“The Roof of the World”
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Tibet is an “historic region and autonomous region of China that is often called ‘the roof of the world.’”
A picturesque description, but how did Tibet come to be in the middle of a firestorm of controversy over the 2008 Olympics? And why have Tibetan monks clashed with Chinese security forces in the streets of the capital?
After declaring its independence from China following the Chinese revolution of 1911-12, “Tibet functioned as an independent government until 1951 and defended its frontier against China in occasional fighting as late as 1931,” the encyclopedia goes on to say. “In 1949, however, the ‘liberation’ of Tibet was heralded, and in October 1950 the Chinese invaded eastern Tibet, overwhelming the poorly equipped Tibetan troops. An appeal by the Dalai Lama to the United Nations was denied, and support from India and Britain was not forthcoming. A Tibetan delegation summoned to China in 1951 had to sign a treaty dictated by the conquerors. It professed to guarantee Tibetan autonomy and religion but also allowed the establishment at Lhasa of Chinese civil and military headquarters.”
There is much more to the story, of course, and you can read the entire article or download the above Britannica widget on Tibet to your Web site or blog. It has this article and a number of others, all of which are available to visitors of any site that hosts the widget. While you’re at it consider grabbing the widgets on China, Buddhism, or the Olympics.