On Tibetan National Uprising Day, March 10, a delegation from the National Endowment for Democracy joined the Central Tibetan Administraion and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in Dharamshala, to recognize the sacrifice of the Tibetan people and reafirm support for their unwavering pursuit of democracy and freedom.
“The Tibetan people and the Tibetan movement serve as a model and inspiration for all freedom loving people around the world,” said NED President and CEO Damon Wilson during the Tibetan National Uprising commemoration. “This is one reason it is so vital that the world stand beside the Tibetan people.
Read remarks by NED President and CEO Damon Wilson During the TibetAN National Uprising Commemoration:
Good morning and Tashi Delek. It’s such an honor to be with you here today.
I would like to start by thanking Sikyong Pempa Tsering for inviting me to Dharamsala to take part in this solemn and significant event—the 64th anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day. A day that will forever mark the great sacrifice, inspiring courage, and indestructible spirit of the Tibetan people.
I am deeply honored to be with you here today, standing shoulder to shoulder with our Tibetan brothers and sisters, conveying our unwavering solidarity and support for you and your struggle for freedom, justice, and democracy. I come to Dharamsala to listen and learn because all of us—the entire international community—has much to learn from the Tibetan people.
I would like to underscore three points.
First: we have much to learn from your resilience. 64 years in exile is 64 years too long. Yet throughout this difficult time, you’ve never wavered from your truth, your pursuit of justice, and the principles of non-violence and compassion that His Holiness has so beautifully espoused. In a world scarred by violence and democratic backsliding, the Tibetan people have never wavered from their principles and their morality.
For this reason, the Tibetan people and the Tibetan movement serve as a model and inspiration for ALL freedom loving people around the world. And this is one reason it is so vital that the world stand beside the Tibetan people.
Second: another area we have to learn from you is in democracy, a concept I care deeply about. Today, in our discussion, His Holiness shared his views on the importance of democracy as a means to ensure a legitimacy based in the people.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama first started democratic reforms in Tibet and saw them fully implemented once in exile, here in India, the world’s largest democracy. Today, the Central Tibetan Administration stands as a global model of a successful, thriving democracy in exile.
To establish a fully functioning, democratic government within years of your exile is a remarkable achievement. To establish a democratic constitution, to carry out free and fair elections, and to nurture a vibrant and robust civil society rooted firmly in democratic norms and values is truly extraordinary. Your democratic exile government and community stand as a moral exemplar around the world.
Third: you have what no other people have, which is His Holiness the Dalai Lama: a globally beloved and revered leader with unwavering moral clarity; a beacon of hope in a troubled world.
I was deeply humbled to meet His Holiness this morning. To be in the presence of a great figure is a moment I will never forget. His Holiness’ message of compassion, peace, and non-violence, is one that the world desperately needs right now.
There is much all of us—all of humanity—can learn from His Holiness. Indeed, his message, if heeded, can help transform how humanity relates to one other. It can transform the world for the better. It can help create a world in which Tibetans are indeed free.
I share all of this with you to simply say, the world needs Tibet. Tibetans have so much to offer.
Know that you are not alone. We stand with you.
Continue to be resilient. Continue to stand firm in the principles of justice, democracy, and non-violence.
Your struggle for freedom is a beacon of hope for many others.
~ NED President and CEO Damon Wilson on the 64th Anniversary of the Tibet National Uprising Day in Dharamshala