May 23 marks 71 years since the Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army invaded and commenced the ‘Liberation of Tibet’.
In the first thirty years, 1.2 million Tibetans, one-fifth of the population, had been killed by starvation execution, imprisonment, abortive uprisings and torture (in acts described in February 1990 by an American human rights group Asia Watch as a ‘laboratory for torture techniques for the security forces’).
Over 6,000 monasteries or places of worship had been obliterated and precious contents melted down, thrown into rivers or sold for foreign currency. Sixty per cent of Tibet’s literary heritage had been burnt.
One in every ten Tibetans were in prison while 100,000 were in labour camps, (much like the well documented massive gulags holding ethnic minorities today). Entire mountains had been denuded of their forests and uncalculable populations of wildlife wiped out.
This has continued to the present day, as any investigation into the plight of minority groups, events such as the Tiananmen massacre, lies and ‘double speak’ regarding the future of Hong Kong, the annexation of disputed islands in the south china sea, and the continued Tibetan government in exile of the Dalai Lama demonstrate. While only last week, a 90 year old Chinese cardinal was arrested in Hong Kong on National security charges.
In a 2021 report by Amnesty International it was revealed more than one million Uighurs and other ethnic minorities are believed to be in internment camps where they are forced to study Marxism, renounce their religion and work in factories.
Any person who might believe in the legitimacy of the Chinese occupation of Tibet or their benign, well meaning global aspirations, probably also believes in the tooth fairy.