The Circumstances in Tibet

I wrote an article for The News Hub about the circumstances that are occurring in Tibet, unknown to many. I highlight the injustices and atrocities that China are committing on the people and the natural country of Tibet.

The country of Tibet is under threat. I had no idea until I visited Mcleod Ganj, home to hundreds of Tibetan refugees in North India- that this was happening. Swept under the rug by dominating news channels because of wanting to maintain stable ties with the superpower China, the situation within Tibet is unheard of by a large proportion of the population in western countries, meaning notice and attention is not given to the people of Tibet. With this article, I am hoping to highlight the atrocities China has committed upon this independent country.

Tibet, located to the south west of China, would historically be the tenth largest nation in the world, however due to the country being torn apart by the greed and power of China, a fraction of the country remains as the area of Tibet. For centuries the land was fertile and agricultural, filled with local trade and commerce which was enough to support the people’s own industry and future generations. Life was peaceful due to the influence of Tibetan Buddhism and tranquil. With unique statehood, and an individual cultural history as well as their own language, Tibet is an entirely different country to that of China. Tibet for over century’s continuously fought off Chinese war lords and any other intruders wanting to occupy Tibet for their own needs. After years of threat, the 13th Dalai Lama brought a period of self-governance and nonviolence, a period of stability.

Unfortunately, this all ultimately changed for Tibet in 1949. Under the pretence that Tibet has always been a part of the Republic of China because it was once run by emperors from China (who had invaded in the first place) centuries ago, Tibet was attacked by the strong unified People’s Liberation Army, slaughtering any who stood in their path. At the time of the attack, negotiations were being made between the government of Tibet and China- however one can see that with the unexpected  military advance of China, the well-being of the Tibetan people were never truly in their interests. Attacking a fragile peaceful community, Tibet was an easy target. Since this pivotal year, Tibet’s livelihood and statehood has spiralled out of control.

The governor of Tibet, the Dalai Lama, was forced to flee from Tibet as he was persecuted by the Chinese government, forcing him to encourage the heritage of Tibetan people to be replaced by Chinas. Crossing the wilderness and mountains into North India with many other Tibetans who successfully escaped, they started a new life in Mcleod Ganj where the Tibetan government in exile resides. Every day is a struggle as the Dalai Lama faces China’s accusations of his implementations and aims of justice, as the slaughtering of innocent Tibetans occurs daily.

With the influx of Chinese soldiers continuously being positioned in the now titled “Autonomous region of Tibet”, military presence shapes and strains the Tibetan community. Religious and cultural artefacts and places of worship have been desecrated as a means to extinguish Tibetan culture. The environment which Tibetans once titled “the roof of the world”, has been destructed and transformed into damming projects and Chinese mining, leading millions of Tibetan nomads to face barrack like urban settlements, where they face poverty, unemployment and social exclusion. Tibet has become a manufacturing land for Chinese immigrants, a land of “extra space” to build their ever increasing economy. Once where there were beautiful natural landscapes and peaceful people- now are mass factory dwellings where Tibetans are the minority in their own country.

Tibetans are forced to speak mandarin and any sign of resistance will be punishable by death. As religion is an important element in Tibetan’s heritage, and the Dalai Lama being a fundamental aspect of Tibetan Buddhism, the support of Dalai Lama, even by possessing a picture of him, can be punishable by arrest or torture. This manipulation and restriction by China towards anyone who opposes their greedy and unimaginable horror to another country and its population can be seen in their relationships with political leaders. David Cameron when visiting the Dalai Lama, himself and the UK was consequently frozen for three years with any relations with China. Surely this selfish and irrational behaviour is an indicator that China is in the wrong here? Members of the public and nuns protest, self-immolate and fast to raise awareness for the pain, the suffering and the wrong they are facing in their country, when will the west do something about it?

Michael Van Welt, lawyer and professor at Advanced Study says: “from a legal standpoint, Tibet has to this day not lost it statehood. It is an independent state under illegal occupation”. China, illegally occupying the country and violating human rights, cultural livelihood and transferring civilians to occupied territory means that every act they are doing, not only is eradicating a country and its population, but is prohibited. It is like for example, England invading Scotland saying that England has a claim to its country, whilst Wales sits back and does nothing. We need to raise awareness and the plea of the vulnerable Tibetans in Tibet and help free them.

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