FREE TIBET-2 BLUE T-Shirt
The International Tibet Independence Movement (ITIM) is a movement to establish historical Tibet, comprising the three traditional provinces of Amdo, Kham, and Ü-Tsang as an independent kingdom. Support for the movement in the current Tibet Autonomous Region is illegal within the People's Republic of China and the movement is largely led by Tibetans in exile with the support of some individuals and organizations outside of Tibet. Indeed, celebrities and many non-Tibetan Buddhists have lent their support or solidarity - this has led to the 'Free Tibet' movement harnessing much support since its creation. The level of support for the movement within the Tibet Autonomous Region and other Tibetan areas of the PRC is difficult to assess. In response to the 2008 unrest in Tibet, the Dalai Lama said that he only wants greater autonomy for Tibet within China, not full independence, which he described as "out of the question".------------------The subsequent outbreak of World War I and civil war in China caused the Western powers and the infighting factions of China proper to lose interest in Tibet, and the 13th Dalai Lama ruled undisturbed. At that time, the government of Tibet controlled all of Ü-Tsang (Dbus-gtsang) and western Kham (Khams), roughly coincident with the borders of the Tibet Autonomous Region today. Eastern Kham, separated by the Yangtze River was under the control of Chinese warlord Liu Wenhui. The situation in Amdo (Qinghai) was more complicated, with the Xining area controlled by ethnic Hui warlord Ma Bufang, who constantly strove to exert control over the rest of Amdo (Qinghai). In 1950, the People's Liberation Army of the People's Republic of China entered Tibet, after taking over the rest of China from Republic of China during the five years of civil war. In 1951, the Plan for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet, a treaty signed by representatives of the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama, provided for rule by a joint administration under representatives of the central government and the Tibetan government. Most of the population of Tibet at that time were serfs, bound to land owned by lamas. Any attempt at land reform or the redistribution of wealth would have proved unpopular with the established landowners. This agreement was initially put into effect in Tibet proper. However, Eastern Kham and Amdo were outside the administration of the government of Tibet, and were thus treated like any other Chinese province with land reform implemented in full. As a result, a rebellion broke out in these regions in June of 1956. The rebellion eventually spread to Lhasa, but was crushed by 1959. The 14th Dalai Lama and other government principals fled to exile in India.----------The current Dalai Lama has spoken in many international venues, including the United States Congress, and the European Parliament. In 1987, he has also started campaigning for a peaceful resolution to the question of independence, going so far as to suggest that full independence is not necessary, and that autonomy could be acceptable. This approach is known as the "Middle Way". The Dalai Lama has had widespread support over the past 40 years, but has never gained official recognition for the government of Tibet in exile. There are many components to the movement: * Tibetan Independence Movement - A movement started within Tibet that lasted from 1987 to 1989. Chinese crackdown on dissent led to 10 monks that formed the movement being jailed, with three (as of 2004) still jailed. * Tibetan Youth Congress - Located at Dharamsala, the seat of the Government of Tibet in Exile in India, claims 70,000 members. * International Tibetan Independence Movement - Located in Indiana, United States. It was formed in 1995 as an official organization and focus for the various international activities. * International Tibetan Aid Organization - Located in Amsterdam, Netherlands, this organization was formed in 2004 to provide a European counterpart to the International Tibetan Independence Movement. ---------------With the release of the Beastie Boys album Ill Communication in 1994, the Milarepa Fund was born. The organization was named after Milarepa, the revered eleventh-century Tibetan saint who used music to enlighten people. Originally designed to disburse royalties from Ill Communication to benefit Tibetan monks who were sampled on two songs, it took off when Milarepa Fund organizers joined the Beastie Boys as they headlined the 1994 Lollapalooza Tour. During the tour, the idea of staging a Live Aid-style concert for Tibetan independence was born. Organized in June 1996, the first concert (in San Francisco) opened with Icelandic singer Björk and featured acts such as Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, Cibo Matto, Rage Against the Machine, and De La Soul. It drew 100,000 people and raised over $800,000 for Tibetan independence and social justice causes. The concerts continued for three more years, generating public awareness about Tibetan independence, particularly amongst young people. This helped spur the growth of Students for a Free Tibet worldwide. Comedian Russell Brand also sometimes mentions his support for Tibet's Freedom on his BBC Radio 2 show.--------------Some Free Tibet campaigners support the idea that exile government should issue its own passports. It remains uncertain if any country would allow any Tibetan passport holders entry with such passports, and a list of such countries could be publicised so that Tibetans may be encouraged to travel to these countries (e.g. holidays, honeymoon, overseas studies, cultural visits, business trips) rather than to those countries reluctant to give them real and meaningful recognition.