Tag Archives: exile

Tibetans in Paris March for Freedom – Tibetan National Uprising Day

Hundreds took to the streets of Paris on Wednesday in honor of the 51st Tibetan National Uprising Day. While holding signs reading, “Stop the Torture in Tibet” and shouting messages of “Hu Jintao: Assassin!”, demonstrators marched along the Seine towards the Chinese embassy, where the group strengthened its calls for freedom.

For the Tibetan exiled community, National Uprising Day is one of the most important events of the year, alongside New Year festivities in February. The day marks the anniversary of March 10th, 1959, when Tibetans in the capital city of Lhasa rose up against their nearly 9 years of Chinese occupation. Despite the Tibetans’ peaceful protest, a bloody battle ensued and almost 90,000 Tibetans were killed. Exiled communities worldwide use the day as a platform to promote justice for Tibet.

Protesters march towards the Chinese embassy in Paris

As per tradition, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, made a statement from his home in Dharamsala, India. He reiterated his desire for Tibet’s autonomy, despite Beijing’s continually hard-line stand. The Dalai Lama called on Tibetans to respect others, educate themselves and continue working to preserve Tibetan language and culture. He also expressed the need for China’s 1.3 billion citizens to have free access to information and greater transparency within the country.

Tseyang, a board member of the Communaut√© Tib√©taine de France, who jointly organized the Paris demonstration with La Maison du Tibet, hopes that the day’s protest will bring some sort of change within the current Sino-Tibetan dialogue.

“The Chinese government should try to better understand the situation,” she said as she marched, “Tibet and China are in their ninth round of talks and there are still no concrete results.”

A young Tibetan supporter

The Dalai Lama sent envoys to Beijing at the end of January to resume negotiations between China and Tibet, which again were fruitless. International intervention has not yet produced any significant change for the Tibet issue, which often gets pushed under the table due to Chinese pressure or in favor of more pressing political concerns. U.S. President Barack Obama met the Dalai Lama last month, resulting in angry reactions from the Chinese government.

Sonam Topgyl, an exiled Tibetan living in Paris, believes that the Uprising Day protest will be useful in its ability to bring light to the situation in Tibet and to show China that Tibetans are still fighting for freedom. “When it comes to politics, it’s difficult. But what France can do is to talk about the Tibetan situation to the rest of the world,” he said. Uprising Day demonstrations were planned for today in cities across France, as well as in other parts of the globe.

Above all, Sonam hopes that talking about Tibet will one day result in real change. Holding his Tibetan flag high in the air as he marched, he said, “What I would like is for Tibet to have the same rights as in France – culture, religion, everything.”

The demonstration finished in front of the Wall for Peace overlooking the Eiffel Tower

Tibetans remember, this uprising day

Today the Dalai Lama, speaking before crowds from his home-in-exile of Dharamsala, India, condemned China’s handling of Tibetans and the issue of Tibet in a poignant Tibetan Uprising Day address. His Holiness severely changed gears from his normally nonconfrontational and soft approach to China’s rule over Tibet, stating that the last five decades had brought suffering and destruction to his people.

Dalai Lama Marks Fifty Years In Exile

Fifty years ago on this day, Tibetans rose up against Chinese rule on the streets of Lhasa, Tibet. The thousands of deaths in that fight for freedom has since been referred to as Tibetan Uprising Day. In remembrance of those who fought in the struggle, Tibetan communities across the globe have since organized annual peaceful protests on March 10th.

What continues to mystify Western audiences is the way the story of the Tibetan freedom struggle is twisted in the Chinese media. Or should we, as Westerners, assume that Tibetans were indeed poor, miserable slaves before the Chinese “liberated” them? Following the Dalai Lama’s address today, I ran across so many conflicting reports about the history and present situation in Tibet that one could easily be fooled into thinking that the whole Sino-Tibetan debacle was a sham.

However, after living in Dharamsala and working directly with the Tibetan people, I can no more say that violence, discrimination and murder of Tibetans did and does not exist than can I say that slavery was not utilised against the black community in America or the extermination of Jews did not happen during the Holocaust. What Tibetans did and still face in Tibet, not to mention the thousands who have fled their homeland over the years in order to free themselves of religious and political persecution by the Chinese, is real and tangible and displayed by free presses around the world for all to see.

Yet for some reason, China is still feeding its people with lies upon lies. It still seems to feel the need to prove something, to show that it is the big fish in the pond by “claiming” Tibet as its own. Regardless of what history proves (that Tibet was indeed its own country at one point), what does it matter to China that Tibet is a part of their country? Already claiming roughly the same sized land mass as the United States with three times the population, China is the fourth largest country in the world. Why does it need Tibet?

With so many unanswered questions, a good place to start would be with a few snippets that have been floating around cyber space today. Only by reading between the lines will any of us get to the real truth about what is going on in Tibet, and force the Chinese government to start making some changes.

Displaced Tibetans Protest On Streets Of Kathmandu

Dalai Lama’s utter distortion of Tibet history

(March 10, 2009 – Xinua News Agency)

BEIJING, March 10 (Xinhua) — On March 10, 1959, the Dalai Lama and his supporters started an armed rebellion in a desperate attempt to preserve Tibet’s feudal serfdom and split the region from China.

On Tuesday, exactly 50 years later, the Dalai Lama claimed that Tibetans have been living in “hell on earth,” as if the Tibet under the former feudal serfdom ruled by him were a heaven.

The Dalai Lama also alleged at a gathering in India’s Dharamsala to mark his 50 years in exile that “these 50 years have brought untold suffering and destruction to the land and people of Tibet.”

Unfortunately, the Dalai Lama has not only been on the wrong side of history, but also has got the history upside down. Miseries of “hell on earth” and “untold suffering” occurred nowhere but in the slavery Tibet symbolized by the Dalai Lama. (…)



Dalai Lama to speak out 50 years after failed uprising

(March 10, 2009 – AFP)

(…) Chinese troops entered the devoutly Buddhist region in 1950 to “liberate” it from feudal rule, according to Beijing, but Chinese control there remains widely unpopular.

Beijing has accused the Dalai Lama of seeking to split the Himalayan territory from China. But the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner has repeatedly said he is only pursuing autonomy for Tibet.

“For the last 50 years we have been living in India as exiles and there is some heartburn now,” said Tenzin Norsang, general secretary of the influential Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), which wants outright independence for Tibetans.

Tibetan lobby groups are mustering supporters to launch protests after the Dalai Lama’s address on Tuesday.

“Up to 10,000 people will join our movement, which aims to escalate tensions with China,” said Tenzin Choeying, president of Students for Free Tibet, which also campaigns for independence.

“Anything can happen, as these protests will be spectacular,” he said on the eve of the anniversary. “We intend to embarrass China.” (….)



Dalai Lama criticises China on 50th anniversary of Tibet uprising

(March 10, 2009 – Deutsch Welle)

Tibet’s spiritual leader has condemned China on the 50th anniversary of an uprising against Chinese rule in the province. The Dalai Lama said the past five decades had brought untold suffering and destruction to the land and its people, and added that Tibetan culture was nearing extinction. Addressing supporters in the Indian hill town of Dharmsala, he also accused Beijing of launching a brutal crackdown in the Himalayan province since last year’s anti-Chinese protests. (….)


Dalai Lama Marks Fifty Years In Exile