What March 10th means to the Tibetans

Tenzin Yewong (Tibet, AC 07-09)

Unlike many countries that celebrate their national day, the closest that Tibetans come to this is unfortunately a day of mourning rather than a celebration. March 10th is the Tibetan national uprising day. In 1959 which was a year marked by bloodshed for Tibet, the common masses rose up against he Chinese communist rule and brutal oppression in Tibet. However, Tibetans were crushed with military clampdown in what can be viewed as one of the bloodiest crackdown in the history of 20th century. It is believed that roughly around hundreds of thousands of Tibetans lost their lives on the day and what followed afterwards. It was also at this time that the Dalai Lama came to the sad realisation that he could serve his country better from the outside, and thus fled his own country to become a political refugee in India.

For our grandparents’ generation who lived through the horrors of those dark days, March 10th is the day of remembrance of those martyrs who laid their lives for their beloved nation. But more heart wrenchingly, it is a day that force them to remember their past. It is a day that replays in their mind the departure from all that they have known throughout their lives to take the arduous journey across Himalaya and start a new life from scratch in the sweltering heat of Indian plains. Everyone’s life changed after 1959’s uprising. For many, living inside Tibet became intolerable leading to the influx of refugees in exile. To those of us who are born and brought up in India or elsewhere, March 10th is the day when every Tibetan, irrespective of differences, took to the streets to protest against China’s illegal occupation. My memory of the March 10s are always filled with such demonstrations.

This year 2009 marks the 50tyh year since China occupied Tibet. It also marks a year since the Tibetans inside Tibet, with immense courage and at great cost to their lives, rose up against Chinese repression in an unprecedented event that compelled the world to look and hopefully support the Tibetan plight. Many in exile are scared that this year will bring more death and detentions inside Tibet. As the government in exile unsuccessfully tries to “pacify” the Tibetans inside Tibet in fear of grave consequences this uprising might lead to, strong sentiments are voiced by Tibetans in every corner of the world.

As everyone is mobilized to rise, resist and return back, we stand united against a powerful opposition, pained by the injustice but determined to continue our struggle. We stand straight; with the strength of truth and more than ever, pledge to do whatever it takes for every one of us to make sure that the future of Tibetans will be brighter than our forefather’s past.

May Tibet get its justice. BOD GYALO.

– United World College Student Magazine –

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