Tibet

TIBET AT A GLANCE

Continent: Asia

Geographic Coordinates: 31.7056° N, 86.9403° E

Borders: China claims Tibet as a province. It borders India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, and East Turkestan.

Population: 6,000,000

Ethnic Groups: Tibetans are the majority population. Other groups include Moinba, Lhoba, Hui, Deng, and Sherpa.

WHY PEOPLE WERE FORCED TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES

In 1951 the Tibet Autonomous Region came under the control of People’s Republic of China. Although part of the Chinese state, the government of Tibet and Tibetan social structure remained largely in place in the Tibet Autonomous Region until the 1959 Tibetan uprising, when the Dalai Lama fled into exile and after which the Government of Tibet was dissolved.

The Tibetan government in exile is based in Dharamsala, India, and the worldwide exile population is estimated at approximately 128,014: India 94,203; Nepal 13,514; Bhutan 1,298; and rest of the world 18,999 (Demographic Survey of Tibetans in Exile 2009, by Planning Commission of Central Tibetan Administration)

Under the 1990 Immigration Act, 1,000 Tibetans living in exile in India, Nepal and Bhutan were chosen, via a Tibetan lottery, to receive U.S. visas. In 1993, Vermont became one of 25 resettlement sites in the United States. However, unlike other immigrants who came to Vermont as refugees, the Tibetans were deemed “displaced persons” and hence received no financial support from the U.S. government. Instead, Vermonters had to create a private nonprofit, Burlington’s Tibetan Resettlement Project, to help them get established.

TIBETANS IN VERMONT

Community association representing Tibetans in Vermont

Seven Days Article: Burlington-Area Tibetans Reflect on Life in Exile

Burlington Free Press Article: Dalai Lama's visit is a dream come true for Vermont Tibetan community

GENERAL BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT TIBET

International Campaign for Tibet

Humanity in Action Article: 'One Home One Dream': Exploring Tibetan Diaspora in New York City

The Office of Tibet: The official agency of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Administration to the Americas