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Revisited

Six decades on, Tibetan diaspora in Dharamsala worried about its future

In 1959, a crackdown by the Chinese army forced the young Dalai Lama to flee Tibet. For 15 days, on foot and on horseback, he crossed the Himalayas. It marked the end of the Tibetans’ armed rebellion against Beijing’s authority. The Indian government offered asylum to the Buddhist spiritual leader in Dharamsala, where thousands of other Tibetans were later to join him. So what remains of the Tibetan struggle today, six decades on? FRANCE 24 reports from Dharamsala.

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Sixty years ago, Chinese armed forces took control over Tibet, and suppressed the rebellion of the Tibetan people. Faced with grave danger, the Dalai Lama and his entourage fled Tibet, and crossed the Himalayas to seek refuge in India. Many Tibetans followed him into exile, and set up a unique community in Dharamsala - a northern Indian city, which has since come to be known as Little Tibet.

Today, more than 90,000 Tibetans live on the Indian subcontinent. Their headquarters continues to be Dharamsala, where the 14th Dalai Lama still lives, surrounded by the central administration of the Tibetan government in exile.

To keep their cause alive on the international scene, Tibetans have long relied on the emblematic figure of their spiritual leader. But with the Dalai Lama turning 84 this year, the Tibetan diaspora is now more worried about its future than ever before. The future of Tibet is also hanging in the balance.

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