Over 30,000 Tibetans Sneak Back Home

More than 30,000 monks educated in India have snuck back into the Himalayan region to revive their culture under Chinese suppression, according to the Tibetan government in exile.

Lobsang Sangay, the president of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), said the invasion and occupation of Tibet has failed because the Chinese thought they would defeat Tibetans or force them into assimilation. “But it did not work,” he said.
“Since 1980s, we have rebuilt voluntarily mainly by Tibetans inside Tibet and Buddhism has revived. And our sense of culture, civilization and identity has also been revived in Tibet,” Sangay said yesterday at a public event organized by The Heritage Foundation, an American think-tank.
“Buddhism has revived. Tibetans in Tibet are not just embracing Buddhism even the second and third generation of Tibetans are very much conscious of their identity,” he proclaimed. Still, he acknowledged China’s “hellbent” intention to drive Tibetan culture to the ground.

“Unfortunately, what is happening is that the Chinese government is reviving something akin to the cultural revolution in Tibet,” he said pointing out monasteries in Tibet “from where monks and nuns are being expelled” including the Larung Gar monastery home to 12,000 monks.

Although he says the … discourage setting oneself on fire, he added: “Because of this and other repressive policies of the Chinese government, 149 Tibetans have committed self- immolation of which nearly 130 have died.”

He noted that not a single Chinese person has been harmed by Tibetans and reiterated the “middle way” of the Dalai Lama in resolving the dispute. Nonetheless, Sangay called for Tibetans to be granted “genuine” autonomy within China, within the framework of the Chinese Constitution.

“If the Chinese government implement their own laws listed in the Constitution and minorities nationalities act, we could take that as genuine autonomy,” he concluded.

About Andrew Burke 145 Articles
Editor-in-Chief Andrew Burke is a lifelong aficionado of all things Chinese. He studied Mandarin while living in Taiwan for six years and now works as a digitization specialist at the Yenching Library, which specializes in Asian books and documents, at Harvard University where he also studies topics related to China, Chinese, Asia and foreign affairs.