Organisation background: Why Tibet matters

Tibet Initiative Network Australia INC (TINA) is campaigning, lobbying and advocating for the Tibetan people's right to self-determination and the defense of human rights in Tibet.

Based in Australia, as a not-for-profit organisation we are politically independent and not affiliated with any religious institution or political party. Tibetan Initiative Network Australia campaigns for the freedom and human rights of the Tibetan people. TINA is funded by supporters, NGOs, and members from across Australia.

Organisational Background

Since the violent and illegal Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1949/1950 under international law, 1.2 million Tibetans have been slaughtered in this conflict. Over 100,000 Tibetans have been forced to flee their homeland and now live in exile communities around the world. To this day, the rule of law or basic human rights do not exist in Tibet. Surveillance, repression, and arbitrary arrests are the order of the day. Despite continued repression, the Tibetan people have chosen the path of non-violent resistance and for this, they deserve our utmost respect and full support.

Over the past 70 years, political repression, social discrimination, economic marginalisation, environmental destruction, and cultural assimilation have continued, particularly as a result of Chinese immigration to Tibet, which has exacerbated the strong resentment of the occupied people of Tibet.

How did China invade Tibet?

The Chinese communist-totalitarian state began its invasion of Tibet in 1949 and completely occupied the country by 1959. Since then, more than 1.2 million people, 20 percent of the country's population of six million, have died as a direct result of China's invasion and occupation. In addition, over 99% of Tibet's more than six thousand religious monasteries, temples, and sacred sites were looted or destroyed, resulting in the destruction of hundreds of thousands of sacred Buddhist scriptures.

Until 1949, Tibet was an independent country in the Himalayas with little contact with the rest of the world. It existed as a rich cultural treasure trove - a unifying theme among Tibetans - just as their own language, literature, art, and worldview developed in balance with their environment, living at high altitudes and in harsh conditions. This is therefore a great opportunity for Tibetans living in peace-loving countries such as Australia, European countries, and the USA to speak out for those Tibetans who cannot speak for themselves.

  • Chinese troops began to invade Tibet in 1949
  • Chinese troops moved beyond the Yangtze River in eastern Tibet on October 7, 1950
  • Chinese troops invaded Chamdo City in eastern Tibet on October 19, 1950
  • Regular updates on what's happening in our priority campaigns
  • Tibet requested military assistance from India and other countries
  • Tibetans clashed with Chinese troops in eastern Tibet in May 1956
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