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Tibetan National Martyrs Memorial information

Tibetan National Martyrs Memorial

The Tibetan National Martyrs Memorial is a black obelisk in Dharamsala, the Indian hill station that serves as the headquarters of exiled Tibetans who have fled their Chinese-ruled homeland. Usually the slender monument is surrounded by a colorful tangle of Tibetan prayer flags. Tibet was a small, peaceful and independent nation, literally on top of the world. In 1950, its fortunes changed when the People’s Republic of China invaded it. Nine years after the invasion, the Tibetans revolted, but were put down by the Chinese. Subsequently, the Dalai Lama, the spiritual and political leader of Tibet, fled the country along with some 80,000 followers. The Union government offered them refuge at McLeodganj in Himachal Pradesh, where the Dalai Lama set up the government of Tibet in exile. The town became his official residence, and home to thousands of Tibetan refugees. Driven out from their own homes, seething with a silent inner rage, this population in exile lives by three demands—Free Tibet, Release the Panchen Lama (the world’s youngest political prisoner) and let His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, return to Tibet.

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