Tibet is a historically and culturally fascinating region in Asia. It rests on one the worlds highest plateaus, is filled a beautiful mountains, such as those in the Himalayas, and is know for being the place of origin of numerous rivers across the continent. Yaks roaming the land and snow falling on the mountain tops, Tibet is a serene and almost meditative region, where the chants of Buddhist monks are still heard today, but recently, we have been hearing less peaceful chants and Tibetan prayers, the Chinese government is making efforts, and has been since 1959, to incorporate Tibet into the People’s Republic of China, and by doing so has committed numerous human rights violations and engaged in a cultural genocide against ethnic Tibetans.
Sinicization is the term used by human rights activists to describe the assimilation and cultural genocide the Chinese government has put into place. The first accusations were made during the Republic of China before the Communist Reform, when Chinese Muslim general, Ma Bufang, who had control of the Tibetans living in the Qinghai province, converted Tibetans by force to Islam and Han Buddhism and committed other atrocities against the ethnic group. Later on, government sponsored migration of Han Chinese into the Tibet Autonomous Region took place.
China is now trying to build a hydraulic dam and in the middle of Tibet where the rivers begin to flow. It is called the Zangmu Dam and it is being built on the Brahmaputra river, which flows from Tibet into India and Bangladesh. While environmental activists are calling out the Zangmu Dam for being invasive and problematic for the aquatic ecosystem in the Tibetan river, human rights activists say it’s another opportunity for China to take away more land from the Tibetans.
Needless to say, what is happening in Tibet is no less than a genocide and has claimed innocent lives over the years. The current situation is very unfortunate, but there is still hope. Lawyer/Activists in India and Nepal have attempted to control the Zangmu Dam, and UN ambassadors are accusing China of human rights violations and are putting international pressure on the PRC (People’s Republic of China) to de-occupy Tibet. While Tibet’s future is unclear, there is still hope that the nomadic people be able to live in peace, once again.