I’d like to say Konnichiwa and Arigato gozaimasu. That’s all I know in Japanese language. Every year I come to Japan and learn one or two words. By the end of five years I will be quite fluent in Japanese. My wife and my daughter make me sure that I come every year in Japan because they love Japanese food and places. So even if I don’t want to come, they make sure that I come once every one year. My daughter says: why I have to listen to your speech, it’s boring dad, but I like Sushi.
Today, it’s a great honor and privilege to be invited here. I would like to thank particularly the Super Sangha community and other Tibet supporting groups for organizing this event.
India has one issue. There are too many people. I am coming to Tokyo and asking ‘where are people? and I realize that people are in this auditorium, actually. So I will share with you some prospects of Tibet. and then hopefully, I leave something to you. If you have questions, please feel free to ask me. I’ll be happy to answer and clarify some of the issues. Tibet has been occupied, XInjiang and Inner Mongolia too. The issue is: “Is it relevant? Why should we support TIbet? Why should we put interest about the issues of Tibet, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia?’ I get these questions all the time. Let me start with the premises that if you truly want to understand China, you must know Tibet. In other words, if you do not understand the issue of Tibet, you will not understand China’s goal, China’s strategy, China’s real thinking and doing things.
When Tibet was occupied in 1959, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Tibetan leaders raised the issue of Tibet around the world. to the Pil, United Nations, international communities, and all the Buddhist countries even in Asia. And most of them, almost all of them said, xxx generally. The attitude was: “OK, China occupied you. It happened to you. It’s an exception. Nothing will happen to us, so good luck to you. We sympathize with you, but we can do nothing, Good luck to you”.
But today, I read in the news that your Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Donald Trump, and the headline in Japan Times news was that US agreed to come and defend regarding Senkaku Islands. Japan thought what happened to Tibet was an exception and that won’t happen to us, but it’s happening. Now Philippines and Indonesia are asking what’s happening in Scarborough Islands. What about South China Sea. All these are happening in Asia. Even in South Asia. India is looking around and saying: China is there. In Pakistan, China is there. In Sri Lanka, China is there. In Burma, China is there. In Bangladesh, the same. And only other Hindu country in Asia, Nepal, has now become a satellite country of China. Even in ASEAN countries, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos….today, we say: Oh, Chinese are everywhere!. How did this happen? Because people did not pay attention to what happened in Tibet sixty years ago. Had Tibet been supported by the international community, all the Asian Buddhist countries, then we could have put a wall, not the Great Wall of China, but put a wall for China to move forward. So they occupied Tibet but none of the Asian countries, Buddhist countries, international community said much, so OK, we go next to other countries, we’ll go next to South East Asia, then go to Senkaku Islands, the East China Sea, and they kept going.
Now the satellite pictures show airfields are being built by Chinese Army. And even US and Europeans and everybody are asking what is this effort, how this happened? But airfields were already built in Tibet. 5 military airfields and one another airfield were built. 6 airfields, and 60 airports in Tibet. So it’s pretty clear that if you truly want to understand China, you have to know Tibetan story.
I have many friends in Hong Kong and Taiwan. For 20 years I have been talking to them. 20 years ago they said: “OK, you Tibetans are special, because you are not Han Chinese. Chinese government looks us little differently because we are Han Chinese”. Now, people in Hong Kong and Taiwan say we don’t want to be like Tibet. Especially in Hong Kong, the Chinese government promises one country two systems. Their basic law provides that under one country two systems, where basis autonomy is provided and protected. But in 1951, Chinese government made Tibet sign a similar document, called “Seventeen Points Agreement”. “The Seventeen Points Agreement” was not implemented from 1951, but in 1959, His Holiness the Dalai Lama had to flee to India, as they did not implement the document.
For now, you can clearly see that what happened in Tibet happens in the rest of China. For example, martial law was imposed in Tibet in March of 1989, And in June of 1989, martial law was imposed in Beijing. So even Chinese need to follow what happens in Tibet because that will happen in China.
For example, even though we are in exile, Tibetan Administration is based in Dharamsala. Our administration has lot of computers, and we have computer servers. Our computer server has lot of interests from America, from Canada, from Europe, from India, from everywhere. Why? Because the monk (?) school of Toronto, Canada did a research of the server, they found that the Chinese government and their hackers sent xxx in our server first. They modify and improve it then they send to Pentagon, send to Tokyo, foreign ministry, India, Europe, everywhere. So even when I talk on the phone, Iphone or gmail, I should make sure that the Chinese government is not listening to it.
There was a headline in New York Times. All the Chinese hackers have penetrated Pendagon and other offices in Washington DC, then they trace it and the first chosen mailware was sent to Dharamsala, our server. And they are hacking our computers, then improve it, then send all the way to Tokyo. So in Tokyo, in order for your computer to be protected, you need to protect our server in Dharamsala.
Hence, my point is: Tibet is relevant for the Asian countries and for the whole world. You can say that Tibet is the first line of defense against China. If we fall, you all fall. If you want other examples I am happy to give you. But I think I have given you enough reasons to say that if you truly want to understand China, you have to understand Tibet.
Yesterday, I shared a story. Two African students asked me questions. They asked: do you know the Chinese investment in Africa, in the whole continent? Then I told them: “Did they build roads?” They said yes. Did they build big entertainment center? They said yes. Did they buy your leaders? They said yes. And they asked me: why do you know about my country? And I told them that’s what happened in Tibet 60 years ago now it’s happening to you. But one of them said–“but Chinese roads are very good, it lasts for very long time. I said: off course it lasts for long until all your trees are gone and till your xxx are gone. So whatever you hear about China, nothing is puzzling to us, because we all know them well.
Sometimes, we say we do not fear China. How come! You are Tibetans and how can you say that! Everybody fears China. How come you don’t fear China. I say, we do not fear China. People would say how come you are not scared of China? The whole world is scared of China. We have several reasons. One is that we learned on each other for thousands of years so we know them very well. Historically, they have occupied us few times. We have also occupied them. And the spirit, the courage of the Great King of Tibet is in us. Number two is the mountains of Tibet, beautiful mountains of Tibet. 3,500 years ago, Tibetans used to live at the height of 3,000 meters, where wheat used to grow. Then we discovered barley. Because barley can withstand winter’s cold including ice. Then we went further up to 4,000 meters high. Chinese, they grow rice and pigs in low area. For them to come and settle at 4,000 meters high, it took hundreds and hundreds of years. So genetically, we are superior.
Before coming to Tokyo, Japanese friends told us, “Oh Tokyo! will be very cold, You’d better be prepared. I brought jackets, I brought my gloves, but when I landed, I felt it’s warm! So we have genetically lived in 4,000 meters high altitude. Chinese can not sustain at that hight. So we have been protected for a long time. So Chinese government is trying its best to send Chinese business people, workers, laborers, keep them subsidies, start xxx, give them increased salaries and promotions, but they all come in summer, and stay during summer and leave in winter. So in winter, Tibet is Tibetan majority. Chinese government encourages intermarriages. If Tibetan boys or girls marry Chinese, they give housing subsidies, job subsidies. But unfortunately, very few percentage of intermarriage is happening. So the fact that the Chinese government makes a policy announcement to encourage intermarriage shows that it is quite disparate.
We are people of great civilization. Ancient civilization. Rich history. We have enormous pride in who we are as Tibetans. International community, in some ways, ignored us, many organizations and people ignored us for many decades. But we are still standing today and we are in front of you, because we believe that truth and justice will prevail in Tibet very soon. With or without international support, as Tibetans we will be there. Till the end when basic freedom will be restored in Tibet. But for international community, it is important to note that to understand China, you should understand Tibet.
Now let me turn to few points on why Tibet is important for Asia. Number one, Tibet is water tower of Asia. Ten major rivers of Asia flow from Tibet. After Arctic and Antarctica, Tibet has the highest reserve of ice. The difference is that in Arctic and Antarctica, when ice melts, it flows to the ocean. Ice in Tibet, when it melts, it forms fresh water, it forms rivers. Now you name all the major rivers in that part of the word: Indus River, Sutlej River, which flow from Tibet to India and Pakistan. Brahmaputra River is the lifeline for Bangladesh and North East India. And also Mekong River, the famous Mekong Delta of Vietnam, Salween River, Ayeyarwady River, again, all flow from Tibet to all the ASEAN countries: Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, etc., it all flows from Tibet.
Even in China, you have Yangtse River. It starts from Tibet. Yellow River is the cradle of Chinese civilization or the center of the Chinese civilization. Yellow River is in the south of Tibet. You know that the term Hindu or India comes from Indus River. Now you have 1.4 billion people surviving on Tibetan rivers. Now we pay to drink water, but Tibetan people have been sharing it with 1.4 billion people. As Buddhists, we are compassionate and quite generous in sharing what we have. We have to go back to Tibet and we are going to have such kind of relationship.
Chinese are building dams. Not just one or two dams. Ten to twenty dams for a river to generate hydropower. Now you can see how powerful they become. You control river or water flow for all those 1.4 billion people in all these Asian countries. For hundreds of millions of people who survived running agriculture and fishery with those water. Chinese controls those waters. If water flow will be delayed for one or two weeks, it will create havoc in any culture. During wars, dams can be a very powerful weapon. For example, if you unleash the dams and let water flow, it can wash out all the roads, railway lines, supply routes for the military downstream. Now generating the water crisis in Asia, China has 19 % of the word’s population, but only 11% of freshwater. Now the situation in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India is worse. So in China it has 19% population but 11% freshwater, meaning that 8％, or 400 million Chinese are already facing water scarcity.
So now, because they are sitting on the water tower Tibet, if they divert these rivers, if they want to divert the rivers and instead of flowing into India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and ASEAN countries and divert into China, they could do it. It is said that before wars were fought over land. Nowadays wars are fought over oil. Soon, wars will be fought on water. You can clearly see that the danger is that, as for many environmental research and scientists suggests, 50 % of the Tibetan glaciers have disappeared in the last 100 years. By 2100, another 75％ of ice or glaciers in Tibet will be disappeared according to US NASA. Why it is disappearing is because the urbanization and industrialization of Tibet, Chinese migration to Tibet, mine exploration in Tibet, and cutting down of trees. So you can see. Support Tibet, helping Tibet is helping yourself. Because if Tibetans are not stewards or guardians of the Tibetan plateau and it is not restored, then you can see water crisis unfolding.
Moving forward, Tibetan cause, under the leadership of His Holiness, is the best platform to push back China. The water from Fujisan tastes good, but Water from Tibet is good or better. But I am yet to drink water from Tibet. Because I am not allowed to go back. Now how would you feel? I am born as a Tibetan from my Tibetan parents, and Tibet is my homeland, but Chinese government says I cannot go back to my homeland. My father’s last wish was to die in Tibet, but he died in exile. I should receive a call from my uncle in Tibet, who said he was the last remaining family from father’s side, and we should meet before he dies. But he died and I could not meet him. So you clearly see that no justice is in place.
Moving forward, I said Tibet is the best platform under his Holiness the Dalai Lama. What we follow is non-violence, and win-win proposition for China and Tibetan people. What we follow is middle-way approach. It’s our policy. It says that occupation of Tibet is unacceptable, repression is unacceptable, China says sovereignty can not be compromised, One China cannot be compromised. So we say, OK, let’s meet in the middle. Hence, it’s middle way approach. We want genuine autonomy for Tibetan people inside China. Chinese government cannot say no to this. The path we follow is non-violence. So if people of this great country and the leaders of this great nation support non-violence, the compromise is easy to support. Because China cannot say no because we say: OK, you want one China. We’ll respect that, but give us genuine autonomy as with Chinese laws.
The government of Japan can also support because American government supports middle-way approach for Tibetan people. In 2012, 2014 and 2016, His Holiness met with President Obama, and each time they met, White House has said we support middle-way approach for Tibetan people. So America is saying we respect One China but we support middle-way approach, because there is no contradiction between the two. So our proposal is win for China, win for Tibetan people. It’s a compromise, acceptable to everybody.
I would like to conclude my speech by making point that, I hope most of you agree with me, that if you want to understand China, you must understand Tibet. By supporting Tibet, you are not supporting simply six million Tibetans, but supporting justice. You are supporting environment for Asia. And, most importantly, in many ways, you are supporting yourself. Arigato Gozaimasu.
回答 Middle way approach is our policy, and will remain our policy. And I know that it is a wise policy also. For example, the President of Taiwan Tsai Ing-Wen can make a call to President Donald Trump but cannot visit the man. She cannot come to Japan as well. Because China presses One China issue, and put pressure on all the countries. Because we have middle way approach and non-violence approach, Chinese government cannot put pressure on other governments not allow us to visit places.
Dealing with China, I know. I think if there are anyone who is frustrated, we are the one most frustrated, because there is no break-through. But as a short, mid and long term approach, middle way approach is the right approach.
As a political leader, what I do is exactly what I did today. I am very frank and thoughtful about the realities in Tibet. Historically Tibet was an independent country. It is under occupation now, there is repression, it ought to act. Thank you.
質問者2 ドナルド・トランプ大統領の人権に対する言及が今のところ少ないようですが、アメリカの中国の人権問題に対するコミットが弱まることによって、チベットに対する抑圧が強まるという懸念はあるでしょうか？ 日米会談が行われたので、日本に対する期待もありますでしょうか。
回答 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with President Donald Trump. I know that there are a lot of debate in Japan as to whether those defense related treaties will be abided and followed or supported by America or not. But from our news account, it is very clear that President Mr. Trump, as Defense Secretary General Mattis when he came here, he also said he appalled all those agreements and treaties and we will come to defend against China as ally. It seems that Donald Trump said the same thing. That seems to be the headlines. It seems that Donald Trump will continue to follow the traditional ally role in Japan. Similarly, we hope, as Tibetans, that he will continue the tradition of meeting with Dalai Lama and supporting the middle way approach and human rights of Tibetans.
And the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that he will meet Dalai Lama, and he will support dialogue between envoys of Dalai Lama and Chinese representatives. So the Secretary of State is saying that they will continue to pass policies, and we will be hopeful they will do so.
So far, it looks that Donald Trump’s statement on China, as with that of his national security advisors, secretary of state, of defense, all are more hawkish or strong on One China. But again it’s too early. He’s been President for only few weeks.
回答 Just a 2, 3 weeks ago, His Holiness said he will live more than 100 years. So we are pretty sure. He only knows that he will live more than 100 years. So he will live so. He will come here in November, You will find him more robust, more healthy than many of the leaders around the world. They are 50s and 60s but he is more healthy than them.
Chinese leaders have been saying this for some time. But he has outlived most of the Chinese leaders. He has outlived Mao Tse TOng, Tsao En Lai, Den Shao Ping…many of the previous and present Chinese leaders. But he is the forteenth Dalai Lama, meaning there will be fifteenth Dalai Lama. So there will be a Dalai Lama for Tibetan people.
Tibet is the land of Chenlegsi, Buddha of Compassion or Avalokiteśvara. So Dalai Lama and Tibet cannot be separated by anyone. So please don’t say Tibet without Dalai Lama. There will always be Dalai Lama as long as there are Tibetans.
回答 His Holiness the Dalai Lama is someone special and amazing. Dharamsala is the centre of Tibetan Administration. Hundreds of hundreds of Han Chinese Buddhists are coming to Dharamsala to take teachings of His Holiness. Recently Kalachakra teachings were concluded where 200,000 people from 92 countries came to India. And a few thousand mainland Chinese people also came for the Kalachakra teachings. So you can clearly see that Chinese people and Tibetan Buddhists have been living side-by-side peacefully with no issue at all. The problem is not Chinese people, but the Chinese government and its hardline policies. That’s what we are against.
China is also the largest Buddhist country in the world because China has 300 to 400 million Buddhists. If these Chinese Buddhists can listen to the liberal interpretation of Buddhism, if they can listen to HIs Holiness the Dalai Lama, it will bring a transformational change within China as well. Part of the reasons why Chinese government doesn’t want to talk to Dalai Lama or his representatives is because if 300 million Chinese listens to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, that’s 3 times more than the Chinese communist party members that is 82 million.
Some reports say up to 8 million tourists go to Tibet every year, of which 90 % are Han Chinese. Even at Lalung Gar Monastry you talked about, the number of nuns and monks are ten to twelve thousand. Some say that 20 to 30% of nuns and monks there are Han Chinese. So Chinese government is destroying Lalung Gar Monastry and they want to reduce the number of monks and nuns from 12,000 anywhere to just 5,000. That’s the goal. They are also destroying Chinese section of the Monastry so that Chinese monks and nuns are expelled from Lalung Gar.
Before the Cultural Revolution, they destroyed 98% of the monastries and nuneries, 99.9％ of nuns and monks were expelled, that is the history of Chinese policy in Tibet. They have criticized His Holiness the Dalai Lama with all the names, like wolf or demon. And they say they will recognize the next Dalai Lama. They are destroying monastries, after killing monks after expelling nuns what right do they have to recognize the next Dalai Lama? It’s like saying: if Fidel Castro recognizes the next Pope, all the Christians will follow that Pope. That’s not what is happening.
So if the communist party appoints the next Dalai Lama, no one will follow except that Dalai Lama. Also, the idea of reincarnation is very simple. You come back to the world. Now if you have left the project or mission unfulfilled, you come back to this world in the same place to continue. If he passes away in exile, he will be born again in exile. Why is he willing to be born in China? And if it’s Dalai Lama who is passing away, he will decide where to come back, not communist party. So when to born and where to born is Dalai Lama’s business, no one’s business. Especially not the communist party of China. They say religion is a poison. Why do they want reincarnation of poison? So my message is very simple. If Chinese medicine to be satisfied, leave Dalai Lama to Tibetan people.
回答 The reincarnation of Panchen Lama, Gendun Choekyi Nyima, is the real Panchen Lama for us. Chenese appointed Gyaltsen Norbu is not the Panchen Lama for us. Reincarnation is a spiritual matter. Spiritual matter has more to do with heart and mind. So you can’t buy spirituality, you can’t force spirituality. Similarly, Chinese government can’t force Panchen Lama or Dalai Lama. It’s in our hearts and minds.
As I told you, before the Cultural Revolution, Chinese government destroyed 98% of monastries and nuneries 99% of monks and nuns were expelled. And then at the time, Tibetans were meant to wear Mao Tse Tong suits, not traditional dress like this. And they were banned from doing all old practices. So the communist party of China really thought they won. There were no monastries, no monks, no nuns, all the Tibetans wore Mao suits, we won. After 15 to 16 years after the Cultural Revolution, where was a small window. First thing Tibetan did was to rebuild the monastries. So under 60 years of occupation, most of the monastries were rebuilt, and most of the monastries and nuneries in exile were also rebuilt. And Buddhism is thriving. Then, they are distroying Lalung Gar again. So it’s pretty clear. Tibetans are resilient, very strong and determined. You destroy and we rebuild. You destroy again and we rebuild again. So based on that, I always say, in the end, TIbetan will win. We will prevail. Because Tibetan struggle is based on Buddhism which is 2,500 years old, Communism is only 100 years old. There is no competition between the two.
In today’s world, there is no more declared communist country in the world except North Korea. Now Fidel Castro is gone. Even Cuba is changing. So the foundation of Tibetan people and Tibetan struggle is sound. It is 2,500 years old, very antique, expensive, very strong.
回答 I do not know much about Falun Gong. Personally, I don’t know. I know about Falun Gong, because I know their movement in China. It’s a peaceful movement supported by a lot of Chinese people. They have physical and spiritual aspects to their course, and what they are seeking is religious freedom of their people, which they should enjoy and Chinese government should respect.
But I don’t know if Falun Gong should be categorized as Buddhist or not. Because the founder of Falun Gong, I’ve read somewhere in the press that he is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ Muhanmad, Buddha, everybody together. That’s what I have read. But I do not know about the founders, background, and what his preach to be. But as far as religious freedom is concerned, they should enjoy it. They are persecuted or discriminated which is unacceptable.
So that’s the final question. I would like to thank you. Today is Sunday. Very precious day for you to rest because you have to go back to office tomorrow. The fact that you stayed here to spend two hours with me is a gift, actually. Today it’s Sunday and it’s sunny outside. You stayed inside instead of outside makes me feel bad, but I really appreciate spending your precious time with us. At least do not think that one person can not make a difference. By showing up, you are sending a very powerful message to Tibetans in Tibet, but also to Beijing.
Immediately today, the Chinese Embassy will get a notice saying the room was full to listen to the Sikyon’s speech on Tibet. Also Tibetans in Tibet, who are in prison or suffering or persecuted in Larung Gar or Yaching Gar, or everywhere, they also listen from prison cells–“Oh, Sikyong went to Tokyo and the room was full. They discussed about Tibet.”–It gives them hope and courage.
以上が最後の質問でした。お礼を申し上げます。今日は日曜日です。明日は仕事をされる皆さんにとって、お休みの取れる大切な日でした。 皆さんが、２時間も私のために割いてくださったことは、 本当に有難いことです。今日は日曜日で、外は天気も良いのです。皆さんが、外に出ないで室内に籠っていてくださったことで、申し訳ない気持ちで一杯です。尊い時間を私の為に割いてくださったことに、改めて御礼申し上げます。一人の人間が、大きな変化をもたらすとは考え難いのですが、皆さんがお見えになったことで、チベット国内のチベット人と北京に対して、力強いメッセージを送ることができます。