Sunday, January 4, 2015

Dalai Lama's Speech in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 12 May 2014 (Excerpt from the Dalai Lama Office Japanese Website)

Rotterdam, Holland, 12 May 2014
Meeting with groups of people interested in Buddhism and the cause of Tibet at his hotel this morning, His Holiness the Dalai Lama began by telling them:
“There are several aspects of the Tibetan question, among which I’d like to talk to you about the damage being done to Tibet’s delicate natural environment. I read a report by a Chinese ecologist that compared Tibet’s significance to that of the North and South Poles; he described Tibet as the Third Pole. This is because Asia’s major rivers rise in Tibet and more than 1 billion people depend on their waters. Damming the Brahmaputra, for example, will have effects on both India and Bangladesh.

「チ ベット問題にはいくつかの側面がありますが、その中でもチベットの繊細な環境への被害についてお話ししたいと思います。中国の生態学者による報告書を読んだところ、チベットは北極と南極ほど重要であると書かれており、チベットが第三極であるとも記されていました。これは、アジアの主要な河川の源流はチベットであり、10億人以上の人々がこの水源に依存するためです。ブラマプトラにダムを建設するとインドとバングラデシュの両国に影響があるというのがその例となります。」

“I appeal to supporters like you to assemble a group, experts among them, to go to Tibet to examine what is happening, to assess what damage has already been done and what precautions could prevent it getting worse. The information would be shared with the Chinese authorities who are often not properly informed.”


With regard to human rights violations, His Holiness explained that about 15 years ago a Chinese Communist Party Secretary announced that Buddhist religion and culture was a major factor compounding Tibetan separatism. Consequently, he cracked down hard on monasteries and nunneries, exerting tight control over their activities. This is what provoked the 2008 unrest.


His Holiness repeated that the Chinese crackdown on Tibetan language and the way they look down on Tibetan culture is the real source of separatism. "If you beat a dog it will run away. If you want it to stay you have to treat it with affection. Tibetans are human beings, who are not to be fobbed off with new infrastructure, while not being treated with any respect. Tibetans are not animals and they are not the only ones to suffer. The other ethnic groups, the Uighurs, Mongolians and Manchus, indicated in the Chinese flag by the four smaller stars around the larger star for the Han, suffer too."


"There are only 6 million Tibetans, but they have their own history and culture of which they are justifiably proud. The crackdown on religion and language is a serious human rights violation. Then there is mining to which many local people object and finally the matter of relations between China and India, the world’s two most populous, nuclear armed, nations. The huge number of troops in Tibet is cause for alarm in India. If the situation in Tibet were normalized, many of them could be withdrawn."


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