Documenting Historical Facts: Tibetan Independence

On 13th February 2021, Tibetans in diasporas commemorated the 108th anniversary of the Proclamation of the Tibetan Independence by the Great Thirteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet, on 13th February 1913.

In Tibet’s history, foreign powers invaded this Buddhist landlocked country from time to time. The previous 13th Dalai Lama had to flee Tibet and went into exile, to India in 1910 and stayed there for over two years. After the Manchu dynasty collapsed in the course of the Chinese revolution and, with the remaining Chinese representatives expelled from Tibet, the 13th Dalai Lama declared Tibetan independence.

For nearly forty years afterward, Tibetans enjoyed self-rule – only for it to come to an end in 1949, after Mao Tsetung, the founder of the Chinese Communist Party, declared the “peaceful liberation” of Tibet from foreign imperialists. In March 1959, the current 14th Dalai Lama fled Tibet and went into exile to India after Communist China invaded Tibet.

To discuss the historical development of China’s colonisation of Tibet and the Proclamation of Tibetan Independence by the 13th Dalai Lama, the Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities (GATPM) were delighted to conduct an interview with a British scholar – Mr. Burzine Waghmar from the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

This online discussion was conducted by Tsering Passang of the Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities (GATPM) on 21 February 2021.

Author: Tsering Passang (Tsamtruk)

Tsering Passang is passionate about Tibet and the Tibetan issue. He was born in a Tibetan refugee camp in western Nepal. An NGO professional with nearly 20 years of experience in international development charities, Tsering has led Tibetan Community UK from 2014 to 2016 as its Chairman. Amongst his pioneering initiatives as the Community Leader, Tsering spearheaded "Tibetans Helping Tibetans" initiative and within months, it resulted in securing the sponsorship of 30 Tibetan refugee children for their education in India from 25 UK-based Tibetan families. Prior to his current appointment as the Director of Tibet Foundation, Tsering served as Special Adviser to the Tibet Society, the world's oldest Tibet support group. He also worked for Tibet Relief Fund for over eight years, raising vital funds for Tibetan children’s education in India and Nepal. From 2001 to 2007, he worked for Tibet Foundation as Art & Culture Programme Manager. Tsering has conducted multiple field trips to India and Nepal over the past two decades. After returning from his 2008 personal trip to Mustang, Tsering saw a need to provide training to those Tibetan teachers working in rural areas. Within a year, with the support of western teaching professionals, Tsering initiated the vital training programme for the teachers. Over 50 Tibetan refugees and ethnic Tibetan teachers from Mustang, Manang, Dhorpatan, Pokhara and Kathmandu attended the trainings delivered in Mustang, Kathmandu and Pokhara. He developed partnerships with the local NGOs and schools in Nepal. From 2014 to 2016, Tsering served on the boards of Tibet Society and Tibet House Trust. He also served as the Chairman and a Trustee of the Tibetan Refugee Charitable Trust. Tsering continues his advocacy work on Tibet. He has attended and engaged with parliamentarians, special advisers and officials from the UK, UN, the US and EU. Tsering has also spoken at important public and closed forums – audience included governments representatives, policymakers, rights advocates, lawyers, journalists, NGO professionals, university students and researchers. In addition to his writings on the Tibetan affairs, published in the British, Nepalese and Tibetan media, Tsering was interviewed by the BBC, Sky News and Reuters. He is also frequently interviewed by the Voice of America, Radio Free Asia and Voice of Tibet. Tsering has conducted special interviews with leading Tibetan political figures - President of the Tibetan Government-in-exile (Central Tibetan Administration based in Dharamsala) and His Holiness the Dalai Lama's former Special Envoy (Washington-based) and former Representative (London-based) for a Tibetan YouTube channel – LondonNey Production. Tsering’s personal blog: www.tsamtruk.com Tsering's latest initiative is the creation of the Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities (GATPM) - an advocacy group with the object of highlighting the issues affecting the Tibetans, Uyghur Muslims as well as other peoples persecuted by the Chinese regime.

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