By: Tsering Saphel
Sixty years ago, on March10, 1959, in Lhasa, the holy city, in the capital city of Tibet, hundreds of thousands of Tibetans formed a massive barricade around Norbulingka, the summer palace of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama to safeguard him and their country from falling into the clutches of the Chinese Communist Regime.
Tibetans from across different social strata and spectrum united by the indomitable spirit and the burning flame of zeal and passion for their beloved country, staged a historic and defiant uprising against the forceful and illegal occupation of Tibet by the Red regime of the Communist People’s Republic of China (PRC).
On this very day, the Chinese regime indiscriminately fired mortars and shells, brutally suppressing the peaceful uprising and murdering thousands of innocent demonstrators.
Sparing none, not even old and elderly, monks and nuns, the blood of thousands of innocents was spilt that day.
The perpetrators were not held accountable, but instead paraded around Lhasa city like vigilantes of peace & justice.
It was this in 1959, the Communist Government of China revealed the stark devious face of its policy to take over Tibet by use of forceful armed occupation, and to spread their false propaganda and state controlled policies of the Sinicisation of Tibet and its people.
Since then the Tibetans’ struggle for freedom has been brutally suppressed by the Chinese regime.
And that was over six decades ago.
In this time the Chinese leadership has been systematically destroying a culture that is thousands of years old, and continuously subjecting Tibetans to intensive repressive policies.
But, as the recently much lauded report of Freedom House says, research shows Tibet and Syria are currently the least free countries on earth – worse than North Korea, South Sudan and Eritrea.
Reporters without Borders has also stated that Tibet is harder to access than North Korea.
With continued indications of crime, brutality, restrictions and repression as the norm, Tibet has become an active militarised zone with heavy deployment of military personnel, rising tensions and conflict.
As a result, those of us outside Tibet can only watch in awe and with respect at how Tibetans, both inside Tibet proper and in exile, have preserved and maintained their unique, impressive, and peaceful customs despite the Chinese regime’s systematic campaign of destruction.
Furthermore, now sixty years later, China is making moves to encroach on the neighbouring territories of India, Nepal, Bhutan and Pakistan.
In what was a full blown conspiracy hatched by the Central Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party led by Mao Zedong to take over Tibet and exploit the natural resources and reserves of the land, the moves against Tibet were aimed at controlling the ‘Water Tower of Asia’ as Tibet is known.
With the annexation of Tibet, China has taken control of most of the major rivers of Asia with all the sources of the Indus, Sutlej, Brahmaputra, Mekong, Salween, Hwang Ho, and Yangtse all originating in the glaciers of Tibet and thus China.
Beijing is therefore perfectly positioned to start a water war by leveraging the rivers’ volume and water flow and by way of their incessant damming and water diversion routes.
Through its political control over Tibet, China also has complete upper riparian control over all major rivers flowing out of the Tibetan plateau.
With as many as 28 proposals awaiting approval, Beijing plans to harness the hydropower capacity of Tibet’s fast flowing rivers, despite the fact that the average elevation is 4,500 meters above sea level (14,800 feet) and the critical state of Tibet as a hotspot and biological reserve remains ideologically sensitive and seismically active.
With such ‘natural’ weapons at its disposal China has began its expansionist policy and the illegal encroachment of sovereign lands of other countries as can be seen in the Indian territories of the Galwan Valley, Pangong Tso of Ladakh, and Arunachal Pradesh and Doklam trijuntion of Sikkim and Bhutan.
China had planned in advance to take over Tibet and then to occupy the five fingers of Ladakh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nepal and Bhutan as stated by Mao Zedong.
To this end, Beijing has continued to ramp up aggression around the border areas with neighbouring countries with the tactics of expansionism and exploitation.
The risk and hazards, the projects and expansionist policy issues posed for around 1.3 billion people who live downstream and in neighbouring countries is huge and a real eye opener.
So much so that its negative impacts and significance should be taken far more seriously than they currently are.
Action should and must be taken to counteract China’s devious plans.
China can easily manipulate the river flow and put India at a strategically disadvantageous position if it so wishes..
It is therefore high time for India to take a stand in order to ascertain national rights, sovereignty and not be pushed around by the unruly who think they can twist any narrative in their favour while manipulating propaganda and ideals before forcing them onto others.
By taking a stand and resolving the issue of Tibet and recognising and legitimising the Indo-Tibetan border and the sovereignty, integrity, suzerainty and self determination of Tibet as country, the efforts required would do a world of good.
With conviction and unwavering determination, both Tibetans inside Tibet and in exile will continue their resistance against the repressive policies of the Chinese government in support of moves by India.
The sense of unity, determination and courage and continued struggle for the freedom of Tibet are unequivocal in both words and deeds.
We are emphatic in reiterating the appeal for strengthening our resolve, action and commitment for Tibet so that these issues may be resolved once and for all.
Every year, Uprising Day is held to commemorate the sacrifices of all the people of Tibet, to know that their efforts were not in vain.
On this day, March 10th as was, people from all walks of life come together to show solidarity and support for the Tibet’s Independence movement so that the efforts of those who perished will not be in vain.
The sense of unity and cooperation, determination and courage of the Tibetan people will always be a shining beam of light.
The day is not far off when Tibetans will achieve their goal of residing in their own land once more.
But before that comes we request democracies around the world, especially that of the US and India not be bullied by the Communist regime and reply in a suitable manner to the irresponsible and oppressive actions of the PRC.