The International Campaign for Tibet expresses our solidarity with the Tibetan people on the 62nd anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising of March 10, 1959.
On that day in 1959, Tibetans assembled in Lhasa and rose up to protest China’s invasion of their homeland, a historically independent country. Subsequently, the Dalai Lama was forced to flee into exile.
China has ruled Tibet with an iron fist since then, and the situation has continued to deteriorate. Tibet is now tied with Syria as the least-free region in the world, according to the latest rankings from Freedom House, issued on March 3, 2021.
But outside of Tibet, the Dalai Lama had the farsighted vision to establish institutions in exile that have empowered the Tibetan people to preserve and disseminate to the world their religion, traditions and way of life. At the same time, these institutions have allowed Tibetans to pursue modern education. Today, Tibetan culture and identity truly survive in exile while facing threats to their existence in Tibet.
Additionally, the democratization of the Tibetan community in exile continues with a process in place currently to elect the next leadership of the Central Tibetan Administration.
The Dalai Lama’s commitment to keeping the Tibetan struggle nonviolent in the face of tremendous challenges continues to be an inspiration to ICT and nonviolent movements throughout the world.
The problem in Tibet is far from resolved. There has not been a dialogue process between the Dalai Lama’s envoys and the Chinese leadership since 2010. The international community needs to proactively support the Tibetan people’s peaceful struggle.
As we observe this March 10 anniversary, ICT rededicates itself to promoting human rights and democratic freedoms for the people of Tibet, to promoting a negotiated solution to the Sino-Tibetan conflict through negotiations, and to fulfilling the vision of the Dalai Lama.