Tensions, which were simmering in Tibet following China’s occupation of the region in October 1950 flared up and on March 10, 1959, the Tibetan Uprising or the Tibetan Rebellion began. On this day, 57 years ago, thousands of Tibetans surrounded the summer palace of the Dalai Lama in defiance of the Chinese occupation forces.
Barely a year after occupying Tibet, the Chinese authorities in 1951 signed a treaty with Tibet on affirming Chinese sovereignty over Tibet. Over the next many years, resistance built against Chinese occupation and in 1956 a revolt also took place in many areas of eastern Tibet.
The March 10 uprising was mainly due to the fear that the Chinese would kidnap the Dalai Lama as they had invited him to visit the PLA headquarters but without Tibetan bodyguards or personnel. This prompted 300,000 Tibetans, loyal to the Dalai Lama, to surround his Norbulinka Palace in an attempt to prohibit him from accepting the PLA invitation. By March 17, the Dalai Lama was evacuated to India.
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