Today marks the 50th Anniversary of the uprising in Tibet against Chinese rule, and to mark that occasion, the Chinese have closed off the borders to foreigners. Little information about what is happening inside the country has made it’s way out, although there have been some rumors of protests taking place.
The March 10th uprising in 1959 was an attempt by the Tibetan people to gain their independence following their annexation by China a few years earlier. The Chinese put down the uprising through military force, and thousands (some would say tens of thousands) were killed in the process. It was this event that caused the Dalai Lama to go into exile in Dharamsala, India, along with more than 30,000 other Tibetans.
Yesterday, as I wrote about today on Gadling, the Chinese President once again banished the already exiled spiritual leader, beyond a “Great Wall against separatism”. A move that was meant to build unity and nationalism in China and Tibet.
What this all means for climbers, trekkers, and other tourists heading to Tibet, is that the borders are expected to remain closed at least until the first of April. After that, we’ll have to take a wait and see attitude. Considering there are still a few expeditions scheduled for the North Side of Everest, which will be inaccessible if the borders remain closed, there will be many watching with curious eyes to see how things unfold. If the country remains peaceful, then perhaps it will reopen on schedule and those planning on visiting the Himalayan country will once again be allowed in. Lets hope that it turns out that way.
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