History of Tibet
Tibet was occupied in 1950 by the People's Republic of China. Since then, torture, political, religious and cultural oppression has prevailed. The Chinese authorities have destroyed the traditional livelihood of farmers and nomads through ruthless forced collectivisation. They destroyed over 6,000 monasteries, temples and historic buildings, the centres of Tibetan culture and religion. Until today, over 1 million Tibetans have lost their lives due to the Chinese military rule, through starvation, execution, torture, terror and taking of one’s own life.
The mass of Chinese settlers into Tibet, forced sterilisations and forced abortions on Tibetan women represent a further threat to the survival of the Tibetan people. These inhumane policies make Tibetans a minority in their own country and results in the loss of their national identity and culture. The Tibetans are a distinct people. Through its culture, religion, writing, language, and an originally separate political and economic system, Tibet differs distinctively from China. Tibet is a country with a long historical past and rich cultural heritage.
Tibet as an Independent State
Tibet has been a fully independent state since the re-assertion of independence by the 13th Dalai Lama in 1913 up to the illegal occupation by the People's Republic of China in 1951. This has also been confirmed by the International Commission of Jurists in their 1960 report on the Tibet issue. It reported that Tibet had been occupied by China by force in 1949, that the criteria for an independent state had been fulfilled: a people with its own territory and its own functioning government.
Recent History Until Today
For the first time in Tibetan history, in 2008, ahead of the Olympic Games, Tibetans from all three provinces of Tibet almost simultaneously rose up and for weeks and months dominated international headlines. A huge pressure on the Chinese leadership was created worldwide to make a step towards the Dalai Lama in the Tibet issue.
In addition to daily reports of arrests and torture, the growing number of self-immolations in Tibet since March 2011 are most shocking. Especially young Tibetans are protesting in this way against Chinese repression. Officially the current figure stands at 126 of mostly young Tibetans protesting by setting themselves on fire (14/02/2014).