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  Final Document of the 2009 Sino-Tibetan Conference 'Finding Common Ground' in Geneva  (August 8, 2009)

  Press Release: Over 100 Chinese and Tibetan scholars, writers, journalists, advocates to gather in Geneva, Switzerland  (August 8, 2009)

  Meet the press with H. H. the Dalai Lama on August 6, 2009

  Interview opportunities with Tibetan and Chinese delegates



Geneva, August 8, 2009

Final Document of the 2009 Sino-Tibetan Conference ‘Finding Common Ground’

in Geneva[1]

A Sino-Tibetan conference ‘Finding Common Ground’ was held in Geneva from 6−8 August 2009 attended by Chinese and Tibetan scholars, educators, writers and human rights advocates. The aims of the conference are to inform the Chinese people and the international community that Tibetan culture and way of life are gravely endangered and that the fundamental human rights of the Tibetan people are seriously being violated by the Chinese regime. In addition, the conference aims to outline effective measures to support the Tibetan people in their struggle to regain their freedom and to sustain and promote its unique culture. In this way, the conference will also respond to the heartfelt remarks made by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in His opening address.

Based on these aims, the conference has reached the following common positions:

I. Fundamental Values and Principles

The universal values established by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which include freedom, democracy, rule of law, human rights, equality and coexistence of multiple cultures, are the fundamental spiritual values and principles that the conference has followed.

II. The Origin and Nature of the Tibetan Issue

  1. The root cause of the Tibetan issue is not a conflict between the Chinese people and the Tibetan people, but rather the autocratic rule of the People’s Republic of China in Tibet and its cultural genocide in Tibet.
  2. The Beijing government’s claim that ‘Tibet has always been a part of China’ is factually incorrect.
  3. Tibetan culture, religion, language and way of life are on the verge of extinction.
  4. The Tibetan people have been deprived of their fundamental human rights including the rights to national self-determination, political participation and religious belief.
  5. The official media of the Chinese government distorts the nature of the Tibetan issue and incites confrontation between the two peoples.

III. Ways Towards Resolving the Tibetan Issue

  1. Respect the fundamental human rights of the Tibetan people, including the right to political participation and the right of religious freedom and belief.
  2. The resolution of the Tibetan issue is closely related to the democratization of China.
  3. The Chinese people should engage in a critical reflection on Han chauvinism and fully respect Tibetan culture and way of life.
  4. The Chinese government must comply with the principle of the rule of law.
  5. The undeniable right of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to return to his homeland must be respected.

IV. Recommendations to the Tibetan Government in Exile

  1. To establish Sino-Tibetan friendship associations, Sino-Tibetan forums and civil society organizations across the world in order to promote cultural exchange and emotional ties between the two peoples.
  2. To establish a research institute for Chinese and Tibetan scholars to promote the study of Tibetan history and culture for the purpose of recovering historical facts.
  3. To adopt measures to counteract the blockage of information on His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the monopoly on Tibetan issues by the Chinese regime, which would facilitate access to independent information for the Chinese people and the international community.
  4. To create favorable conditions for His Holiness the Dalai Lama to promote his values to the Chinese community as a contribution to the renewal of spiritual values amongst the Chinese people.

The common wish of this Sino-Tibetan conference is for the Tibetan people to regain freedom and to prevent the extinction of Tibetan culture. We share a fundamental belief: freedom is the highest value; Tibetan culture is a precious treasure among the many cultures of humanity. Without freedom for Tibet, there will be no freedom for China. The extinction of Tibetan culture would not only be a tragedy for the Tibetan people, but would be a disgrace for the Chinese people and an irreplaceable loss for the whole of humanity.

Participants of the Geneva Sino-Tibetan Conference 8 August 2009


A full documentation of the conference is available at: www.tibet-china-conference.org

[1] This document has been translated into English from the Chinese original. In case of any discrepancies, the Chinese original is the final and authoritative document.

Press Contact:

for English:

Mr. Chompel Balok
Email: press(at)tibet-china-conference.org

for Chinese & Tibetan:
Mr. Kunga Tashi
Email: chinese(at)tibet-china-conference.org

Website: http://www.tibet-china-conference.org


Press Release:


Switzerland, July 27, 2009 - A unique conference on Tibet, participated solely by Tibetan and Chinese scholars, writers, journalist, advocates and social workers, will be held in Geneva, Switzerland from 6 -8 August 2009. Convened by the International Fellowship of Reconciliation and the Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association, the conference will be attended by over 100 Chinese and Tibetan delegates from all over the world.

“The objective of the conference is to create a better understanding between the two communities and to explore ways for a peaceful solution of the Tibetan issue,” said Mr. Jonathan Sisson of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation. “This is in the interest of both the Chinese and the Tibetan peoples,” said Dr. Tashe Thaktsang of the Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association. “In addition, it will serve the long-term development of China and contribute to peace and stability in Asia,” he added.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama will give the keynote address. Mr. Yan Jiaqi, a leading Chinese liberal scholar who had served in the Political Reform Commission under the leadership of then Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Zhao Ziyang in the 1980s, will be a guest speaker. Mr. Yan Jiaqi also served as Director of the Institute of Political Research of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and has written several books, including “A Ten Year History of the Cultural Revolution”.

For centuries, the Chinese and the Tibetan peoples have lived in close interaction with each other, collaborating and benefiting from one another - spiritually, socially, and economically. For the last fifty - sixty years, however, these relations have been overshadowed by serious political disputes.

As the demonstrations throughout Tibet in 2008 showed, there is widespread discontent among the Tibetan population toward the policies of the Chinese government in Tibet. To interpret these events as “anti-Chinese” agitation orchestrated by the “Dalai clique”, as Chinese authorities have done, is to misunderstand the reasons of the demonstrations.

On numerous occasions, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said the Tibetans are not making any demands based on history. In his 10 March 2009 statement he said, “We need to look to the future and work for our mutual benefit. We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China.”

Therefore, the path towards the realization of those rights, however, does not lay in increased strife, but will require the cooperation of all the concerned parties. To this end, His Holiness has been calling for initiatives to increase the mutual understanding between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples.

Irrespective of where one stands on the political issue of Tibet, all of those who care about the future of China are concerned about the increased tension between Tibetans and Chinese. As primary stakeholders, representatives of Chinese and Tibetan civil society have an important role to play in the efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution of the Tibet question. In the recent past, concerned Chinese and Tibetan individuals have taken steps to encourage a better mutual understanding. This has had a positive impact and a need was felt to have a larger gathering to be held in Switzerland given its history of hosting numerous reconciliation events.

There will be a Meet the Press with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the conference organizers on August 6, 2009 at Hotel Intercontinental, Geneva. For more information and accreditation click here: Meet the Press.

Press Contact:

for English:
Mr. Chompel Balok
Email: press(at)tibet-china-conference.org

for Chinese & Tibetan:
Mr. Kunga Tashi
Email: chinese(at)tibet-china-conference.org

Website: http://www.tibet-china-conference.org


International Fellowship of Reconciliation was founded in 1919 in response to the horrors of war in Europe, IFOR has taken a consistent stance against war and its preparation throughout its history. Perceiving the need for healing and reconciliation in the world, the founders of IFOR formulated a vision of the human community based upon the belief that love in action has the power to transform unjust political, social, and economic structures. www.ifor.org

Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association was founded 25 years ago to supports the Tibetan issue - cultural and social but more and more in political aspects. Supporter of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s non-violent policy and advocating Tibetan people's right for religion, culture, language and identity according to international Human Rights standards. www.tibetfocus.com



« Finding Common Ground » - an international conference convened by
International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) & Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association (STFA)