Response to Ukraine crisis versus Tibet’s 50-year takeover by China

Each day there is more pressure mounting on Russia and its aggressive approach in Ukraine.

Yesterday NATO suspending its cooperation with the Russians.

What is happening in Ukraine is unacceptable.

But where was the response of the world when China marched into Tibet more than 50 years ago and massacred thousands?

Many Tibetan refugees are living in India and Nepal.

Also yesterday, a Human Rights Watch report said Tibetans in Nepal “face excessive use of force by police, preventive detention, torture and ill-treatment when detained.”

In 1959, the Dalai Lama fled Tibet and many with him. By 1960, the International Commission of Jurists found there was a cultural genocide in Tibet at the hands of the Chinese.

There are claims that approximately 1.2 million Tibetans have died of starvation and violence since 1950, when China first occupied Tibet.

Still, the world has done very little. Abuse of the Tibetan people continues to this day.

China is a powerful country and nobody wants to stand up to it, but so is Russia.

What is the difference?

The Dalai Lama was willing to concede that Tibet simply become part of China in an effort to stop the abuse. The Chinese wouldn’t accept this and said it was a trick.

“In spite of the atrocious crimes the Chinese have committed in our country, I have absolutely no hatred in my heart for the Chinese people. I believe that one of the curses and dangers of the present age is to blame nations for the crimes of individuals,” the Dalai Lama said, in the book My Spiritual Journey.

The Dalai Lama’s time left on earth is short. Will he ever be able to return to his homeland?


7 thoughts on “Response to Ukraine crisis versus Tibet’s 50-year takeover by China

  1. NATO seems just to be being created when the China/Tibet situation developed. Its intererests were geared
    to that geography.
    Who or what organization do you see as having the power to impress these eastern foreign countries who
    invade their neighbours? What means are there, beyond a entering state of war?
    Observers warn, but have no practical suggestions for mediating the problem between foreign countries.
    It’s not as if Canada is a victim of these aggressions, nor do we have treaties with these victimized states that
    I know of. We’ve had two global conflicts when a foreign country was invaded with which the Empire nations
    had an agreement, but the development of nuclear weapons changed the global ballgame. “The world” includes
    those aggressor countries.
    Not up on what organizations are competent to deal with such international problems, and what tools they have
    to enforce acceptable behaviour by our standards. Even who belongs to what…some reading up to do.

  2. Could economic pressure, as has been applied against Russia, be used in the Tibetan situation? Why do we care about what is happening in Ukraine, versus some other countries when governments have used aggression to take something that is not theirs?

  3. it’s nearly 65 years, nearly 3 generations, since China’s invasion of Tibet in 1949/50. In 1954, the Dalai Lama (a religious figure b1935) went to Beijing for peace talks with Mao Zedong and others..In 1959, with the suppression of the Tibetan national uprising in Lhasa by Chinese troops, he went into exile , northern India. The Central Tibetan Administration led by His Holiness appealed to the United Nations on the question of Tibet. The General Assembly adopted three resolutions on Tibet in 1959, 1961 and 1965.” Not sure what economic pressure could be put on ingrown China back then. The Crimean situation is now. I’m never too happy when media refer to “We” without defining who exactly is meant. And “they” changes – Russia was our ally mid 20th century, as we had a common enemy.
    Countries have been moving in on other peoples since the beginning of recorded history. Here we have the
    indigenous peoples with whom the British tried the Treaty approach vs. the USA wild west one. In the Empire
    days, ending in this same era, We in Canada made twice made common cause with the largely- English-speaking Britain and the other Dominions as we likely would do today if it were attacked.
    – Ukraine issues seem to have a special claim on world concern as it got rid of its nuclear weapons voluntarily on
    the grounds that the countries ask for this would give them support if they were attacked.
    Interesting to think which countries,even continents, strike a warm note in one’s heart and which are simply unknown to us.. Which would you want your sons to don a uniform and pick up a gun to support ?
    Someone overseas in the Great War wrote back to his little boy – ‘Don’t bother learning any geography, it will all
    be changed when this is over.”
    And how the map has changed within living memory ! Look up some 20th century maps online for a few surprises.
    When did the Dali Lama book get published ?

  4. The book was published in 2008.
    The Dalai Lama’s approach has always been one of non-violence. Hopefully my son’s won’t have to don a uniform to fight. Never again, it was said about war. Don’t know if that will hold up once for decades, centuries. And of course there are ongoing conflicts in various parts of the world.
    Just wondering why so many countries would stand up to Russia, but not China.
    In the book, the Dalai Lama mentions only three countries supported Tibet during one particular motion: El Salvador, Thailand and Malaysia.

  5. Well, I haven’t read the book so not sure who he, then 15, thought would take up his cause, WW2 just over
    and the Korean war starting. China had been on our side, Japan its agressor. International organizations
    just in their formative stages.
    ‘Never Again’ seems to echo from the end of the 1914-18 war with Germany with its huge cost in dead and
    injured personnel and resources, but just wishful thinking on the part of our great grandparents, unfortunately.
    Wikipedia suggests this aged man does not represent contemporary thinking. He can preach non-violence –
    a Buddhist principle isn’t it ? but has no capacity for violence anyhow. Tend to think of him as a religious leader,
    not a political one, a lad whose charisma (and lack of English language) have made him an international figure
    into nearly his 80s.
    Need to look at archives of our Canadian newspapers of that era to get a picture of how we viewed the Tibet situation – evolving before the present Queen ascended to the throne, with much fewer media resources to make one’s case.
    Couldn’t date the 3 country reference – but after Siam and whatever Malaysia used to be called.were renamed.
    Interesting history, and I sure need to look up the players. World leaders then – still King here, Truman in the USA, Churchill back again yet ?

  6. At one time the Dalai Lama was also the political head of Tibet. He realized this wasn’t democratic and re-organized Tibet’s political structure. He remains the country’s spiritual leader.
    The Dalai Lama can speak English. I’ve heard him give interviews in English.
    I too have to look up some things, such as old maps to see the different names of the countries and their boundaries at that time.

  7. Thanks, I really am behind on this topic and shouldn’t be trusting memory re politics
    of the era when this all started..(At least checking out Malaysia tells me where Borneo got to
    – site of the brilliant WW2.Agnes Newton Keith book “Land Below the Wind”.)
    A guess re your query might be the the Dalai Lama’s home country was so isolated that
    there’s no emigrant population in the Western nations to make an ongoing case, whereas
    there are a lot of ex-Ukrainians and their descendents around.
    Will put that book on my To Read Soon list and catch up with you. cheers

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