China invade Tibet
China invades Tibet
For centuries Tibet had remained a land removed from the rest of the world-not only in the geographical sense but also in its isolation from global politics. It is an irony of history that; at a time when many nations in Asia and Africa were under Western colonial rule, Tibet was an independent, sovereign country and today; when these former colonies have regained their freedom, Tibet is under China’s colonial rule. Situated on the “Roof of the World” Tibet’s separate language (both written and spoken); as well as her unique culture and way of life, distinguished the Tibetan people from the rest of Asia. In a land where Buddhism and the principle of non-violence were held supreme-where, in fact, their Spiritual and Temporal leader; the Dalai Lama; was believed to be the incarnation of the Bodhisattva of Compassion-Tibet had for centuries renounced war as an instrument of offensive policy. As such; at the time of communist China’s military invasion in 1949 the Tibetan people were in no position to defend their country and their freedom.
Subsequently; as the free world looked on; China carried out a ruthless and systematic campaign to suppress any opposition to its rule in Tibet. In 1959; after ten years of failed negotiations; the Tibetan people staged a National Uprising against Chinese rule and the Dalai Lama was forced to flee for his life and to seek refuge in India. Senior members of his government accompanied him. Tens of thousands of ordinary Tibetans followed their leader into exile-many were slaughtered on the way by Chinese troops.
Inside Tibet the Chinese continued to strengthen their position-not just by destroying Tibetan religion and culture but also by removing any other vestige of traditional power. What is more; in order to reduce Tibet to just another colony under China’s rule; Tibet was divided into five parts. What the world sees as Tibet today-the so – called Tibet Autonomous Region-is only about 50 % of traditional Tibet with one third of the population. The huge northeastern province of Amdo-where the present Dalai Lama was born-has been renamed Qinghai. Major areas of the Eastern Province of Kham have been sub – divided and absorbed into neighbouring Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Gansu and Yunnan.