A total of 121 Tibetans who’ve self-immolated in Tibet are not drunk or overwhelmed by family problems and they believe in non-violence, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said at the 13th Nobel Peace Laureates’ Summit that was held in Warsaw, the capital and largest city of Poland.
«Stand in solidarity for peace – time to act» is the official motto of the 13th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates which was held in Warsaw on 21-23 October 2013. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Frederik Willem de Klerk, Betty Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Mohammad Junus, Mikhail Gorbachev and Lech Walesa were among the guests.
«These sad incidents show that the people involved believe in non-violence. These people are not drunk or overwhelmed by family problems and they could have turned to violence against others,» His Holiness the Dalai Lama said in answer to a question ‘whether the 121 people who have committed self-immolation in Tibet had lost hope.’
«Instead they chose to sacrifice themselves. Tibetans remain committed to non-violence,» the spiritual leader of Tibet added.
«Before the Tiananmen event took place, despite our efforts to reach out to Chinese, we had difficulty attracting their support,» His Holiness said, adding «since then it has been easier and Chinese scholars, artists, even retired army and government officials have expressed sympathy.»
«Wherever there are Tibetans we try to set up Sino-Tibetan friendship groups. When I’ve spoken to Chinese who were demonstrating against me I’ve found they are completely ignorant about the real situation,» His Holiness added.
«Everyone knows we are not seeking independence and yet Chinese government propaganda persists in depicting me as a ‘splittist’,» His Holiness the Dalai Lama reiterated.
Nobel Laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire said that every man, woman and child has a right not to be killed and each of us has a duty not to kill anyone else. She praised the model of non-violence that His Holiness and the Tibetan people have brought to their struggle.
«Non-violence is effective. He cited the growing numbers of Chinese intellectuals and ordinary people showing sympathy for the Tibetan cause, support that would vanish if Tibetans turn to violence,» H.H. the Dalai Lama said in response to Maguire’s comment.
«We Tibetans wish to modernize Tibet, but the Chinese must give us the opportunity to take care of our own affairs, then we’ll be able to protect our language, religion and culture, which is a culture of compassion and peace,» he added.
As a historically Buddhist country, His Holiness said «China can benefit from our Buddhist culture. Meanwhile, mindful that several of Asia’s major rivers rise in Tibet, affecting 1 billion people, we also need to be able to protect our environment. It’s difficult to predict what will happen, but the Tibetan spirit remains strong.»
«Basically the use of force is a mistake. After the September 11th tragedy, on September 12th I wrote to Mr Bush, who I know well. I expressed my heartfelt condolences and my hope that any response would be non-violent. My concern was that once hatred and anger are involved the use of physical force never ends the problem.
When the moderator asked if intervention is or is not helpful, His Holiness replied: «The twentieth century was an era of bloodshed and immense violence and yet the Berlin Wall and Marcos government in the Philippines were brought down by people’s power.
«I hope therefore that the present century can instead be a century of dialogue. As I said at the summit in Hiroshima, world peace will not come about simply through prayer but through action. If we have the will we can create world peace», he added.
«I hope this meeting has provided guidance to the younger generation today, you who truly belong to the twenty-first, in ways to end violence. This is what we must think about. If we consider other people as our human brothers and sisters there’ll be no room to harm or exploit each other,» His Holiness said.
The 78-year-old Nobel Peace laureate said «We have to come to think of every one of the 7 billion human beings as part of ‘us’. I believe it’s important that today’s younger generation try, because the twenty-first century is likely to be a turning point in the life of humanity.»