What is the controversy over Tibet?

During the seventh and eighth centuries A.D., Tibet emerged as a powerful Buddhist kingdom. But beginning in the thirteenth century, it came under the rule of the Mongols, and in the eighteenth century the Manchu dynasty took control of the area. Beginning in 1912 Tibet again knew a brief independence. But in 1950 the country was invaded by communist china. After years of turmoil, which included an anti-chinese rebellion in 1959, Tibet was made an autonomous region within communist China in 1965. But the autonomy is nominal, and Buddhist culture in Tibet has been all but destroyed.

Buddhists fled Tibet, some of them taking refuge in India—which is where the current Dalai Lama (the fourteenth) leads a nonviolent struggle to free Tibet from China. In 1989 the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel peace prize for his efforts.


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