On the 61st Anniversary of Uprising day against China in 1959, members of the exiled Tibetan community held a protest march in Himachal Pradesh's Shimla on Tuesday.
In Shimla, scores of Tibetans, including students, Buddhist monks, and women participated in the protest march. Under the title of Regional chapter of the Tibetan Youth Congress in Shimla, Tibetans urged the international community across the globe to support the Tibetan issue and also put pressure on China to free Tibet.
A seven-kilometre long protest march was organized by Tibetans starting from Panthaghati to the main town. Protestors raised slogans against the Chinese government and various placards and banners were raised against China.
A protestor told ANI, "We are protesting against the illegal occupation of Tibet by China. This is the least we can do and we will continue to raise our voice for as along as we have to."
Nearly a decade before in October 1950, China's occupation of Tibet began when troops from its People's Liberation Army (PLA) invaded Tibet. In the next several years, resistance to the Chinese occupation steadily built including a revolt in several areas of eastern Tibet in 1956. By December 1958, the rebellion was simmering in Lhasa, the capital, and the PLA command threatened to bomb the city if the order was not maintained.
On March 10, 1959, thousands of Tibetans gathered in Lhasa to protect their leader Dalai Lama from perceived threats of the Chinese Army. March of 1959 was triggered by fears of a plot to kidnap the Dalai Lama.
China’s stranglehold on Tibet and its brutal suppression of separatist activity have continued in the decades following the unsuccessful uprising. Tens of thousands of Tibetans followed their leader to India, where the Dalai Lama has long maintained a government-in-exile in the foothills of the Himalayas.
As per the news agency IANS, around 140,000 Tibetans now live in exile with over 100,000 of them residing in different parts of India. Notably, around six million Tibetans still live in Tibet.