The 63rd Tibetan National uprising day was observed by Tibetans all over the world on 10th March 2022. Tibetans in exile protested in front of the Chinese embassy in New Delhi on 10th March 2022, demanding that China should stop atrocities in Tibet and quit Tibet.
Tibetans now wonder as to why the world citizens, by and large, were indifferent to the plight of Tibetans at the hands of the Chinese government and have not responded in the same way that world citizens now sympathise with the plight of Ukrainians at the hand of the Russian army.
For the last fifteen days or so, Russia has been mercilessly and relentlessly dropping bombs on Ukrainian soil, attacking Ukraine with missiles and entering Ukraine, slaughtering the protesting Ukrainians. Russian forces have destroyed several infrastructure facilities and even hospitals and nuclear power stations have not been spared. Millions of Ukrainians have now been forced to leave their motherland and seek asylum elsewhere, fearing the Russian army.
Compared to Russia, Ukraine is a smaller country by land area and the economic and military strength of Russia is far higher than that of Ukraine.
Earlier, Ukraine, the neighbouring country of Russia, has expressed its desire to join NATO. However, no decision has been taken by NATO with regard to admitting Ukraine and the whole matter has been only in a speculative stage. However, Russia has used the possible entry of Ukraine into NATO as an excuse for waging a war. No doubt, Ukrainians are fighting hard to defend their motherland and in the process, several lives of Ukrainians have been lost, thousands of them have been injured and valuable assets of Ukraine have been destroyed.
The President of Ukraine has convincingly said that Ukraine has not started this war. This, obviously, means that Russia is the aggressor and the entire world looks at Russia as an aggressor today. In spite of several protests against the inhuman attack against Ukraine by Russian forces and UNO and Human Rights Council asking Russia to stop the war, Russian President Putin seems to be intent on continuing the war to the logical end, unmindful of the enormous human sufferings that are happening due to his dastardly attack.
While the world is aghast at the cruel acts of Russia, this is not the first time that such cruel acts of aggression were carried out by a large country against its neighbour.
In 1959, Chinese forces entered the neighbouring country Tibet in the Himalayan region, giving a lame excuse that Tibet is part of China.
Tibetans living in Tibet are devoted to the Buddhist religion and have never entertained any greed to occupy another country and did not have any army worth its name. When Chinese forces entered Tibet, the Tibetan people peacefully protested and tried to stop the Chinese forces from advancing in whatever way that they could. However, the Chinese government massacred the innocent protesting Tibetans, destroyed several monasteries and properties and made the respected Tibetan religious leader the Dalai Lama to leave Tibet along with his followers and seek refuge in India.
There is a contrast in the world reaction in the sufferings of Ukrainians and the sufferings of Tibetans. While almost the entire world now sympathises with the sufferings of Ukrainians and condemns Russia for its heinous act, the world virtually ignored the sufferings of Tibetans when China occupied Tibet. Even after 63 years, the world continues to ignore the plight and sufferings of Tibetans, who have lost their country which is now under occupation with a vice-like grip by China.
It is high time that world citizens should understand that the sufferings of Tibetans at the hands of the Chinese army are no less than the sufferings of Ukrainians at the hands of the Russian army.
To recognize the sufferings of Tibetans and ensure that Tibetans would get their country back from Chinese occupation, the world conscience must be awakened and one hopes that the way in which world conscience responded to the sufferings of Ukrainians would be repeated in the case of sufferings of Tibetans also.
It is high time that UNO and Human Rights Council should come to the rescue of Tibetans and ensure that aggressors will not have their way against the small neighbouring countries in future.
Venkataraman is a trustee with the “Nandini Voice for the Deprived,” a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and supports their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.
The views expressed in this article are that of the author’s and should not be attributed to Tibet Express.