Tibet's fight for survival in the modern world →
Social, cultural and political factors and the move to Tibetan independence: The push for Tibetan independence was mainly due to the resilience of the Tibetans who never forgot their own identities. In 2008, soon after China had won to hold the summer olympics the tension in Tibet began to rise as the Chinese began to struggle with the rest of the world. The denial of human rights was so severe in Tibet that a Tibetan could be imprisoned for mentioning “Free Tibet”, mentioning Chinese oppression or the Dalai lama's name.There was no freedom of the press or freedom of speech. The cultural revolution of Tibet entailed China clamping down on the Tibetan people, and attempting to remove all religion in a communist way. Although Tibet is in fact a autonomous nation, China has distorted the definition of autonomy and still oppresses Tibet, forcing the people to disown their culture. In 1965 a museum was opened by Mao and the Chinese, deliberately across from the Potala palace (named after the 5th Dalai lama) to confront the people of Tibet and to cease the thought of struggling against the Chinese dictatorship. The placement of the museum about the 'Tibetan Revolution' aimed to mock the Tibetans and remind them of how the ancient capital, Lhasa would be turned into a showplace of modern socialism. This museum presented the culture of Tibet in a damning way including: portraying the buddhist religion as a scam, high ranking lama's taking advantage of monks and nuns, the countries nobles were compared to Russia's serfs and Tibetan nomads were used as proof of chronic underdevelopment. The socialist revolution commenced by Chairman Mao was featured and presented in a positive light, photographs of smiling Tibetans greeting the Chinese adorned the walls. Mao began calling for a “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution”, to remove Tibet's 5000 year old civilisation, the nature of human consciousness and was highly against the essence of a culture. Mao believed religion was poison and told this to the Dalai Lama himself. During the 1990's interest in the oppression of Tibet was going global after the Dalai Lama won the Noble Peace Price in 1989. Through this time period the Tibetans were attempting to preserve their own culture, traditions and civilisation through creating institutes where the youth was taught traditional Tibetan art, artisan, meditation, furniture, rituals,textiles and architecture. During the 'Great Cultural revolution' commenced by the Chinese, many monasteries in Tibet were destroyed and damaged, so during the 1990's Tibetans began to restore the temples and monasteries. Although a common misconception is that Tibetan Buddhism is made up of prayers, chants, prostrations and the turning of prayer wells, Tibetan songs, dances and festivals are a crucial aspect of the religion. Many of these festivals were allowed to continue, although they were immensely altered as the spark of freedom and hope could ignite in the Tibetans.
The roles of key individuals in promoting Tibetan independence
Sydney Wingell was an intrepid adventurer who whilst exploring the Himalayas and aiming to climb the Gurla Mandhata, (25,355ft the highest peak in Chinese-occupied Tibet) was captured and tortured by the Red Army, accused of being a CIA Spy. Wingell stole and hid a Chinese cigarette packet on which he jotted down secret information he collected from his interrogators, he also fed the Chinese implausible information which they did not doubt. Sydney Wingell later released a biography on this haunted period of his life and informed the world of the terrors inside Tibet, which strengthened the argument to free Tibet and rid Tibet of a Chinese dictation. The Tiananmen Square incident was cloaked in secrecy until the Dalai Lama spoke out about the massacre and brought the attention of the world to the terror Tibet's oppression. The Tiananmen Square...
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