The Struggle for Freedom and Enlightenment in Tibet: Ethics and Spirituality

Article excerpt

600-500 BCE: Siddhartha Gautoma founds Buddhism

741-797: King Trisong Detsen builds first Tibetan monastery at Samye

1278: Kublai Khan, emperor of China, converts to Tibetan Buddhism

1578: Sonam Gyatsho, born in 1543, receives title of Dalai Lama ("Ocean of Wisdom") from Mongol ruler Altan Khan. He is identified as the 3rd Dalai Lama.

1617: Ngawang Lozang Gyatsho, the 5th Dalai Lama, is born in southern Tibet. He later re-establishes Tibet's independence, reopens trade with India and visits China.

1903-1904: Thubten Gyatsho, the 13th Dalai Lama, flees Tibet as British troops march to Gyaum, sheltering in Mongolia and China.

1909: The 13th Dalai Lama returns from exile. Chinese troops occupy parts of Kham, prompting Dalai Lama to appeal to Great Britain for help.

1910: The 13th Dalai flees to India as Chinese army invades Tibet.

1911: Yuan Shikai takes over Republic of China and declares Tibet, East Turkestan and Mongolia provinces of China.

1912: The 13th Dalai Lama returns to Tibet, as Tibetans rise up against the Chinese. On August 12, China signs agreement with Tibetans and leaves the country.

1913: The 13th Dalai Lama proclaims Tibetan independence. Britain, China and Tibet devise plan to divide Tibet into two parts, with far eastern provinces controlled by Chine (Inner Tibet) and an autonomous Outer Tibet. Chine refuses to sign agreement negating pro-Chinese provisions.

1935: Lhamo Thondup, the 14th Dalai Lama, is born. He is enthroned at Lhasa five years later.

1949: The People's Liberation Army of China, led by Mao Tse-tung, announces plans to liberate Tibet from foreign imperialists.

1950: The 14th Dalai Lama, then 15, takes over running of the Tibetan government. China invades Tibet, claiming it has always been Chinese territory.

1951: Tibet signs 12-Point Agreement which makes Tibet a "national autonomous region" of China, with cultural and political independence.

1954: Treaty titled "The Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence" is signed by India and China. Chinese begin destroying monasteries in Eastern Tibet, giving rise to the Tibetan resistance movement and the Voluntary National Defense Army.

1956: The Dalai Lama seeks refuge in India. …


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