Invasion and Refugees
China's invasion by 35,000 troops in 1949 was an act of unprovoked aggression. There is no generally accepted legal basis for China's claim of sovereignty.
Ten years later, 100,000 Tibetans fled with the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual and temporal ruler.
In 1993, the UN High Commissioner for refugees handled 3,700 Tibetan cases.
To avoid detection many refugees, who are poorly clothed, are forced to use the 19,000ft. Nangpa-La pass below Everest. The Nepalese authorities have turned refugees over to the Chinese.
Chinese Administration of Tibet
By the 17-Point Agreement of 1951 China undertook not to interfere with Tibet's existing system of government and society, but never kept these promises in eastern Tibet and in 1959 reneged on the treaty altogether.
China has renamed two out of Tibet's three provinces as parts of the Chinese provinces of Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan, and renamed the remaining province of Utsang as Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).
There is no evidence to support China's claim that TAR is autonomous: all local legislation is subject to approval of the central government in Beijing; all local government is subject to the regional party, which in Tibet has never been run by a Tibetan. Some 20% of TAR Communist Party cadres are Chinese.
The Human Cost
Reprisals for the 1959 national uprising alone involved the elimination of 87,000 Tibetans by the Chinese count alone, according to a Radio Lhasa broadcast of 1 October 1960. Yet Tibetan exiles claim that 430,000 died during the Uprising and the subsequent 15 years of guerrilla warfare, which continued until the US withdrew support.
The International Commission of Jurists concluded in its reports, 1959 and 1960, that there was a prima facie case of genocide committed by the Chinese upon the Tibetan nation. These reports deal with events before the Cultural Revolution. Chinese justice: Protest and Prisons-
Exile sources estimate that up to 260,000 people died in prisons and labour camps between 1950 and 1984.
Unarmed demonstrators have been shot without warning by Chinese police on five occasions between 1987 and 1989. Amnesty International believes that at least 200 civilians were killed by the security forces during demonstrations in this period. There are also reports of detainees being summarily executed.
Some 3,000 people are believed to have been detained for political offences since September 1987, many of them for writing letters, distributing leaflets or talking to foreigners about the TibetansU right to independence.
The number of political detainees in Lhasa's main prison, Drapchi, is reported to have doubled between 1990 and 1994. The number of women political prisoners tripled. The vast majority of political inmates are monks or nuns. A political prisoner in Tibet can now expect an average sentence of almost seven yeras.
Detailed accounts show that the Chinese conducted a campaign of torture against Tibetan dissidents in prison from March 1989 to May 1990. However, torture is still regularly used against political detainees today. Such prisoners are held in sub-standard conditions, given insufficient food, forbidden to speak, frequently held incommunicado and denied proper medical treatment.
Beatings and torture with electric shock batons are common; prisoners have died from such treatment. In 1992, a monk who had been tortured by the Chinese for over 30 years, bribed prison guards to hand over implements of torture. The weapons, smuggled out of Tibet, were displayed in the west in 1994 and 1995.
The Chinese have refused to allow independent observers to attend so-called public trials. Prison sentences are regularly decided before the trial. Less than 2% of cases in China are won by the defence.
Control of Education
Chinese replaced Tibetan as the official language. Despite official pronouncements, there has been no practical change in this policy. Without an adequate command of Chinese, Tibetans find it difficult to get work in the state sector.
Secondary school children are taught all classes in Chinese. Although English is a requirement for most university courses, Tibetan school children cannot learn English unless they forfeit study of their own language. Many children are sent away to China for education. In 1992 there were 10,000 such children in China, cut off from their own cultural heritage.
Since 1994, the Chinese have strengthened their drive to re-educate young Tibetans about their cultural past at all levels of Tibetan education. They use a distorted history programme which omits reference to an independent Tibet.
Religious practice was forcibly suppressed until 1979, and up to 6,000 monasteries and shrines have been destroyed.
The 1982 Constitution of the People's Republic of China guarantees freedom of religious belief and yet China seeks to curb the total number of monks and nuns entering monasteries. The restrictions in some areas prevent children under 18 from joining monasteries. The PRC Constitution is too vaguely worded to safeguard its citizens from such arbitrary action.
After serving arbitrary sentences imposed for pro-independence activities, nuns released from prison suffer double jeopardy when, frequently, they are banned from rejoining their nunneries. Chinese Immigrants Flood Tibet-
Beijing now admits a national policy of deliberately encouraging Chinese settlers into Tibet. The opening of the rail line to Lhasa has several compounded this problem.
The influx of Chinese nationals has destabilised the economy. Forced agricultural modernisations led to extensive crop failures and Tibet's first recorded famine (1960-1962).
Resettlement of Chinese migrants has placed Tibetans in the minority in many areas, including Lhasa, causing chronic unemployment among Tibetans. In 1990, the Chinese admitted that there were 44,000 Chinese in Lhasa and around 80,000 in the whole of the TAR. But independent observers believe the figure is in fact far higher. In the east Tibetan border provinces of Kham and Amdo, the Chinese outnumber Tibetans many times over.
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