The March 10 Statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama (excerpt):
“On the occasion of the forty-eighth anniversary of the Tibetan people’s peaceful uprising in Lhasa in 1959, I offer my prayers and tribute to all those Tibetans who have suffered and sacrificed their lives for the cause of the Tibetan people. I also express my solidarity with those who are presently suffering repression and imprisonment.
“In 2006, we witnessed both the positive and negative changes in the People’s Republic of China. On the one hand, the hard-lined position was intensified with a campaign of vilification against us, and more disquietingly, heightened political restriction and repression in Tibet. On the other hand, in China itself, we saw some improvement with regard to the freedom of expression. In particular, there is a growing feeling among Chinese intellectuals that material development alone is not sufficient and that there is a need to create a more meaningful society based on spiritual values. Views that the present system is inadequate to create such a society are gaining ground, as a result of which belief in religion in general, and particularly interest in Tibetan Buddhism and culture, is growing. Moreover, there are many who express their wish that I make a pilgrimage to China to give teachings there.
“President Hu Jintao’s continued call for a harmonious society is laudable. The basis for the realization of such a society is to foster trust among the people, which can take place when there is freedom of expression, truth, justice and equality. Therefore, it is important that officials at all levels not only take heed, but also implement these principles.
“There is nothing wrong with the infrastructural development such as a railway itself. However, it is a source of deep concern that ever since the railway line became operational, Tibet has seen a further increase in Chinese population transfer, deterioration of its environment, misuse and pollution of its water and exploitation of its natural resources, all causing huge devastation to the land and all those who inhabit it.
“Since the resumption of direct contacts between the Tibetans and Chinese in 2002, my representatives have conducted five rounds of comprehensive discussion with concerned officials of the People’s Republic of China. The Tibetan delegation stands ready to continue the dialogue anytime, anywhere. With my prayers for the peace and well-being of all sentient beings.”