Tibet: 50 years on the world remembers
This weekend saw the beggining of the marking of the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising of 10th of March 1959, through marchs and protests around the world. Despite 50 years of efforts by the Dalai Lama and the international community, Tibetans continue to be stripped of their basic human rights and identity; by means of,among many things and perhaps in many ways a more subversive and pervasive way of eradication; what is being called a 're-education policy', under which for example, Tibetan monks and nuns are forced to denounce their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. In the past, during the Uprising and the Cultural Revolution of the 60s and 70s, a great part of Tibet's cultural and religious heritage was destroyed; throughout human history, it has been proven time and again, that the eradication of a people's culture is an effective weapon because dehumanisation of a people, brakes its sense of identity and eases assimilation. During the Uprising it is estimated that 87,000 Tibetans lost their lives and this still continues today along with reports of forced abortion imposed on Tibetans and mass sterilization.
The increasingly hard-line policies of the Chinese Government towards Tibet are further increasing tensions and last year, monks demonstrated, leading to widespread protests in the country against these policies. During these protests, hundreds were killed by Chinese military for the basic right to protest. Although Tibet is identified as being an autonomous region (commonly referred to Tibet Autonomous Regions or TAR), the reality is that the Chairman of this region is subordinate to the Communist Party of China, the very same government that has been trying to overrun it for 50 years. This does not certainly ammount to autonomy. But Tibetans are not asking for independence from China either; all they are asking is for their basic human rights and real autonomy, even as part of China if need be, which certainly does not seem like a lot to ask from an increasingly powerful country such as China.