Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tibet is a living hell - 50 years of suffering and endurance

Armed riot police confront Drepung monks on March 10, 2008, after monks began an orderly march to Lhasa to protest about restrictions on religious freedom. The protest began a wave of dissent that swept the plateau. The whereabouts of many monks from Drepung is not known.

Today, Tibetans around the world—in Tibet and in exile—mark 50 years of suffering and extraordinary endurance.

Today, we remember the 50th anniversary of the 1959 Lhasa Uprising when the Dalai Lama fled Tibet and the spontaneous demonstrations that began last March across the Tibetan plateau.

Reports of peaceful protests and harsh response from Chinese authorities continue to reach us. Last Thursday, two young Tibetan women were detained in Kardze, following a protest. The two women, a nun and layperson, handed out leaflets and called for the return of the Dalai Lama, respect for Tibetans’ human rights, and religious freedom. The women were detained and their whereabouts remain unknown.

For the latest news and updates about the developing situation inside Tibet, please visit ICT’s website.

Imagine living in constant fear of the authorities finding out about your religious and political views—and possibly being detained and tortured because of them.

Now multiply that by the cold, harsh facts over the past 50 years:

Tens of thousands killed

Hundreds of thousands imprisoned

Over 6,000 monasteries, nunneries and temples, pillaged and destroyed
Last year alone, thousands more Tibetans disappeared or were imprisoned, and more destruction was directed against monasteries and precious religious objects.

The free Tibet movement needs your support now to help the people of Tibet, and to help protect their unique heritage and culture. Contact the Australia Tibet Council for more information.

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