Over the years, celebrities and individuals have advocated to “Free Tibet,” such as Sharon Stone’s scandalous suggestion that the 2008 Sichuan earthquake was a result of “bad karma” due to Chinese mistreating the Tibetans. Such individuals are referring to the Tibet Autonomous Region (“TAR”) within China when chanting “Free Tibet” or commenting on the mistreatment of Tibetans. The Central Tibetan Administration (“CTA”) does not receive as much attention even though it may be considered a free, independent state for Tibetans.
In 1949, the People’s Liberation Army of China entered the area now known as the TAR. The CTA was established in 1959 by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and about eighty thousand Tibetans who fled the TAR because they disagreed with Chinese rule. The CTA went on to establish a government in Dharamsala, India for Tibetans.