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·Speech at the Celebration on the Inauguration of Lobsang Sangay
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Speech at the Celebration on the Inauguration of Lobsang Sangay

   Speech at the Celebration on the Inauguration of Lobsang Sangay
    YANG Jianli

   Aug.9,2011, Dharamsala, India
   Honorable Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay, distinguished guests, and my dear Tibetan Brothers and Sisters:
    I am honored and humbled to lead a delegation of Chinese to attend and speak at today’s inauguration of Lobsang Sangay as Prime Minister of the Central Tibetan Administration: honored because I am with YOU, whose extraordinary struggle for freedom and the advancement of democracy has won worldwide respect; humbled because your suffering has been at the hands of a government that is largely made up of Han Chinese, an ethnicity of which I am a member.
   Congratulations on this momentous occasion to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, whose leadership has once again proved extraordinary.
   Thanks to his wisdom, vision, and determination, Tibetans in exile have, step by step, established full-fledged democracy in their community. His Holiness the Dalai Lama stands as a shining exemplification of the righteous way. The example he sets serves continual notice to the world’s power-hungry and greedy dictators—especially those sitting in Zhongnanhai, Beijing.
   Congratulations to Mr. Lobsang Sangay, my dear schoolmate and friend, whose commitment, vision, ability, and willingness to serve his people have won him their trust and granted him this important position of leadership.
   Lobsang, Mr. Prime Minister, I can feel the heavy responsibility on your shoulders, even on this glorious day. But you are an honest and trustworthy man. I know you are up to the test, and wish you all good luck.
    Congratulations to the Tibetan people on this day for celebration.
    Your achievements in democracy, and your struggle for freedom under the banner of the Middle Way approach upheld by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, have become twin monuments—not only in the history of Tibet, but in the history of mankind. You are a beacon of hope to many peoples, including the Han Chinese under the rule of the Chinese Communist regime. It is your good fortune to have His Holiness the Dalai Lama as your spiritual leader and Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay as your political leader while you continue to travel the difficult road toward home and freedom. My dear brothers and sisters, united under this new leadership structure, continue to fight the good fight. Wish and work for an inauguration that will one day take place in Lhasa.
   Congratulations to the world’s leaders on this inauguration day.
    The Tibetan issue is not an issue limited to Tibet and China; it is a world issue. It is not only a political issue; it is a moral issue facing all of humanity. Leaders of the world, I understand that you often run into awkward situations where you feel that proclaimed principles have to be compromised for the sake of short-term interests. The next time you are in such a situation, think of this principled leader whose moral courage will whisper a powerful message in your ear: honesty is the best policy.
    Last but not least, Congratulations to the leaders of China.
    I can understand your fear of losing political power, but His Holiness the Dalai Lama's example shows you that being without political power is not that frightening; voluntarily giving away political power can be beneficial. I understand your worry about stability. But please come and see for yourselves the Tibetan community in exile here. It is very stable and harmonious under democracy. The Tibetan community in Tibet will also be stable and harmonious under democracy and genuine autonomy. So will any community back in China. Now that the Dalai Lama issue has disappeared—for His Holiness is no longer holding any political power in the exiled Tibetan community, nor pursuing any political power or status in China—I think you have no choice but to face the Tibetan issue and open dialogue with Lobsang Sangay. If you say Lobsang Sangay cannot serve in such a capacity because the Tibetans in Tibet did not participate in the election, then we say please let the Tibetans in Tibet freely elect their representative for dialogue with you.
    Dear Tibetan brothers and sisters, we have all traveled great physical, mental, and temporal distances to get here. The tensions and hostilities that have divided us are like so many open wounds on the body of our common cause. Only by healing these wounds will we be able to march strongly towards the horizon where the dawn of freedom, truth, justice, equality, and peace for us all will one day break.
    This will happen if we walk together.
    Let me close with a little story. The last time I was in Dharamsla, I was in the audience with His Holiness. At the end of the meeting we all stood up together. I noticed that His Holiness had a pair of shoes of very good quality, and I whispered to him that his shoes were quite nice. “Yes,” His Holiness replied, “I will walk home in them.” I replied, “Yes, your Holiness, I will walk with you.” We suddenly found ourselves embracing each other.
    Now is the time for us to embrace one another and walk together: united in our diversity and towards our common goal of freedom, truth, justice, equality and peace.
    The time has come.
   Thank you.


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