Dear brothers and sisters, today we celebrate the fifty-third Anniversary of Tibetan Democracy Day all over the world. It is a joyous day for all Tibetans as we share in the universal values of freedom and equality and seek to march in equal footing with the rest of the world in spirit and action in our common endeavor to build a sustainable peaceful coexistence amongst different nations and races. I want to especially offer my heart felt warm wishes to our brethren inside occupied Tibet who continue to endure and resist against overwhelming hegemony and persecution. We bow our head in honor and memory of the 127 self-immolators who have sacrificed their lives for the benefit of Tibetan Nation and offer our deepest respect to the families of the martyrs.
We pay our respect to our esteemed and beloved leader, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. It was under his leadership and far-sighted guidance that we Tibetans have been able to embrace the spirit of democracy in a slow and methodical phase, finally culminating in the bestowal of fully functioning democracy in 2010, the first ever Sikyong elected by the people. It is a vision that is astounding and majestic in its depth and historical significance and is easily the lasting legacy of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. We not only thank him for the gift of democracy but for the measured allocation of responsibilities and duties that come with genuine democracy. We pledge to carry on this legacy with the utmost diligence and pride.
We also congratulate our Sikyong, Dr. Lobsang Sangay la, for the successful completion of his first two years in office. He is not only the first democratically elected Tibetan Political leader in Tibetan history but a person who has advocated tirelessly throughout his life to promote the ideals of democracy in Tibetan society. That vision is quite clear from his early writings and in his dissertation which is based entirely on Tibetan democracy in exile. Under his leadership, we are confident the ideals of democracy will be encouraged and flourish to its full potential. We will do everything to help him achieve that goal.
Tibetan National Congress was also formed to further the vision of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and help develop a more cohesive and robust democracy in exile. We are happy that our Sikyong has blessed the formation of our organization with kind words of encouragement and congratulations. Tibetan National Congress seeks to educate the public about our history, culture, language, and literature, and promote political awareness. We also seek to contest the coming elections by engaging Tibetans from all walks of life to participate fully in our democracy and actively represent those who believe the only way to save Tibet is by pursuing independence.
On this auspicious day as we celebrate the virtue of democracy in our society, let us not forget our brothers and sisters inside Tibet who also long for such a day when they too can partake in the same freedoms that we enjoy on the outside. Let us not forget that we owe the resilience of our struggle to their indomitable spirit and courage and they are the reason why we never gave up and never will until Tibet belongs to Tibetans once again. We on the outside must take responsibility to uphold the highest ideals of democracy, equality, unity, and justice and practice it to the fullest, the very same rights they cannot exercise at the moment.
On this day we remember their sacrifice and courage and resolve to strengthen our efforts to restore Tibet to Tibetans. We also give thanks and gratitude to the immeasurable kindness and love showered upon us by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Long live His Holiness and may he sit on the golden throne in Potala and reunite with his people soon. Bod Gyalo !
Tibetan National Congress / Bod Gyalyong Rangzen Lhentsok