On this day in 1959 -Tibetan Uprising


Lhasa rebellion

Tsarong in captivity
9 May 1959

The insurrection that started the 1959 Tibetan uprising, also known by other names, broke out in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, on March 10, 1959. Tibet had been effectively under People’s Republic of China’s rule since the Seventeen Point Agreement was signed in 1951.]# Because Tibetan demonstrators were concerned that the Chinese government may detain the 14th Dalai Lama, the initial uprising took place amid widespread Chinese-Tibetan tensions and a confusing environment. Separatism and anti-Chinese sentiment also contributed to the protests. The rebellion began as generally peaceful demonstrations, but soon confrontations broke out. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had to use force to put an end to the demonstrations since some of the demonstrators had taken weapons. Heavy fighting during the uprising’s final stages resulted in significant civilian and military casualties. On 23 March 1959, the city of Lhasa was completely retaken by Chinese security forces, although the 14th Dalai Lama managed to flee. The precise number of deaths during the 1959 revolt in Tibet is unclear, however thousands were slain.

Armed fighting between Tibetan rebels and the PLA earlier in 1956 broke out in the socialist-reformed Kham and Amdo regions. Afterwards, the guerilla conflict spread to more Tibetan regions and continued through 1962. According to some, the 1958 Xunhua Incident served as a prelude to the Tibetan rebellion.

Tibetan Uprising Day and Women’s Uprising Day

Exiled Tibetans mark Tibetan Uprising Day and Women’s Uprising Day on the yearly 10 March anniversary of the uprising. The Tibetan Autonomous Region’s PRC-controlled legislature designated March 28 as the national commemoration of Serfs Liberation Day on January 19, 2009. Following the disturbance in Tibet on March 10, 2008, American Tibetologist Warren W. Smith Jr. characterised the action as a “counter-propaganda” celebration.


  • 1959 Tibetan uprising (used by the Central Tibetan Administration)
  • 1959 Tibetan armed rebellion (used by the government of the People’s Republic of China)
  • 1959 Tibetan anti-tyranny movement (used by the government of the Republic of China)
  • 1959 Tibetan riots (commonly used in Chinese historiography)
  • 1959 anti-Chinese uprising in Tibet[12]
  • Lhasa uprising[19]

Go to Armed resistance in eastern Tibet for the majority of this article.

Reference: 1959 Tibetan uprising. (2023, February 23). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1959_Tibetan_uprising

Image 1 . File:Tsarong in captivity.jpg. In Wikipediahttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tsarong_in_captivity.jpg

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