By: Sarah Merry
Pace International Law Review, Junior Associate
March 10, 2010 marked the 51st anniversary of the failed revolt against Chinese forces in Tibet during which the Dalai Lama escaped for his life. It was also the two-year mark of the deadly riots that plagued Lhasa, the Tibetan capital.
The spiritual leader, in his annual address from India, expressed concern over the state of Tibet accusing China of having a policy “to deliberately annihilate Buddhism.” The Dalai Lama spoke of oppressing conditions facing nuns and monks, asserting that the Chinese government keeps them in prison-like conditions, forbidding them to practice or study their religion.
The Dalai Lama also stated that Uighurs will face aggravated oppression in China. Beijing claims that the Dalai Lama is causing unrest in the region by advocating independence for Tibet.
In light of previously failed negotiations with authorities in Beijing, the Dalai Lama has a grim outlook concerning any sort of autonomy being achieved in the near future. The hope of autonomy is also eroded by China’s announcement that it will select the Dalai Lama’s successor, who is traditionally selected from those believed to be a reincarnation of the Dalai Lama.
Protests in New Delhi began slightly a week prior to the address with Tibetan activists attempting to enter the Chinese Embassy. Indian police detained the protestors and security was increased in nearby Nepal. Security measures and warnings against protest proved successful as protests that did occur on the day of the address were generally peaceful, with minimal arrests being made.