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See how 60 years ago the Dalai Lama escaped China-ruled Tibet

1. At the age of two


Buddhist Tibet, a vast Himalayan area of plateaus and mountains, declared independence from China in the early 20th century.
But China took back control in 1951, having sent in thousands of troops.
Lhamo Dhondup, chosen at the age of two in 1937 as the 14th incarnation of Tibetan Buddhism's supreme religious leader under the name Tenzin Gyatso, was enthroned as head of state after the Chinese invasion.
2. Summoned to come without bodyguards
Dalai Lama's co-existence with the Beijing authorities was tense and when the Chinese authorities summoned him to an event without his bodyguards on March 10, Tibetans feared a trap that could endanger their leader.
Thousands assembled at his summer palace to prevent him from leaving; thousands more demonstrated in Lhasa to demand the Chinese depart, the Dalai Lama would later say.
Beijing poured more troops into Tibet: as tensions mounted, they opened fire on March 17, targeting and eventually razing the Dalai Lama's palace.
3. Bloodbath and disappearance
The revolt was suppressed by March 21, ending in a bloodbath. The government in-exile later claimed the Chinese army killed tens of thousands.
The outside world was largely unaware of the turmoil engulfing isolated and remote Tibet. Only neighbouring India had diplomatic representation there and rare reports of the unrest trickled out via its media.


There was concern over the fate of the Dalai Lama, then aged 23, who seemed to have disappeared.
4. Dressed up as soldier
It later emerged that Dalai Lama had been able to slip past Chinese troops massed around his palace on March 17, another AFP story said.
He left the palace dressed as a soldier and met up with a group of Tibetan resistance fighters 60 kilometres (37 miles) out of Lhasa, AFP reported, again citing The Statesman.
His entourage included his mother, sister, younger brother and several top officials.
5. Welcome in India
In March 31 the Dalai Lama walked across the border into the Indian state of Assam.
"The Dalai Lama entered India on March 31 in the evening," Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru announced on April 3, AFP flashed.
India granted the Tibet leader asylum on April 3 and permission to establish a government-in-exile in the northern hill station of Dharamsala, already a sanctuary for thousands of Tibetan exiles fleeing Chinese repression.
6. The so called separatist
From Dharamsala Dalai Lama launched a campaign to reclaim Tibet, gradually easing this into an appeal for greater autonomy.
Talks between the two sides failed, China adamantly rejecting any suggestion of Tibetan autonomy and blacklisting the Dalai Lama a dangerous "separatist".
7. For free Tibet
Beijing continues to be accused of political and religious repression in the region, but insists Tibetans enjoy extensive freedoms and that it has brought economic growth.
More than 150 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since 2009 in protest against Beijing's presence in Tibet, most of them dying.



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Thought of the day

"Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great."
John D. Rockefeller