The Truth about Tibet: Hear Their Stories

Mar 11, 2013

Today is Tibetan National Uprising Day

Today, you have an opportunity to show your solidarity with the people of Tibet.

Learn the history of Tibetan resistance & the significance of Tibetan Uprising day, read about the ongoing repression of the Tibetan people in Chinese occupied Tibet and discover how you can take action. 

The Past

For over six decades, Tibet has been under Chinese occupation. The People’s Liberation Army in 1950, markedly the inception of a campaign to brutally repress the religion and culture of Tibetans, garrisoned the independent nation. Initially, the People's Republic of China implemented an ostensibly ‘accommodating’ policy- allowing the Dalai Lama to retain his authoritative position, agreeing to allow Tibet to self-govern and respecting Tibetans freedom of religion - all the meanwhile covertly undermining Tibetan authority, confiscating land from the Tibetan aristocracy, looting monasteries, and introducing Communist propaganda.

By the mid-1950's, the Chinese government needed to secure the strategically crucial region in order to enact the next stage of their plan. The 'neccesity' compelled the PRC to accelerate their Tibetan social transformation scheme. The PRC's pace of monastery and temple destruction escalated and hundreds of thousands of monks and nuns were driven out from their religious communities. Anti-Chinese protests sprouted up throughout the region, dissidents becoming more fervent each year. With rumors of the PRC's intention to depose of the Dalai Lama, demonstrations reached their apex in the March 1959 Tibetan uprising. Tens of thousands of Tibetans assembled around the Dalai Lama's home, vowing to protect the Tibetan leader with their lives. The Dalai Lama, under the threat of capture, imprisonment and even death, was forced to flee to India where he remains exiled. 

The PRC consolidated their control after the abortive "Lhasa Uprising" and the Communist Party of China implemented the Great Leap Forward, a campaign that motivated one of the deadliest mass killings in history. No group suffered more than the Tibetans during this time, 1 in 5 dying from 1959 to 1962.  

Despite variations in China's policies over the years, there has always been a continuity of extreme repression of the Tibetan’s way of life. The Chinese government's relentless desire to destroy the independent and distinct Tibetan identity has only become more inflamed.

The Present

The peaceful protests of 2008, demonstrative of the ineffectiveness of China's control and the strength of Tibetan culture, led to a response of heightened repression. Over the last 5 years, the Chinese government has overtly replaced Tibetan textbooks with Chinese textbooks in an attempt to erase the Tibetan language, detained writers, singers and entertainers as an act of cultural repression and even installed civilian cadres in Tibetan monasteries so to monitor monks and impose curriculums designed to denigrate the Dalai Lama and destroy that aspect of Tibetan Buddhism. Regardless of the Chinese government’s attempts to suppress Tibetan identity, Tibetans have held on firmly to their beliefs and traditions. However, their long struggle to persevere in the face of oppression has prompted Tibetans to resort to another, more desperate, form of protest. Since 2009, more than 100 Tibetans have self-immolated in an effort to draw attention to the dire situation of the Tibetan people. Those who have committed suicide by fire have chosen to sacrifice their lives in order to raise attention to the despair of their people.

The Tibetan people have had to endure an assault on their culture; their language; their religion and ultimately, their identity for the last 63 years. Without world recognition and support, these gross human rights abuses will continue unabated and the people of Tibet will continue to suffer.


Today, March 10, marks the 54th Anniversary of Tibetans National Uprising Day.  Today, Tibetans and supporters from all around the world will join together to commemorate the major protests of 1959 and draw attention to the Tibetan struggle for survival.  

Take this opportunity to say ENOUGH by standing together for Tibet and join a protest near you! 



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3 Generations

New York, NY, United States

Project Leader

Jane Wells

3 Generations Founder and President
New York, NY United States

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Map of The Truth about Tibet: Hear Their Stories