On October 27th, 2009, Nobel Laureates Mairead Maguire, Jody Williams, and Shirin Ebadi travelled to Dharamsala, Inida, to deliver the following statement of support and concern to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people in a special ceremony at the Tibetan Children’s Village.
For 50 years, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people have waged a peaceful struggle to preserve their ancient culture, religion, language, and identity. As the issue of Tibet remains tragically unresolved and Tibetans continue to endure harsh and repressive conditions in Tibet, we, as Nobel Laureates, wish to express our grave concern about the survival of Tibetan identity and offer our support to the Dalai Lama for his nonviolent efforts to attain meaningful autonomy for the Tibetan people.
The distinct culture of Tibet embodies universal values of compassion, tolerance, and a profound understanding of our interdependence with all living goings. These qualitative have much to offer the world as we seek to build a more peaceful, just, and sustainable global community in the 21st century.
While the Tibetan people continue to face a dark and painful chapter in their history, they have succeeded in preserving their cultural traditions in exile and contributing their knowledge to many fields of human endeavor. As the world has benefitted from the Dalai Lama’s wisdom and moral authority, it is fitting that we support his ongoing efforts to peacefully resolve the difficult and painful situation in Tibet, a cause for which he has struggled now for fifty years.
We urge the Chinese government to take immediate and constructive steps to resolve the status of Tibet and end the policies that continue to marginalize and impoverish Tibetans in their own land. We encourage the Chinese government to implement the laws in its own constitution for autonomy in Tibet.
We commend the Tibetan people for their courage and resilience in the face of untold suffering and we urge peace-loving people around the world to lend their support so the authentic Tibetan culture may once again flourish in its homeland and survive as a valued part of our global heritage.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Adolfo Perez Esquivael
Rigoberta Menchu Tum