Casa del Tibet



Recent History of Tibet

The Chinese invasion (1949-1951)

The recently established Chinese Communist Government sent troops to invade Tibet in 1949. A treaty was imposed on the Tibetan Government in May of that year, recognizing its sovereignty over Tibet but likewise recognizing the Tibetan Government's autonomy on the internal affairs of Tibet. As the Chinese affirmed their power they repeatedly violated the treaty and an overt resistence to their control arose. This resistence culminated in the National Uprising of 1959 and the escape to India of the Head of State and spiritual leader of Tibet, the Dalai Lama.

The international community was shocked before the facts of Tibet. The issue of Tibet was debated on several occasions by the General Assembly of the United Nations between 1959 and 1965. The Assembly aproved three resolutions condemning the violations of human rights committed by the Chinese in Tibet and summoning them to respect those rights, including self-determination.

Beyond 1959: destruction

The destruction of Tibetan culture and the oppression of its people was brutal in the twenty years that followed the uprising. A sixth of the country's population, nearly 1,2 million tibetans, died as a result of the policies of China. Many more languished in prison or in forced labor camps. More than 6 thousand monasteries, temples and other cultural and historical buildings were destroyed and sacked.

In 1980, Hu Yaobang, the Communist Party General Secretary, was the first high official to visit Tibet since the invasion. Alarmed by the magnitude of the destruction he saw, he started a set of drastic reforms and a policy of "recovery". It was said that his compulsory renunciation in 1987 was partly due to the result of this vision of Tibet. In 1981, Alexander Solzhenitsyn described the Chinese regime over Tibet as "more brutal and inhuman than any other communist regime in the world". Moderation of the Chinese policies on Tibet did not arrive until 1979 and still today remain quite limited.

Attemps of dialogue between Tibet and China

The Dalai Lama sent two delegations to hold conversations with the Chinese Government and the party leaders in Beijing between 1979 and 1984. The conversations were not successful, for the Chinese were not ready at that moment to discuss about anything essential, except the return of the Dalai Lama from exile. The Dalai Lama has always stressed that his return is not a problem. Instead, the issue that needs to be discussed is the future of the six million Tibetans in Tibet. The Dalai Lama's opinion is that his own return will depend totally on the resolution of the situation and the rights of Tibet and its people.

Some information on Tibet

• On 1959, Tibet was violently invaded by the chinese army.
• 1.200.000 tibetans, a sixth of the population, were murdered.
• More than 6 thousand monasteries, temples and buildings were destroyed.
• More than 130.000 tibetans were forced into exile, including the Dalai lama.
• Human Rights are constantly violated, as reported by international organizations like UNESCO, the European Parliament and Amnesty Internacional, etc.
• Genocide, torture and repression are still present in Tibet today.
• The Panchen Lama, the second spiritual authority of tibetan buddhism, was kidnapped at the age of six together with his family. He is the youngest political prisoner of the world.
• Forced abortions and sterilizations to tibetan women are common practices nowadays in Tibet.
• Tibetan religion, language and culture are forbidden in Tibet.
• The autochthonous fauna is in danger of extinction.
• Nearly 80% of the territory has been deforested.
• A 25% of the intercontinental multiple-headed nuclear missiles of the Chinese Government are in tibetan land. The tibetan soil is used as one of the world's biggest nuclear cemeteries.
• On July 2006 the train Beijing-Lhasa was inaugurated - besides the image of modernity, a millionaire investment to increase the number of chinese settlers in Tibet.
• Currently, more chinese than tibetans live in Tibet: 8 millions chinese and 6 million tibetans.