The Boy Who Became the Dalai Lama - Chapter 7: Escape to Exile

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One winter day of 1959 a general of Communist China extended a seemingly innocent invitation to the Tibetan leader to attend a theatrical show by a Chinese dance troupe. He was told that no Tibetan soldiers were to accompany the Dalai Lama and that his bodyguards be unarmed.

The people of Lhasa were immediately concerned. Soon a crowd of tens of thousands of Tibetans gathered around the Dalai Lama’s palace in an effort to shield him from the Chinese soldiers.

The Dalai Lama was concerned that the soldiers would kill his people if they tried to enter his palace. He decided he must leave immediately. A few minutes before ten o'clock "His Holiness," disguised as a common soldier, slipped past the massive throng of people along with a small escort and proceeded towards India where he joined his family.

It was a hard and terrifying trip that took him 3 weeks.  After he left, the Chinese took full control of Tibet.

The Indian government had already agreed to provide asylum to His Holiness and his followers in India. Thirty thousand Tibetan people followed him to India.

A year later, the Dalai Lama held a press conference and told the world,

On this first occasion, I stress the need for my people to take a long-term view of the situation in Tibet. For those of us in exile, I said that our priority must be resettlement and the continuity of our cultural traditions. As to the future, I state my belief that, with truth, justice and courage as our weapons, we Tibetans would eventually prevail in regaining freedom for Tibet.

 Over 50 years later, this peaceful, compassionate man still clings to his hopes and dreams of returning to a free Tibet. It is unlikely that will happen, however, as many Chinese have now moved to Tibet and settled there. And China will not even address the possibility of leaving this country.

Original Release: May 13, 2015

Updated Last Revision: Jun 02, 2016

1) The Office of the Dalai Lama, Escape to Exile, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, May/03/2015, May/03/2015, http://www.dalailama.com

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"Chapter 7: Escape to Exile" AwesomeStories.com. May 13, 2015. Feb 18, 2020.
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