In September 1949, Communist China, without any provocation, invaded eastern Tibet and captured Chamdo on 19 October 1950. On November 11, 1950, the Tibetan Government protested to the United Nations against the Chinese aggression. Although El Salvador raised the question, discussions on the issue in the General Assembly was postponed at the instances of Great Britain and India.
On November 17, 1950, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama assumed full Spiritual and Temporal power as the Head of the State although he was barely sixteen years old. On May 23, 1951, a Tibetan delegation, which had gone to Peking to hold talks on the incision, was forced to sign the so-called “17-Point Agreement on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet”. with threat of more military action in Tibet. The Chinese then used this document to carry out their plans to turn Tibet into a colony of China disregarding the strong resistance by the Tibetan people.
On September 9, 1951 thousands of Chinese troops marched into Lhasa. On March 10, 1959, the nation-wide Tibetan resistance culminated in the Tibetan National Uprising against the Chinese, who retaliated with ruthless force. Thousands of men, women and children were massacred in the streets of Lhasa and elsewhere.
On March 17, 1959, the Dalai Lama left Lhasa to seek political asylum in India. He was followed by over 80,000 Tibetan refugees. Never before in their long history has so many Tibetans been forced to leave their homeland under such difficult circumstances. There are now more than 130,000 Tibetan refugees all over the world.
Under Chinese Rule:
- More than 1.2 million Tibetans have been killed.
- Over 6,000 monasteries have been destroyed.
- Thousands of Tibetans are still imprisoned for exercising their fundamental rights.
- Tibet’s natural resources and fragile ecology are being irreversibly destroyed.
- There is evidence suggesting that Tibet is being used for dumping of nuclear wastes.
- Tibetans (6 million) have been outnumbered by Chinese (7.5 million) in Tibet.
- Tibet, once a peaceful buffer state between India and China, has been transformed into a vast military base.