For centuries Tibet existed as a culturally rich and independently
governed nation. A place of great peace and natural magnificence,
it gave refuge and religious freedom to a people whose language,
laws, institutions and customs were created with one thing
in mind: the creation of a society totally imbued with and
inspired by love, kindness and human compassion.
That all changed with the invasion of the Chinese in 1949.
Relying on historical misrepresentations and an aggressive imperialism, China
and its People's Liberation Army laid claim to the nation
of Tibet by proclaiming a need for "liberation" and reform.
In 1951 The "17-Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation
of Tibet" was imposed upon the Tibetan government. It was
a document designed specifically to destroy their national,
cultural and religious identity. With the presence of over
40,000 Chinese troops, the threat of an immediate occupation
and the prospective obliteration of the Tibetan state, China
had given Tibetans little choice but to cooperate.
For eight years the Chinese consolidated their power and
control, repeatedly violating the treaty they had set in place.
Tibetan opposition and open resistance grew, leading to the
National uprising in 1959, and the flight into India of Tibet's
head of state and beloved spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
Since the Chinese invasion in 1949, the Tibetan people have
been robbed of their humanity and
forced to witness the destruction of many aspects of their world by a
completely distinct Chinese culture. They have lost the spirit and beauty
of their country, their people, their culture and their religion.
As they fight to keep it alive in their hearts, they have endured great
loss of life, cultural devastation, and suffering.
Today, Tibetans from various
backgrounds both within and without Tibet heroically struggle
to regain their freedom and
keep their culture intact. They urgently need our support.