54th Tibetan Uprising Anniversary


Alex Hamasaki, Student InternLast Modified: 11:50 a.m. DST, 11 March 2013

Tibetan Monk, Photo by Romain Barrabas

TIBET - On March 10, 2013, Tibetans marked the 54th anniversary of the uprising against the People’s Republic of China in Tibet.

Known as "Tibetan Uprising Day," exiles from across Asia and Europe demonstrated to mark the failed uprising against Chinese rule. In Europe, thousands of Tibetans marched in Brussels to press the European Union to reach out to China to end its repression.

In Nepal, Nepalese authorities have arrested 18 people in the capital Kathmandu based on the suspicion of “anti-China activities.” What is meant by anti-Chinese activities remains unclear at this time.

Tibetan activists in Kathmandu are concerned about the curtailment of Tibetan expression in Nepal.

On February 13, a Tibetan monk set himself on fire in Kathmandu. Overall, more than 100 Tibetans have self-immolated in protest against Chinese rule since 2009.

China claims that Tibet has always been part of their territory, but Tibet claims to have been virtually independent until Chinese troops invaded in the 1950s.

Compromise for Tibet’s independence seems grim. Tibet’s location is vital to China’s national security, as Tibet protects the core of China. China further fears the result of Indian and Tibetan relations; India has had as history of hosting Buddhist Tibetans, and China sees this as an attempt to undermine Chinese power.

Tibet further represents the single biggest ethnic challenge in China. If China allows Tibetan autonomy, this would threaten China’s control and integrity over their other territories.

China also receives 30% of their fresh water from Tibet, and has created plans on using the water systems in Tibet as sources of hydropower.

In China, Tibetans have no right to protest about their situation; peaceful demonstrations even met with military crackdowns. Those found protesting are arrested and tortured, China deeming the actions such as waving a Tibetan flag and distributing leaflets of information as “splittist” or “subversive.”

China has stepped up tactics within the last few months to discourage protests, jailing and detaining people it says has incited unrest.

Follow Alex Hamasaki on Twitter
Twitter: @nahmias_report Student Intern: @aghamasaki