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Summary of the 14th Dalai Lama's Life

Prabhakar Pillai Oct 30, 2018
The 14th and current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the symbol of the Tibetan independence movement. Read on to learn about his life.
The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. He has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He heads the Tibetan Government in exile from Dharamshala, India.


1935: He was born on July 6, 1935, in Quinghai. He was the 5th of 16 children. His parents were farmers.

1937: He was proclaimed the reincarnation of the thirteenth Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso.

1940: He was taken to the Potala Palace in Lhasa, where he was officially installed as the spiritual leader of Tibet, and began his monastic education a year later.
1950:On October 24, China invaded Tibet. Around 1.2 million Tibetans died in the fighting and many monastical and cultural sites were destroyed. On November 17, the Dalai Lama assumed full political power.

1954: In September he and the 10th Panchen Lama went to Beijing to attend the first session of the first National People's Congress.
1959: There was a major uprising among the Tibetan population. The Dalai Lama fled to Tawang, India, in March. He met the Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, and urged him to pressure China into handing Tibet an autonomous government. He set up the Central Tibetan Administration, also called the Tibetan Government in Exile, in Dharamshala, India.
1963: He created a democratic constitution based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A Tibetan parliament-in-exile was elected by the Tibetan refugees spread all over the world, and the Tibetan Government in Exile was similarly elected by the Tibetan parliament.
1987: At the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in Washington, D.C, he proposed a Five-Point Peace Plan for the status and future of Tibet. The plan called for Tibet to become a 'zone of peace', and the end of the migration of ethnic Han Chinese into Tibet.
It urged 'respect for fundamental human rights and democratic freedoms' and 'the end of Chinese use of Tibet for nuclear weapons production, testing, and disposal.' Finally, it called for 'earnest negotiations' on the future of Tibet.
1989: He received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to free his homeland from Chinese rule using nonviolent means.

1995: In September, he toured the US, gave informal talks, and urged the US government to press China's leaders to grant autonomy to Tibet.

1998: He acknowledged that he received financial assistance from the US government in the 1960s.
2001: He met President Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and members of Congress to discuss the status of Tibet.

2006: He met the Chief Rabbi of Israel. The Parliament of Canada voted to make The Dalai Lama an honarary citizen of Canada. The United States Congress awarded the Dalai Lama the Congressional Gold Medal.
2007: He visited Australia, and also met the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. 

2008: There was unrest in Tibet. He called for calm and deplored Chinese violence. He recognized the McMahon Line as per the 1914 Simla agreement signed by Tibetan and British representatives.
The 14th Dalai Lama continues to wage his peaceful fight against the occupation of his homeland, and is revered by many throughout in the world for his dedication to the cause.