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Rangzen Memorandum presented to the Indian Foreign Secretary

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Monday, Jul 12, 2010
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Nirupama Rao

A group of young Tibetan artists, intellectuals, writers, translators and activists living in Dharamshala submitted on Saturday July 10th, 2010, a memorandum to the Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao during her visit to the Tibetan capital in exile. Below is the full text of the Memorandum.

Dharamsala
Dated: 10 July, 2010

To 
Ms Nirupama Rao
Foreign Secretary,
Government of India

Your Excellency,

We are a group of young Tibetan artists, intellectuals, writers, translators and 
activists living in Dharamsala. Some of us are born and raised in India while 
others have escaped from Tibet and since then living on this side of the 
Himalayas. We welcome you to Dharamsala as you arrive with the fresh rain of 
monsoon.

When Tibetans first sought asylum in India following the footsteps of our leader 
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan freedom struggle was in its formative 
phase; there was neither the international awareness nor was there political 
education and understanding within the Tibetan community. It was the kindness of 
India and her people who opened the doors of their homes to us and we made it 
our second home.

Today, after 50 years of being in exile, Tibetan youngsters grow up in India 
like most young Indians with modern education and outlook, but we are always 
aware of our identity and responsibilities towards our struggle and our leader 
His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It is partly because of India’s support to our 
cause that the Tibetan struggle not only survived the difficult period but got 
resurrected to this level of international awareness and confidence within the 
struggle. We are grateful to the government and people of India. Please accept 
our deepest gratitude.

The Tibetan struggle is not just to find a temporary arrangement for the exile 
Tibetans to return home, but to seek a long-term interest for the survival of 
the Tibetan people and the nation. And therefore whatever may be the policies 
being held by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the exile government; we believe 
very strongly that the goal of the struggle cannot be anything less than 
Independence. Only an independent Tibet can guarantee the survival of the 
Tibetan people, our culture and the nation. The 2008 uprising in Tibet is a 
clear public mandate that the Tibetans in Tibet are willing to even die, but not 
live under Chinese colonial rule.

We understand that His Holiness the Dalai Lama – the Buddha that he is – is 
guided by his universal concern and therefore he has not been insistent for the 
independence of Tibet, and the exile government’s policy seeking autonomy within 
China is bound by its relationship with the Government of India which still 
supports the One China policy.

The difference in the political stands between His Holiness and us doesn’t 
divide us on our principled belief in Nonviolence. The Tibetan freedom struggle 
is based on the Buddhist principles of nonviolence, and when we hit the streets 
with our direct action campaigns we are inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s Satyagraha.

We understand that the Government of India is dealing with People’s Republic of 
China as a neighbour today. We are also aware that the Indian government still 
holds its decades old policy on Tibet saying: “Autonomous Region of Tibet is a 
part of the People’s Republic of China”, and that has not been reviewed all 
these time while there is a mounting Chinese military, political and 
environmental pressures on India.

Between the 1947 founding of Indian independence and 1949 Chinese invasion of 
Tibet, India and Tibet shared two years of friendly relationship as independent 
nations. So long as China continues its occupation of Tibet India will never be 
able to solve its border issues amicably with China. Therefore we urge you to 
take this petition to the Government of India – our plea for a review of India’s 
policy towards Tibet. Only by recognizing the historical independence of Tibet – 
with whom the Himalayan borders were decided through bilateral treaties – can 
India validate its legal and historical claim over its Himalayan states which 
have been challenged time and again by the People’s Republic of China.

We the younger generation Tibetans see in India a significant role she can play 
in re-establishing the independence of Tibet and maintain a brotherly 
relationship with future Tibet.

We wish you a very pleasant stay in Dharamsala.

Namaste

1. Tenzin Tsundue         2. Lukar Jam                  3. Shingza Rinpoche

4. Lobsang Yeshi           5. Lungrik Gyal               6. Phuntsok Wangchuk

7. Karma Sichoe              8. Tenzin Choeying          9. Karma Choekyi

10. Tenzin Choedon       11. Tenzin Chokey         12. Buchung D. Sonam

13. Tenzin Nyinje        14. Namlo Yak               15.  Yungdrung Tsering

16.Tenzin Norkey         17. Tseten Gya             18. Zung Zhuk Kyi

19. Drukbey                   20. Pema Choedon       21. Kalsang Rinchen

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