my 
     belief that better understanding and relations between India 
     and China, the two most populous nations of the world is of 
     vital importance for peace and stability in Asia in 
     particular and in the world in general. I believe that 
     improved relations between India and China will create a more 
     conducive political environment for a peaceful resolution of 
     the Tibetan issue. I also strongly believe India can and 
     should play a constructive and influential role in resolving 
     the Tibetan problem peacefully. My "Middle-Way-Approach" 
     should be an acceptable policy on Tibet for India as it 
     addresses the Tibetan issue within the framework of the 
     People's Republic of China. A solution to the Tibetan issue 
     through this approach would help India to resolve many of her 
     disputes with China, too.
       It is 54 years since the establishment of the People's 
     Republic of China. During Mao Zedong's period much emphasis 
     was put on ideology, while Deng Ziaoping concentrated 
     primarily on economic development. His successor Jiang Zemin 
     broadened the base of the Communist Party by enabling wealthy 
     people to become part of the Communist Party under his theory 
     of "The Three Represents". In recent times Hu Jintao and 
     his colleagues were able to achieve a smooth transition of 
     leadership. During the past decades China has been able to 
     make much progress.
       But there have also been shortcomings and failures in 
     various fields, including in the economy. One of the main 
     causes of the shortcomings and failures seems to be the 
     inability to deal with and act according to the true and real 
     situation. In order to know the real and true situation it is 
     essential that there be free information.
       China is undergoing a process of deep change. In order to 
     effect this change smoothly and without chaos and violence I 
     believe it is essential that there be more openness and 
     greater freedom of information and proper awareness among the 
     general public. We should seek truth from facts--facts that 
     are not falsified. Without this China cannot hope to achieve 
     genuine stability. How can there be stability if things must 
     be hidden and people are not able to speak out their true 
       I am hopeful that China will become more open and 
     eventually more democratic. I have for many years advocated 
     that the change and transformation of China should take place 
     smoothly and without major upheavals. This is in the interest 
     of not only the Chinese people but also the world community.
       China's emergence as a regional and global power is also 
     accompanied by concerns, suspicion and fears about her power. 
     Hosting the Olympic Games and World Exposition will not help 
     to dispel these concerns. Unless Beijing addresses the lack 
     of basic civil and political rights and freedoms of its 
     citizens, especially with regard to minorities, China will 
     continue to face difficulties in reassuring the world that 
     she is a peaceful, responsible, constructive and forward-
     looking power.
       The Tibetan issue represents both a challenge and an 
     opportunity for a maturing China to act as en emerging global 
     player with vision and values of openness, freedom, justice 
     and truth. A constructive and flexible approach to the issue 
     of Tibet will go a long way in creating a political climate 
     of trust, confidence and openness, both domestically and 
     internationally. A peaceful resolution of the Tibetan issue 
     will have wide-ranging positive impacts on China's transition 
     and transformation into a modern, open and free society. 
     There is now a window of opportunity for the Chinese 
     leadership to act with courage and farsightedness in 
     resolving the Tibetan issue once and for all.
       I would like to take this opportunity to express my 
     appreciation and gratitude for this consistent support that 
     we have been receiving throughout the world. I would also 
     like to express once again on behalf of the Tibetans our 
     appreciation and immense gratitude to the people and the 
     Government of India for their unwavering and unmatched 
     generosity and support.
       With my prayers for the well-being of all sentient beings.