LEARN MORE - About the Cause
Over the last 50 years, Tibetan culture has fed a spiritual renaissance in the West. The Dalai Lama’s universal message of compassion, tolerance, non-violence and self-awareness, has become a profound spiritual inspiration for countless millions of people world-wide.
Recently, the Chinese government has embarked on a Han Chinese resettlement program within Tibet. Several million Han Chinese have been moved to Tibet. Tibetans are becoming an ethnic and cultural minority in their own land.
As this tragedy unfolds, the global economic and political might of the Chinese government continues to grow. Even the most powerful nations are hesitant to confront the Chinese meaningfully on human rights issues.
This a critical point in history with the potential loss of one of the world’s great cultural treasures. The world’s current focus on China may be the last opportunity for Tibet’s plea for autonomy to be heard on the world stage.
Tibet’s 6 million inhabitants have traditionally been of a common ethnic identity. For 1,300 years they have had their own unique culture and government. Tibetans share and language and a culture whose religious roots are Buddhist.
In 1950, China’s Liberation Army invaded Tibet , calling it a “peaceful liberation”, based on a recent belief that Tibet was part of its territory. Although the young Dalai Lama remained the nominal head of Tibet as a ‘national autonomous region’, he was effectively coerced into accepting Beijing’s rule. In the spring of 1959, following many independent uprisings by the Tibetan people against Chinese rule, the Dalai Lama was persuaded to flee by advisors who feared for his life. After a arduous escape over high Himalyan passes, the Dalai Lama and a party of about 90 Tibetans reached India where Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru gave them permanent asylum.
Today the Dalai Lama serves as head of the Tibetan Government-In-Exile, headquartered in Dharamsala, India. He is the spiritual leader of Tibet and considered by most Tibetans to be the political leader as well. The Dalai Lama believes in:
The Dalai Lama has created a five point peace plan for Tibet, making it a ‘zone of peace’, including a call to end Beijing’s efforts to resettle the country with ethnic Han Chinese. His position on Tibet is that, “Tibetans would have full responsibility for religion, trade, education, environment and other domestic affairs. China would handle Tibet's foreign affairs and defense.”
Among many other awards he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, honorary Canadian citizenship in 2006 and the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor in 2007.
“My religion is kindness.” – The Dalai Lama
Books by the Dalai Lama