In 1982, I walked across the 13,058 ft Rohtang Pass near the Tibetan cultural area of Ladakh and marveled at how there was so much snow that the Indian army had to use dynamite to clear miles of highway. Tibet and its environs are sometimes called the Land of Snows. But eerily, as the Chinese regime manufactured a manmade snow world during this year’s Winter Olympics – at a huge environmental cost – in barren mountains near Beijing, Tibet and the region’s natural snow were completely off-screen.
Sadly, the plight of the Tibetan people was like the real snow thousands of miles offstage: going almost completely unnoticed. Millions of Westerners may read books about Tibetan Buddhism or try out Tibetan meditation techniques; but few are aware of the extent of the Chinese government’s slow cultural genocide of the Tibetan people themselves. As we approach the anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising against Chinese occupation, we must stand up for Tibetan rights and put them center stage in U.S. foreign policy once again.