When China invaded Tibet in 1949, Tibetans lost every freedom and right they had as an independent country. The Tibetan people lost their freedom of speech and religion, their right to be free and independent people, along with their right to self determination. Tibet was once a peaceful country with a rich culture and a unique religion. Today they have lost all this and they remain an oppressed and violated nation. Their religion, culture, and identity is slowly decaying because the people of Tibet are being smothered by the Chinese, and they have no way of expressing themselves.
The History of Tibet
Tibet is a country in the Himalayas which is cut off from the rest of the world. The two main groups of people that live in Tibet are the Mahayanas and Vajaayanas which live off Buddha's teachings. Their religion, language, literature, art, idea's concerning the environment, and a way to life, that unify Tibet, and make it a unique country.
Since the invasion by China there has been over one million Tibetans killed by the Chinese, making them a minority in their own country. China has also made Chinese the official language of Tibet. More then 6,000 monasteries and shrines have been destroyed and only one out of twenty monks are still allowed to practice under the careful eye of the government. Famine has become a problem, natural resources have been lost, and wildlife is close to extinction.
In 1950 when communist China invaded Tibet, they took over the government of Tibet and threw out the government that was headed by the Dalai Llama, creating chaos and turmoil for the people. The Dalai Llama is regarded in Tibet as the highest spiritual leader. He is a person who is said to be an incarnation of Buddha. When the Dalai Llama dies, his spirit is thought to enter the body of a baby boy. Monks search the country for a baby who is born at the same time the Dalai Llama dies. Since China invaded Tibet they have exiled the Dalai Lama from his country, and he now lives in India with many of his religious followers where he works to help the forlorn people of Tibet.
Peaceful demonstrations, protests, speeches, and writings by Tibetan people have resulted in deaths, and thousands of arrests, which lead to the torture of these political prisoners and gives them almost no chance of ever being released.
China is a communist country and when Tibet was taken over by the Chinese government China forced its laws on Tibet. The Chinese government promised Tibet the right to be a self-governing country. The Chinese government also promised that there would be no change in the governing of Tibet and the Tibetans would have the freedom of religion. In order to inforce these promises the Chinese government formed committees which were composed of Tibetans and Chinese delegates. These committees worked as local governments in each assigned area. The Chinese government began to take a tighter hold on Tibet, by taking the radio, the newspaper, the banks and food shops. Chinese took over the majority of the jobs of local government officials and teachers.
Tibetans have tried to gain more rights and freedoms by demonstrating peacefully, but these demonstrations have only resulted in death. China is a communist country that has been forcing its unjust laws on the people of Tibet. I
In Huairou, China a workshop called "Women and Development in Tibet" was held. It was sponsored by Tibetan women in exile who were oppressed and beaten by the Chinese police. One Buddhist nun in exile said, "Within five minutes I was taken and beaten by police." She also said that for three months she had to endure beatings and rapes by the guards. During the workshops Chinese policemen were present in disguises. They were taking pictures and videotaping people who joined the Tibetan forces against China.
These are only a few of the awful things that are happening in Tibet right now. These violations must be stopped immediately. We cannot turn our backs on the helpless people of Tibet who plead for our aid. If the power the Chinese have over Tibet is not taken away, millions more people could be annihilated in Tibet.
Tibet has been occupied and controlled by the Chinese government since the early 1950's. Since then the human rights of manyTibetans have been grossly violated. Over one million Tibetans have been brutally murdered for demonstrating peacefully, and also for just refusing to comply with the Chinese government.
A resolution to the many problems in Tibet is yet to come, but people around the world are working together to help the people of Tibet. The biggest problem is that not many people are aware of the situation in Tibet. The location of this broken country leaves Tibet isolated from most of the world. The Chinese government also prohibits any Tibetans from fleeing the country. Aliens are also rarely allowed in or out of Tibet, and because of this we do not really see what goes on inside the borders of this country.
The most important thing in helping the Tibetans right now is to educate people around the world of this situation. A human rights organization called "Students for a Free Tibet" has been working to teach students around the world about the history of Tibet and its ongoing dilemma. "Students for a Free Tibet" have been trying to take knowledge and turn it into action to help the people of Tibet through non-violent social, economic, and political campaigns. In order to increase awareness among young people, SFT has sponsored concerts such as the Tibetan Freedom Concert, HORDE Festival, and Lollapalooza. SFT are also planning to meet with the Dalai Llama of Tibet later this year.
Amnesty International is another human rights organization that is active with Tibet and its problems. They have sponsored letter writing campaigns to various leaders around the world asking for help in Tibet.
Hopefully in the time to come Tibetans will receive their long awaited freedom, and they will at last be an independent country. In order for this to happen, we must all work together to help the people of Tibet. Absolute power of Tibet must be taken away from the Chinese so once again Tibet will be a free country with the rights of free citizens.
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(September 3, 1995)
2. Koppel, Andrea. "Tibetan women tell of oppression and abuse." CNN World News,
(September 3, 1995)
3. Chinoy, Mike. "Exiled Tibetans sustain culture from afar." CNN World News. 1996.
4."Dalai Lama calls for pressure on China over Tibet." CNN WOrld News. 1996.
5. "Tibet" The World Book Encyclopedia. Vol. 19, page 276. World Book INC, 1991. Chicago, Illnois.