March 10 - 1959 - The Tibetan Uprising Begins

Tibet's peculiar situation in geopolitics, being an autonomous region of China while also having a government-in-exile in India led by the Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, is the direct result of the 1959 Tibetan Uprising. On the other hand, Tibet's relationship to China was always muddied. After the Chinese Civil War, Communist forces menaced the outer regions of Tibet in the Battle of Chamdo, and the Seventeen Point Agreement said Tibet was under the rule of Beijing while also granting authority to the Dalai Lama. This arrangement was doomed to break. In 1959, after Tibetans had shown less and less acquiescence to the Chinese Government, it broke because of a theatrical performance. Once the Chinese Army said they would handle the Dalai Lama's security for the performance, people took to the streets of the Tibetan capital Lhasa to prevent an abduction of the Dalai Lama on March 10, 1959. The Chinese forces moved in and began shelling the Dalai Lama's palaces, which made the Dalai Lama flee to India. Then the Chinese Army crushed the Tibetan forces on March 21. Since that day, the Tibetan Government under the Dalai Lama has been in exile.

William Floyd