The International Campaign for Tibet expresses our solidarity with the Tibetan people on the 63rd anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising of March 10, 1959.

On March 10, 1959, Tibetans rose up as one to oppose China’s occupation and call for their right to determine their own affairs. Sixty-three years later, the situation in Tibet has only deteriorated. Tibet is the least-free country on Earth, in a tie with South Sudan and Syria, according to new rankings from the watchdog group Freedom House on Feb. 24, 2022.

On March 10, 1959, tens of thousands of Tibetans surrounded the Norbulingka palace in Lhasa in an attempt to protect the Dalai Lama.

Sixty-three years of occupation by China have not reduced the reverence and loyalty the Tibetan people have for the Dalai Lama and the values that he represents. This is a strong message to the Chinese government. 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.

Recently, the crisis in Ukraine and the plight of the Ukrainian people have also been of serious concern to the international community. Like the Tibetans, a smaller community is facing direct attack and threats to its survival from a larger, more powerful neighbor. We express undaunted solidarity with the Ukrainian people and believe that peace-loving people throughout the world should be behind them.

The world community failed in supporting the Tibetan people as the Chinese army marched into Tibet in 1949. Today, 73 years later, 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.

We urge the international community to proactively support the Tibetan people’s peaceful struggle. We call upon the Chinese government to understand that resolving the issue of Tibet through negotiations with the representatives of the Dalai Lama is the only viable solution to this decades-long problem.

Today there is a new generation of Tibetans who have grown up in Tibet. Despite the fact that they do not have any direct experience of life before the Chinese occupation, these young people take pride in their language, culture, traditions and spiritualism, which are constantly targeted by the Chinese government.

As we observe this March 10 anniversary, we stand in solidarity with Tibetans in Tibet in their quest for freedom and justice.