We the undersigned Nobel Peace Prize laureates, human rights leaders and concerned individuals wish to express our concern at the current deterioration of the human rights situation in Tibet, and the apparent breakdown of the talks between the Chinese government and emissaries of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. We are dismayed at the lack of any concrete progress toward resolving the conflict over the autonomy and religious freedom of the Tibetan people, and urge all parties involved to redouble their effort to achieve this vital goal.
To our dear friend His Holiness the Dalai Lama, we say: we stand with you. You define non-violence and compassion and goodness. Clearly China does not know you. It is our sincere hope that they will. We call on China’s government to know His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as we and so many others have come to know him during the long decades he has spent in exile.
We ask the esteemed Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit Tibet, and request that she be given access to assess and report to the international community the current state of affairs for the Tibetan people. The High Commissioner should be allowed to travel with journalists and other observers and, working with all parties involved, assist in bringing these decades of struggle to a peaceful resolution.
China is uniquely positioned to impact and affect our world. We ask you to please use this position to improve our world by listening to the voices of the Tibetan people, and creating a new solution for Tibet that allows this culture to flourish.
This will help not only Tibet. It will help China. It will demonstrate to us that China is willing to be a responsible partner in international global affairs.
Finally, we ask that China stop naming, blaming and verbally abusing one whose life has been devoted to peace. His Holiness the Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, is not simply a holy man. He is recognized throughout the world as one of our few true moral authorities. He is a teacher who has shown us all how to live our lives with compassion, non-violence and love.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu