Free Tibet

Brief History of Tibet

This video starts with introductory notes from Lhandon Tethong, Executive Director of Students for a free Tibet about Tibet and its history.

She mentions that Tibet’s history is rich with religion and bright colorful traditions of dance and song with influences from China, Nepal and India as their location are near these countries. As much influences came from these countries, Tibet was still isolated in its high elevation gave its own unique identity.

The Invasion of China

In 1949, China invaded the independent nation of Tibet coming from the east. This China communist rule took control of Tibet. In the next ten years, this became a desperate situation for Tibetan government.

Since 1959, the Dalai Lama lived in India along with probably 135,000 Tibetans and the Tibetan government that functions in exile.

Charlotte Priddle of Students for a free Tibet – London mentions that over the next decade, people begin to rise up and fight back. From then repression rate became extremely severe.

The Chinese government was then set to attack anyone that was a Tibetan government official, anyone in the monasteries and nunneries. Over 6,000 monasteries and nunneries were destroyed, tens of thousands Tibetan lives lost.

Anyone found to break Chinese law, were imprisoned and tortured. Some Tibetans have spent more than 30 to 40 years in jail whose crimes were no greater than having a photo of the Dalai Lama in their homes or was caught practicing Tibetan Buddhism.

Tibet Geographic Map

Tibet’s boundaries are not even distinct having various area claims as shown on Wikipedia.

Palden Gyatso – Tibentan Buddhism Monk

In response to the repression of the Tibetan people, a worldwide activism has emerged. Palden Gyatso, a Tibetan Buddhist monk, spent 33 years in prison, whose crime was taking part in a demonstration and putting up a poster. In prison, Palden Gyatso was beaten and brutalized beyond human belief. He would be tied up in ways that even pop out his shoulder joints and he would simply pass out due to the pain. Common instruments of torture, are cattle prods that are meant to be used on cattle electrifying them to make cattle move were used on people. Nuns in prison were raped with these cattle prods. Palden Gaytso has experienced even having these cattle prods inserted in his mouth and this electric shock is so great and has lost all his teeth with a shock.

Cattle Prods and various instruments of torture used by Chinese on Tibetan Prisoners

Above are cattle prods and various instruments of torture used by Chinese on Tibetan prisoners

With the pressure of Amnesty International and a letter writing campaign, Palden Gyatso was released from prison. Unlike many other Tibentan prisoners that may have escape prison that just never want to go back. Palden Gaytso visited the prison once more and bribed the guards to give some of the instruments of tortured used on the prisoners and brought them when he got out of prison going to India. This gave the world a visual vision on the torture prisoners of China have experienced.

“Because violence can only breed more violence and suffering, our struggle must be nonviolent and free of hatred.”

– His Holiness
The Dalai Lama

Faith in Exile – the Lessons of Tibet

Payden Gaytso striking behavior is he has no hatred against the people that did the tortures to him. He has no hatred against the Chinese government. He truly embodies the belief of Tibetan Buddhism, of love and compassion even for one’s enemy.

The Economic Invasion of Tibet

Lorne Stockman, a Environmental Consultant of the Free Tibet Campaign, mentions that Tibet is a rich resource country with many copra reserves, gold reserves and minerals that China desperately needs for its own economic development. Resources are extracted and taken out of the region and brought to China to fuel economies that are not trickled down in any way to the Tibetan economy. For 50 years the Tibetans have been suffering in occupation where they are brutalized if they have any decent in that occupation by the Chinese government. In these 50 years onwards, there has been no signs of China loosening their grip and in fact is tightening it. With the advancement of technology, this has enabled them to extract the natural resources China knew Tibet always had.

The Rush to Complete the Railway to Lhasa

China has been rushing to complete the Gormo-Lhasa railway to Tibet’s capital, Lhasa. Tibetans fear that his railway will give a larger influx of Chinese settlers, and increase the rate of depletion of the already depleted natural resources of Tibet and complete China’s colonization of Tibet.

Under pressure from activist, the British Petroleum has pulled out a deal with China in 2004 and the Chinese government has also been releasing Tibetan political prisoners. Releasing more than 10 since 2002, and yet more than hundreds are still in prison today. Tibetans are still regularly detained, tortured and imprisoned.

Help to free Tibet now

Find out how you can help Tibetan’s nonviolent resistance. Visit the Free Tibet Campaign and Students for a free Tibet.

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