Today is the 55th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising which took place in Tibet’s capital Lhasa on 10th March 1959. This historic event took place as a culmination of events marked by the invasion and occupation of Tibet, subjugation of its people, and pursuit of actions which threatened the life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama under a policy of naked and all-out aggression pursued by the communist government of China. The people of Tibet, being no longer able to endure such a situation, displayed undaunted valour to rise in a spontaneous outburst of uprising. For all the Tibetan compatriots who died untimely deaths, or who have suffered or who to this day continue to suffer oppression for the national religious, political and fellow-nationals’ causes under the yoke of the imperialist and repressive policies of the government of China since that momentous event, we offer our admiration. We take this opportunity to express our appreciation to them and to praise them for their totally selfless and highly courageous deeds. We also use this occasion to offer our tribute to them; to express our solidarity with them; and, indeed, to bow in respect to them all.
Speaking in general terms, it is beyond dispute and a matter of common knowledge everywhere that Tibet and China have evolved as two uniquely different neighbouring countries, whether one speaks about their natural geographical formations, racial ethnicities, cultures, languages, customs and habits, and national histories. Nevertheless, as soon as it seized political power in China, the communist Party of China, using the pretext of a so-called ‘peaceful liberation,’ launched a military invasion of Tibet and occupied the entire territory. Not contended with that, it launched what it called campaigns of Democratic Reform, Cultural Revolution, and so on. Their real aim was to obliterate Tibet’s unique religious and cultural heritage, and people. They were highly atrocious policies of lie, deceit, and brazenness launched on successive occasions and under which countless numbers of innocent Tibetans were put to untimely deaths. These are universally known facts.
It is as a result of the past as well as the still continuing implementation of highly atrocious and deceitful policies of colonialism that the people of Tibet, being unable to endure the situation anymore, staged peaceful protest demonstrations on successive occasions. They did so since the 1980s, including the widespread one which engulfed the whole of Tibet in the Earth-Mouse Year in 2008. The Chinese government carried out savage, inhuman crackdowns on those peaceful demonstrations. Such reprisal actions drove the Tibetan people to even greater desperation and a feeling of utter helplessness. And so, giving up their all, and being driven to do so, they carried out protests by burning themselves, shouting slogans to voice their demands that His Holiness the Dalai Lama be invited back to Tibet, that Tibetans be given freedom, and so on. From the time monk Tapey immolated himself in Ngaba area of Domey in eastern Tibet on 27 February 2009 to the date of 13 February 2014, when Lobsang Dorje did so, also in Ngaba, a total of 126 Tibetans have carried out this form of extreme protest, according to the facts which became available and which have been verified by us. Of them, 108 have died. Within the community of the Tibetans in exile too, a man named Thupten Ngodup immolated himself on 27 April 1998 in India’s capital New Delhi. Since then, until 6 August 2013, when Karma Ngedhon Gyatso torched himself in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, a total of seven Tibetans have carried out such fiery protests. Of them, four died, while the remaining three survived. Read the rest