Tibet – Occupied since 1950

Imagine If  Your Country Was Invaded …

  • Imagine the UK overrun and occupied by a powerful and merciless neighbour.

  • Imagine every cathedral, parish church, country house and town hall reduced to rubble to wipe out our national identity and culture.

  • Imagine that one in every four of your friends, family and colleagues had been killed in the systematic suppression of your way of life and values

  • Imagine all this and you are beginning to grasp the reality of life in Tibet for more than 45 years since its invasion by China.

Illegally Occupied by China since 1950

In 1950 the Chinese invaded Tibet claiming they were invited to liberate Tibet from Western Imperialism, and would leave when requested to do so. Now, over 45 years later, China still illegally occupies Tibet, in defiance of international law, UN resolutions and the wishes of the Tibetan people.

The Tragedy in Tibet since 1950

  • Over 1.2 million Tibetans have died in the widespread programme of imprisonment, torture and executions;

  • 120,000 Tibetans have fled their country, risking their lives, for uncertain lives as refugees in India, Nepal and elsewhere;

  • Tibet’s unique culture and Buddhist religion have been systematically suppressed, with the destruction of over 6,000 monasteries and public buildings;

  • China has looted Tibet’s enormous mineral wealth, natural resources and priceless art treasures, transporting them back to China to fuel its own economic growth;

  • An Apartheid system is in place. Following mass migration of Chinese into Tibet, the economy is now dominated by these immigrants who hold all the best jobs. Employment prospects for Tibetans are virtually nonexistent.

  • Coercive birth control policies, including enforced abortion and sterilisation, are completing the policies of wiping out Tibet’s identity for ever.

Has nothing been done?

The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s head of state and religious leader, was 16 when the Chinese invaded his country. He tried to negotiate, but the Chinese refused. In 1959 a popular uprising of Tibetans was brutally suppressed with the deaths of at least 87,000 Tibetans. The Dalai Lama and 100,000 Tibetans fled to exile in India, which he has used as a base for forty years to pursue a non-violent path towards a solution.

The world has wrung its collective hands for most of the past 50 years. Britain particularly has a special responsibility, having had diplomatic relations with Tibet since 1904. When Britain withdrew from India, it gave assurances to the Tibetan government that it would support Tibet’s right to manage its own affairs. When the Chinese invaded, Britain ignored this promise, failing even to support Tibet at the United Nations following the 1959 uprising. Recognising this injustice, a group of sympathisers established the Tibet Society of the UK – the world’s first group to support Tibet.

Is there any hope?

Yes, but it will require continued and increased support for the Tibetan people to make this hope a reality. Parliamentarians and other influential people in many countries are now speaking out. Western public opinion in support of Tibet is greater than ever before. By joining the Tibet Society, you are supporting the cause of Tibet – every person makes a difference.

The Tibet Relief Fund, the charitable arm of the Tibet Society, was established initially to support the refugees coming out of Tibet in 1959. Today it works to fund educational, medical, cultural and other projects within the Tibetan refugee communities, and has recently begun to fund projects within Tibet itself. We consider it vital to support the Tibetan people in exile, so that they will be able to return eventually to their country with the necessary skills and education to run their own affairs. Supporting Tibetan refugees now is a powerful statement of our belief that eventually Tibet will be independent once more.

The tireless campaign by the Dalai Lama is the world’s greatest example of Peace in Action, and has inspired countless people around the world. Will you add your voice to the many people now supporting of Tibet?

Will you make a difference?

Joining the Tibet Society makes a difference. Your support allows us to continue:

  • Providing vital support to the Tibetan refugee communities.

  • Supporting new educational and other initiatives for the Tibetan people within Tibet.

  • Raising public awareness: the Tibet Society has co-hosted.

  • Sponsoring education of refugee children in India and Nepal.

  • Publishing up-to-date information on the situation in Tibet and the worldwide campaign for independence.

  • Organising lectures and cultural events, using experienced speakers.

Your support is vital. By joining the Tibet Society you lend your voice to the growing world support for the Tibetan people. Members receive the Society’s informative and authoritative quarterly Journal and a range of other opportunities and services.

If you wish to become more active, the Society can provide support for your action, including:

  • Writing to your MP, MEP, local and national newspapers.

  • Organising a talk on the current situation in Tibet: we can provide speakers and information.

  • Organising a local group or local fundraising events.

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