The National Uprising Anniversary of Tibet

On March 10 1959, thousands of Tibetans took to the streets of Lhasa to protest against Chinese occupation of Tibet. As protests intensified, the Chinese troops responded with brutal force, killing thousands of Tibetans. This led to a full scale Tibetan uprising across Lhasa and other parts of Tibet.

Tibetan martyrs who took part in the Tibetan National Uprising protests need to be respected for their courage, and should be forever remembered in our history.

For more than past six decades, the Chinese totalitarian regime has done everything in its power to divide Tibetans and confuse the international community about the Tibetan issue. Tibetans from all walks of life have made great sacrifices, even giving up their precious life, to restore Tibet’s freedom.

"We are a small, religious, and independent nation."
- the 13th Dalai Lama, 1913

Tibet has a rich history as a nation, existing side-by-side with China for centuries. In 1950, the newly established Chinese Communist regime decided that Tibet must become a permanent part of the People's Republic of China and launched an invasion.

For China, possessing Tibet gave access to rich natural resources and allowed it to militarise the strategically important border with India. With 40,000 Chinese troops in its sparsely populated country, the Tibetan government - led by the still teenaged Dalai Lama - was forced to recognise China's rule in return for promises to protect Tibet's political system and Tibetan Buddhism.

China failed to keep its promises and ongoing Tibetan resistance came to a head on 10 March 1959. Hundreds of thousands of Tibetans surrounded the Potala Palace in Lhasa fearing that the Dalai Lama was about to be kidnapped or assassinated. The uprising was brutally suppressed and the Dalai Lama was forced to flee into exile.

The 10th of March is now commemorated as National Uprising Day by Tibetans and supporters across the world.

To this day Tibet remains an independent state under illegal occupation. This timeline takes you through key events in Tibet's recent history, including China's 1950 invasion, the Tibetan Uprising of 1959 and the intense protests in 2008.