This year, the Manjushri Dharma Center will observe the 63rd anniversary of Tibetan Uprising Day as it has done for the last several years. On behalf of all the Tibetans inside and outside Tibet, I thank you all for your participation and support over all these years, and with folded hands make a plea that you continue to support our struggle. This day has been observed for the last 62 years, yet our cause remains unresolved; the wound inflicted on the Tibetan people is still unhealed, and our struggle continues. Support for the Tibetan cause is support for the truth. As we witness the plight of the world today, it is a result of the emphasis on absolute power and wealth, and the lack of support for truth and justice.
If you were to ask the extent of the suffering borne by Tibetans throughout the last 60 years and what it may have looked like: What did the Communist regime do when they came to Tibet? What kind of atrocities were inflicted on the Tibetans? How many died? I am not a firsthand witness as I was born after 1959 during the Cultural Revolution, but my parents and their generation had witnessed everything. In actuality, the best way to describe the situation and what happened back then is to look at what is currently happening to Ukrainians and the country of Ukraine as it is being invaded by Russia. What happened to Tibet back then is exactly what is currently happening in Ukraine. A powerful nation trampling on an smaller neighbor that does not provoke is exactly how the Communist government preyed on the innocence of the Tibetan people of a remote country, locked by its geography, technologically unadvanced, and inaccessible to the rest of the world. At that time, no one outside Tibet witnessed the suffering of the Tibetans, nor were there any means of transmission of live news, information, or images and recordings. In contrast, today, with advances in technology, we are able to witness live happenings inside Ukraine.
If we aspire for genuine change, freedom, true democracy, and for all of us to live as one global family, the younger generation must rise to the challenge and come face to face with this conflict. I have little hope from the older generation but the youth of today must assess the causes of disharmonious societies, gauge conditions for a peaceful world, and then take appropriate actions. As in the Dharma, we talk about peace of mind as the root of happiness; in the same way, genuine freedom, democracy, and truth are pillars of a harmonious world. We must treat our world as one family, and as one nation faces difficulty, others must provide unbiased assistance without expectations.
I, Khenpo Karten Rinpoche, upon seeing the situation transpire in Ukraine, truly feel that yesterday’s Tibet is today’s Ukraine. So, from the depth of my heart, I wished to express my firm support for the Ukrainian people in these extremely difficult times. This blog was translated and transcribed by Dechen Baltso, through a series of conversations and audio recorded messages.