Legal Materials on Tibet

Strasbourg Proposal No Longer Binding (1991) [p.130]



The new Kashag (Cabinet) of His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that the Strasbourg Proposal is no longer binding. While addressing a public meeting on September 2, 1991 in Dharamsala, India, on the occasion of the Tibetan Democracy Day, the The Chairman of the Kashag, Kalon Gyalo Thondup, said:

"Ever since direct contact was made between Dharamsala and Beijing in 1979, His Holiness the Dalai Lama took a number of initiatives to find a negotiated solution to the Tibetan issue. Two high-level delegations were sent to Beijing in 1982 and 1984 to have exploratory talks with the Chinese leaders. In September 1987, His Holiness put forward a five-point peace plan, and a year later, in June 1988, His Holiness presented a more detailed proposal for negotiations with the Chinese government in an address in Strasbourg.

Even after the imposition of martial law in Tibet in March 1989, His Holiness the Dalai Lama suggested a meeting of representatives from both sides in Hong Kong as a measure of mutual confidence-building, and to discuss ways and means for the early start of serious negotiations on the basis of the Strasbourg proposal.

However, judging from the official statements and the experience of our recent contacts with the Chinese government, it is clear that the present leadership lacks a sincere commitment to find a solution to the issue. At the same time, the situation in Tibet continues to be very grave and serious. The unabated repression of the Tibetan people and the continued massive influx of Chinese into Tibet are causing serious political, social, and economic problems.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama made it very clear in his statement on 10th March this year that because of the closed and negative attitude of the present Chinese leadership he felt that his personal commitment to the ideas expressed in the Strasbourg proposal had become ineffectual, and that if there were no new initiatives from the Chinese he would consider himself free of any obligation to the proposals he had made in his Strasbourg address. He, however, remains firmly committed to the path of non-violence and in finding a solution to the Tibetan issue through negotiations and understanding.

Under these circumstances His Holiness the Dalai Lama no longer feels obligated or bound to pursue the Strasbourg proposal as a basis for finding a peaceful solution to the Tibetan problem. We once again urge the Chinese leadership to abandon the policy of repression, the continuing violations of human rights, and the systematic destruction of Tibetan identity through the massive transfer of Chinese into Tibet, and to show a positive attitude for finding a negotiated settlement. On our part, we are open and willing to consider any realistic initiative by the Chinese leaders which takes into account the historical facts, the changing situation in the world, the legitimate rights and aspiration of the Tibetan people, and the long-term mutual interest of both Tibet and China."

Tibet Justice Center Home | Legal Materials on Tibet | Tibet