Vom 8. bis zum 13. März 2015 reiste Claudia Roth nach Indien, um sich über die gesellschaftliche, politische und ökonomische Entwicklung des Landes zu informieren und Gespräche über die wachsende Rolle und Verantwortung Indiens für die Sicherheit in der Region zu führen. Gerade im Hinblick auf das Gipfeljahr 2015 und die Neuverhandlung der UN-Nachhaltigkeitsziele beim Gipfel in New York im September fällt der bevölkerungsreichsten Demokratie der Erde eine besondere Rolle zu.
In den Gesprächen mit Vertreterinnen und Vertretern der Regierung, dem Parlament und der Zivilgesellschaft in Neu-Delhi ging es unter anderem um das Thema Frauenrechte sowie um die Themen Ökologie und Außenpolitik. Claudia Roth besuchte auch die Region Kaschmir und informierte sich dabei über die Situation in der Konfliktregion. Am 9. und 10. März besuchte Claudia Roth die tibetische Flüchtlings-Community in Dharamsala. Im Mittelpunkt standen ein Gespräch mit dem Dalai Lama, den sie seit 25 Jahren regelmäßig trifft, sowie die Teilnahme am 56. Gedenktag des Tibetan National Uprising Day, bei dem Claudia Roth als Ehrengast sprechen durfte.
Die Rede beim Gedenktag im Wortlaut:
(Es gilt das gesprochene Wort.)
Dear Dr. Lobsang Sangay
Ladies and gentlemen
friends of the Tibetan people,
My dear Tibetan family!
Today is a special day for every Tibetan,
and a special day for human rights worldwide.
We have gathered here in Dharamsala to mark the 56th anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising of 1959.
This Uprising is an important chapter in Tibetan and, indeed, in recent world history.
This day has become a symbol for self-determination and the right to a homeland.
So being here with you today is a very special, a very emotional moment for me.
− Many of you were forced to leave Tibet,
− Forced to leave your families,
− And your country.
− You found sanctuary here in India.
So today really is a day to celebrate and give thanks.
− Thank you for 56 years of nonviolent resistance by the Tibetan people
− Thank you for your strength and your commitment
− Thank you for your courage
− Thank you for your immense, your endless patience
− And thank you, because the Tibetan people have become a voice of hope and a voice of peace and understanding throughout the world.
I would like to thank Dr Lobsang Sangay, Prime Minister of the Central Tibetan Administration, for inviting me to visit Dharamsala in my capacity as a friend of the Dalai Lama and as a friend of the Tibetan people.
80,000 Tibetans lost their lives in the Tibetan Uprising in March 1959.
But the tragedy of Tibet began earlier, with the invasion of Tibet by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in 1949 and 1950.
At the time, the world paid no attention.
There were many reasons for this:
− Post-war Europe was still in chaos,
− The Beginning of the Cold War
− And the colonies in Asia were engaged in their struggle for independence.
These problems, rather than Tibet, were the issues preoccupying the international community.
It was only with the Uprising and the events in Lhasa on 10 March 1959 that the world started to take notice of the terrible problems facing the Tibetan people.
The message sent by the Uprising, the desire for freedom and self-determination, and its continued commemoration and remembrance are important sources of hope and strength, which are so important for the Tibetans today, 56 years after the Uprising was crushed so brutally and His Holiness the Dalai Lama was forced into exile.
March 10, this a day of immense significance.
It is a warning from history, as we commemorate the past.
It is a day for being mindful of our responsibility for the present.
And it is a day of remembrance – for the future.
So today is a day against forgetting.
And I am worried that the Tibetan people’s struggle, which has justice on its side, might be forgotten by the world community.
So today is also a day against silence and indifference.
My message to the international community is this:
Don’t forget the Tibetans, forgetting kills.
Or, like the author and Nobel Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel once said: ‚To forget the victims is to kill them a second time.‘
Countless Tibetans fled after the Uprising, and many more are still being forced to leave their country.
Today, around 200,000 Tibetans live in exile.
For such a small nation – indeed, for any nation – too many people have been uprooted, and too much has been lost. These Tibetans have suffered
− The loss of their people
− The loss of their homeland
− The loss of their culture
− And the loss of their freedom to determine their own future.
For far too long, the Tibetans in exile were regarded as nothing more than representatives of a “reactionary feudal clique”, in line with an anti-democratic ideology promoted for decades by the Chinese rulers.
Since then, the image of the Tibetans worldwide has changed.
Today, the Tibetans are recognized as victims of callous great power politics.
The Tibetans’ struggle has become a symbol of peace.
This is due, not least, to the wise policies pursued by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration here in Dharamsala.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my most profound respect and gratitude to Tenzin Gyatso, the Dalai Lama.
At a time of so many wars,
At a time of so many dreadful crises,
The Tibetans and, indeed, the international community have a figurehead who, throughout the world, has come to symbolize
− Building bridges instead of widening divisions,
− The charting of peaceful pathways for and into the future,
− And freedom from bitterness about the past.
The Dalai Lama truly is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, for he is truly an ambassador for the vision of a world without violence and oppression, without hatred and exclusion.
These are the principles which guide his life and his struggle. He is
− An Ocean of Wisdom
− And spiritual power
− The embodiment of endless compassion, kindness and love
− Who never fails to bring sunshine into our hearts
− Even when dark clouds are gathering overhead
− And who dries our tears of despair with smiles of hope.
Hope for a world free from hate and repression, a world which – thanks to people like the Dalai Lama – still seems within reach.
We will not accept, that in the 21st century, national power interests and the politics of violence continue to determine the international relations and violate day by day international law and the Charta for Human Rights.
That is why I support the Tibetan people and the Tibetan’s nonviolent resistance, out of deepest conviction.
So today is also the day to stand together and to send out a strong signal.
It is a political day, for it is a day for human rights.
Human rights, that are universal and indivisible.
And yet in Tibet, they are trampled underfoot every day.
The Chinese government’s way of dealing with the Tibetan people is incompatible with fundamental human rights and democracy.
The Tibetan people are being forcibly deprived of their rights:
− The right to self-determination,
− The right to physical integrity,
− The right to life,
− The freedom to practice a religion,
− And freedom of faith and culture.
Flying the flag for Tibet means demanding that China
Finally abandons its blockading tactics,
Finally engages in serious and credible political dialogue, in its own interests as well,
and finally end the ongoing repression.
In its 2014 Freedom in the World report, released in January, Freedom House ranked Tibet “Worst of the Worst” alongside North Korea, Syria and Saudi Arabia, describing them as the world’s most repressed societies:
Repression such as the “rectification campaign” and the arbitrary restriction of religious freedom opens the way for
− The Chinese authorities’ destruction of religious sites – the monasteries and the Mani stones which are such a characteristic feature of the Tibetan landscape,
− The expulsion of 26 nuns from a nunnery in Driru because the official number of nuns had allegedly been exceeded,
− The six months of compulsory “patriotic education” for nuns and monks accused of the nebulous offence of “political involvement”,
− And punishment for citizens found to possess a photo of the Dalai Lama.
Repression such as inequality in schooling
− When every subject must be taught solely in Chinese
− And the Tibetan people’s mother tongue is merely taught as a foreign language.
Repression such as forced resettlement, but also the forced settlement of Tibetan nomads in so-called “socialist” villages, which pose a threat to traditional nomadic life,
and certainly cannot be said to improve the lives of the Tibetans concerned;
and repression such as the systematic surveillance of monasteries by in-house police units:
This attempt to bring the monasteries under government control is a provocation which worsens tensions and further embitters the Tibetan people.
All these forms of repression are unbearable. So for me, it is a given that in Germany and in Europe, we show solidarity with Tibet and fill this solidarity with life through our vigorous advocacy for the rights of the Tibetan people.
Today is also a day to voice our concern,
Our most heartfelt concern for the many prisoners
Like Lama Khenpo Kartse, who was sentenced to two and a half years in prison based on spurious allegations and accusations. He has been in prison since December 2013 and his health is steadily worsening.
Prisoners like 20-year-old Losang Gyatso and 19-year-old Losang Tenpa,
Both are monks at Kirti Monastery in Ngaba,
− Who staged solo peaceful protests for freedom for Tibet, and for the Dalai Lama
− And who were sentenced to several years in prison
− Where they have been tortured.
Like the prisoners in Loshu, who are being denied medical treatment by the authorities despite being seriously injured when security forces opened fire on protesters last March.
And as if that wasn’t enough, the authorities then arrested all the males in the protesters’ home village of Shugba.
All these people, and many others, are campaigning
− For human rights and for freedom
− For the protection of the environment
− For the protection of Tibet’s natural resources, which are essential to sustain life,
− For the preservation of the Tibetan people’s rich culture,
− And for the Tibetan language.
This is definitely not a crime – but a fundamental right.
Therefore I call for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Tibet!
Change is essential. And change is possible,
As long as we don’t look away
And don’t let ourselves be intimated
By pressure from China.
So today is a day against silence and indifference.
We stand here today, under the open sky, on the rich soil of Indian democracy, the world’s largest democracy, in Dharamsala, not far from your home country, which lies just beyond these mountains.
Perhaps the people in Tibet will hear our heartfelt messages in their hearts – messages that are carried to them by the strong winds of the Himalayas.
This is our message:
− Let the people in Tibet live in freedom,
− Give them the power to decide their own destinies,
− Give Tibetan culture the opportunity to thrive and flourish!
The leaders in Beijing don’t want to hear any talk of the Tibetan people’s rights.
The People’s Republic of China prefers to criminalize the Tibetans and ensure that the Tibetan representatives’ advocacy for their people never bears fruit.
Of course, as a world power, China should not be underestimated. The reality is that its global contacts and integration into the world economy make China a force to be reckoned with.
Indeed, China is well on the way to becoming a global power.
China is already the world’s second largest economy after the United States, and could well overtake the US in the next 12 months or so.
China’s total military budget is also the second largest in the world after the US.
But in order to assert its claim to a leadership role in the international community, there needs to be cultural leadership – which was provided for so long by the American dream, the American way of life.
So let me ask the politicians in Beijing this:
What about the people around the world who are pleased that China is emerging as a world power? How are they supposed to support China
− If China tramples the human rights of its own people underfoot?
− If China oppresses, enslaves and expels an entire nation?
− If China is unable to safeguard peace and understanding in its own country?
This is my message to the politicians in Beijing: Find a way of reaching agreement with the Tibetans, the Uighurs and the Mongolians! End the repression and release all the political prisoners from your jails!
That would be such an important symbol for the world community – a symbol of peace and understanding.
Such a move would be worthy of China’s status as an emerging world power, instead of the fearful policy of oppression that is reminiscent of the 18th century.
And there is something else that a world and regional power like China cannot afford.
The fact is that Tibet not only possesses a rich and diverse culture.
Its natural environment is equally rich and diverse, and is of vital importance for the Asian and global ecosystems.
Tibet is sometimes known as the Third Pole:
− Seeing, that one-sixth of the world’s glaciers are found in Tibet.
− Seeing, that Tibet contains the world’s third largest ice mass after the Arctic and Antarctica.
− But we see that 20 per cent of Tibet’s ice mass has already vanished.
− And 50 per cent is likely to disappear in the next 40 years.
− Seeing, that Tibet’s 1.6 million square kilometers of permafrost contain more than 12 million tons of climate-killing CO2.
− And seeing, that global warming affects Tibet more severely than the rest of the world.
− Seeing all this, the vital importance of Tibet’s natural environment should be obvious to everyone.
Tibet is also known as the Water Tower of Asia.
− Seeing, that 70 per cent of the water in the Ganges comes from Tibetan glaciers.
− Seeing, that these glaciers also provide 30 to 50 per cent of the water in rivers in India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia.
− Seeing, that in China alone, 300 million people depend on water from the Himalayas.
− And seeing, that the total number of people who depend on Himalayan water is 1.3 billion!
But the glaciers are melting.
− It results in less water, and less rainfall.
− It worsens the sandstorms in China.
− It accelerates soil erosion.
− In other words, if Asia’s Water Tower dries up, there will be more deserts and less water.
And yet the Chinese Government is planning to build more reservoirs,
Uncontrolled mining is adversely affecting the rich fauna and flora of Tibet and polluting groundwater,
Heavy industry and a massive increase in traffic are causing black soot deposits on glaciers, which, according to the NASA, are the cause of half of all glacial melt.
New dams do not only destroy nature but also threaten the survival of farmers – of the whole culture in the rural area.
That’s why, dear friends, today is also a day for protecting the climate and the environment.
And to praise the deity Kawalori – the eternal snow!
The Tibetans’ culture and religion would never allow such destruction of the environment. Here, Chinese politicians can learn lessons from Tibet.
They can learn how to protect the precious resources that the Chinese urgently need for their own survival.
The Tibetans can only respond to China’s might with intelligence, honesty, a sense of realism, and an iron will to gain their freedom.
That’s why the course adopted by the Tibetan Administration and the Dalai Lama, namely to achieve genuine autonomy through dialogue and nonviolence, is the approach that we must support, out of a sense of conviction, but also out of realism.
As a human rights activist and a politician who believes in realistic politics, I know how difficult it is to advocate for a policy that holds no promise of rapid results.
I know how strong despair can be in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles!
The Middle Way Approach (UMAYLAM) pursued by the Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala is a genuine exercise in diplomatic balancing act. It is fraught with risk.
And the Tibetan people don’t need me to tell them about the dangers of walking a steep and difficult path.
You know the mountains well and have walked in them all your lives!
This Middle Way Approach is underpinned by The Dalai Lama’s own philosophy,
The philosophy that he teaches and whose message is that all conflicts can be resolved through sincere dialogue
If conducted in a spirit of openness
If conducted in a willingness to move towards reconciliation.
It is up to China to make use of the Tibetans’ openness and willingness for dialogue, in order to move towards a peaceful and partnership-based solution to the Tibet question.
Without a joint approach very soon, we must expect the situation in Tibet to become even more complicated.
Beijing’s economic and military might cannot and will not solve the problem.
An escalation of the situation in Tibet is not a prospect that any of us wants to witness. More escalation and radicalization will claim more lives and cause even greater loss. That is not something we would wish on anyone, for every life is precious.
But the situation is escalating; we see this from the alarming rise in the number of self-immolations.
And so, dear friends,
Today is also a day of mourning
For the 136 people, perhaps more: the monks, the nuns and the schoolchildren who have burned themselves to death.
I am profoundly moved by this expression of their despair. It is a silent scream for solidarity with the Tibetan people.
That’s why today is also a day of solidarity.
Solidarity is vital.
To make it crystal clear:
To express solidarity with you, the Tibetans
does not mean to be an enemy of the Chinese people. Not at all.
And so I stand here to express my, to express our solidarity with you.
Our remembrance of the victims of the 1959 Uprising is as vivid today as it was 56 years ago.
Tibet has not been forgotten.
Today, hundreds of cities across Germany are flying the Tibetan flag.
All over the world, countless Tibetans and activists from Tibet initiatives will be out on the streets, standing in front of the Chinese embassies.
On 14 March, a mass demonstration – called “Europe stands with Tibet!” – will take place in Paris. It will culminate in the release of a declaration, sending a clear message that:
− Europe stands with you, the Tibetan people, and
− There is a strong European alliance for Tibet.
We will show our solidarity and signal to China that the Tibetans have a right to self-determination and a right to dialogue.
The Tibetans are ready for this dialogue, as I have learned in all my encounters here in Dharamsala
Ready for a serious, credible dialogue.
So China should take heart and open itself up to dialogue. That is surely a hallmark of a state’s true greatness.
I myself have a profound belief and heartfelt conviction that the solution to the Tibet conflict can only be found in dialogue.
So today is also a day of dialogue and an outstretched hand.
Freedom and human rights are universal and indivisible.
The Tibetans’ struggle and the living example of the Dalai Lama have become symbols of the universality of human rights all over the world.
My profound wish is that China will soon move forward on this issue so that you will soon be able to live in freedom and contentment in your own country!
My dear friends,
I am honored to join you in this profoundly moving ceremony of remembrance.
I will never forget
And be sure
We will never give up!
Tashi Delek – for you all!