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History

March 10 1959 Tibetans Revolt Against China


The Dalai Lama In 1959

On March 10th 1959, Tibetans banded together in revolt, surrounding the summer palace of the Dalai Lama in defiance of Chinese occupation forces.

China’s occupation of Tibet began nearly a decade before, in October 1950, when troops from its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) invaded the country, barely one year after the Communists gained full control of mainland China.

The Tibetan government gave into Chinese pressure the following year, signing a treaty that ensured the power of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the country’s spiritual leader, over Tibet’s domestic affairs.

Resistance to the Chinese occupation built steadily over the next several years, including a revolt in several areas of eastern Tibet in 1956. By December 1958, rebellion was simmering in Lhasa, the capital, and the PLA command threatened to bomb the city if order was not maintained.

The March 1959 uprising in Lhasa was triggered by fears of a plot to kidnap the Dalai Lama and take him to Beijing. When Chinese military officers invited His Holiness to visit the PLA headquarters for a theatrical performance and official tea, he was told he must come alone, and that no Tibetan military bodyguards or personnel would be allowed past the edges of the military camp.

On March 10, 300,000 loyal Tibetans surrounded Norbulinka Palace, preventing the Dalai Lama from accepting the PLA’s invitation. By March 17, Chinese artillery was aimed at the palace, and the Dalai Lama was evacuated to neighboring India. Fighting broke out in Lhasa two days later, with Tibetan rebels hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned.

Early on March 21, the Chinese began shelling Norbulinka, slaughtering tens of thousands of men, women and children still camped outside. In the aftermath, the PLA cracked down on Tibetan resistance, executing the Dalai Lama’s guards and destroying Lhasa’s major monasteries along with thousands of their inhabitants.

China’s stranglehold on Tibet and its brutal suppression of separatist activity has continued in the decades following the unsuccessful uprising. Tens of thousands of Tibetans followed their leader to India, where the Dalai Lama has long maintained a government-in-exile in the foothills of the Himalayas.

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About Craig Hill

General Manager at Craig Hill Training Services * Get an Australian diploma by studying in your own country * Get an Australian diploma using your overseas study and work experience * Diplomas can be used for work or study in Australia and other countries. * For more information go to www.craighill.net

Discussion

5 thoughts on “March 10 1959 Tibetans Revolt Against China

  1. Dalai Lama is a nice person. I love to hear his thought. he is unarmed but Chinesse government put him as a dangerous enemy

    Like

    Posted by kofegeek | March 10, 2012, 1:37 am
  2. interesting facts Craig. Thanks so much!!!
    Have a nice day,
    xandi

    Like

    Posted by xandimusic | March 10, 2012, 6:27 am
  3. Hi,
    It is all so very sad. Of course in a perfect world we would all live together happily, but unfortunately for some, power and money means a lot more.

    Like

    Posted by magsx2 | March 10, 2012, 6:39 am
  4. Nice article,well timed.

    Like

    Posted by ahilanraman | March 10, 2012, 7:04 am
  5. fantastic article! Hurts to read!

    Like

    Posted by ~mimo~ | March 10, 2012, 11:19 pm

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