Desperation in Tibet


Oppression to the point where you cannot practice your own culture such as religious traditions your ancestors have been following for thousands of years. This is the extent that the Chinese Communist government has gone to commit cultural genocide against the Tibetan population in China. The Tibetans living in China have been stripped of their basic human rights, to any other sort of freedom even outside religion. Tibetans have been resorting to desperate measures to display the pain and agony they go through every day, while living under Communist rule. This includes the practice of self-immolation, where individuals willingly set themselves on fire.


In 1950, the Chinese military invaded and subsequently conquered Tibet. Since then, the Tibetan population has been participating in peaceful action, in order to get their homeland back. Peaceful protests against the occupying Chinese in Tibet have taken place from all areas of the world. They have taken place from Canada to the United States and even across China. But these peaceful protests have done little to nothing to promote awareness about the horrendous events going on in Chinese subjugated Tibet. Just recently in the past 4 to 5 years, self-immolations have started to begin in China. Due to the Communist Party in China, Tibetans are treated and watched like criminals. Chinese soldiers even go as far to infest sacred places such as Tibetan Monasteries to keep surveillance on monks. It is even a crime to have any type of image of their revered religious leader The Dalai Lama. Monks are detained, thrown into jail and often executed for worshipping this spiritual leader. “Many Tibetans feel forcibly estranged from their language, culture and religion by repressive Chinese policies”. This quote describes the feelings of many Tibetans, and is argued to represent the motivation behind self-immolations. Through self-immolations, Tibetan monks are displaying how they would rather leave this world behind than live under these repressive conditions imposed by the Chinese government.


Demonstrating the overwhelming control over Tibetan daily life, the Chinese government deploys thousands of troops in populated Tibetan regions. These troops are heavily armed and are there to minimize any hint of resistance, or any attempts of self-immolations. Another duty of these troops is to go door to door to clear out any type of pilgrimage of Tibetan Buddhism or worship of The Dalai Lama. Something like this would never occur in any civilized nation such as Canada where multiculturalism, democracy, and freedom is valued. China being such a powerhouse economically, politically and military, sanctions their power to treat the Tibetan people with such inhumanity and humiliation. With such tyrannical policies imposed by the Chinese government, it is difficult to imagine how Tibetan’s can have hope for the future, as they are basically living in the largest prison in the world. 

2 thoughts on “Desperation in Tibet

  1. This was a very interesting article and blog to read. Religious freedom is an issue that is more common than people might imagine. It was not surprising that the Tibetans were facing religious oppression if the history of their relationships to each other is taken to account.

    While reading the article I found it both intriguing and disturbing how the Tibetans have started to practice self-immolation as an act of protest and defiance against the Chinese domination. Such an act reflects the horrible impact that suppression of culture, religion and freedom of expression can have on individuals.

    One question that concerned me while reading the article was the actions taken by other countries on this matter. Did the west do anything to create an understanding between the Tibetans and Chinese? Perhaps it can be argued that the west does not have right to intervene in the concerns and problems of other nations but it would be interesting to know what action, if any, was taken.

  2. Eye opening read, after reading this I read about self immolations and had no idea that over 144 Tibetan self immolations have taken place to date. I myself have been to Tibet and personally spoken to my Tibetan relative on how he feels about the oppressed culture of Tibet. He told me that Tibet should be separated from Mainland China because their culture and language is just way too distinct from the rest of China. This is interesting because in many ways in terms of economics and trades. China helps Tibet and if those links were to be cut off via separation of countries, Tibet could potentially face many problems in the future due to their lack of economic and military support from China.

    In my opinion, China needs Tibet just as much as Tibet needs China. China should not oppress the culture of Tibet as much as they have been and allow more freedom in the religious and language practices. Tibet should be a like a Quebec to Canada if more policies were implemented to compromise for the Tibetans. And if these policies were implemented, Tibet would hopefully have less protests for their separation and as a result hostility would decrease among the Tibetans and other ethnic groups, China including Tibet would benefit as a whole and become a stronger country.

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