March 31 1959 Dalai Lama Exile Begins

On March 31st 1959, the Dalai Lama fled the Chinese suppression of a national uprising in Tibet, and crossed the border into India, where he was granted political asylum.

Born as Tensin Gyatso on 6th July 1935 in Taktser, China, he was designated the 14th Dalai Lama in 1940, a position that eventually made him the religious and political leader of Tibet. At the beginning of the 20th century, Tibet increasingly came under Chinese control, and in 1950 communist China invaded the country. One year later, a Tibetan-Chinese agreement was signed in which the nation became a “national autonomous region” of China, supposedly under the traditional rule of the Dalai Lama but actually under the control of a Chinese communist commission. The highly religious people of Tibet, who practice a unique form of Buddhism, suffered under communist China’s anti-religious legislation.

After years of scattered protests, a full-scale revolt broke out in March 1959, and the Dalai Lama was forced to flee as the uprising was crushed by Chinese troops. On March 31, 1959, he began a permanent exile in India, settling at Dharamsala in Punjab, where he established a democratically based shadow Tibetan government. Back in Tibet, the Chinese adopted brutal repressive measures against the Tibetans, provoking charges from the Dalai Lama of genocide. With the beginning of the Cultural Revolution in China, the Chinese suppression of Tibetan Buddhism escalated, and practice of the religion was banned and thousands of monasteries were destroyed.

Although the ban was lifted in 1976, protests in Tibet continued, and the exiled Dalai Lama won widespread international support for the Tibetan independence movement. In 1989, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in recognition of his nonviolent campaign to end the Chinese domination of Tibet.



Categories: History

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5 replies

  1. Thank you for posting this. Namaste!

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  2. Was 11 years old when this happened – amazing man. Great job!

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  3. Reblogged this on Radhika Bauerle Radhika Puranam and commented:
    Something to think about….

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  4. Dalai Lama and Gandhi – the same spectrum – emerging centers of will and The Great Game continues. Thanks.

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  5. It’s hard to believe that so much time has past. It strikes me as comforting that looking ahead always seem so far off and slow in coming. If it ever came at the speed that matches looking back over time, we’d have no time to think or make ourselves into better people. Thanks for posting. –Rick

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