Over 1.2 million Tibetans have died as a direct result of China’s illegal occupation of Tibet, and human rights conditions remain dismal. In Tibet today, there is no freedom of speech, no freedom of assembly, no freedom of press and no freedom of religion The Tibetan spirit is strong, but it is up against a lot of challenges. From religious repression to economic discrimination, environmental destruction to political oppression, the Chinese government’s rule over Tibet continues to have a devastating effect, both on the Tibetan people and their land. Tibetan refugees in exile (mainly in India, Nepal, the North America and Western Europe) try hard to preserve Tibetan culture, religion and language in countries where they do not fear reprisal. The time of so-called “liberalization” in Tibet came to a quick halt when the Chinese government realized that even the harsh brutality of the Cultural Revolution had not been able to stamp out the Tibetan people’s fierce patriotism and their strong sense of ethnic and national identity. As soon as the Chinese government loosened its grip on Tibet, the Tibetan resistance was reinvigorated. Beginning in the late 1980s, Tibetans took to the streets in spontaneous mass demonstrations against the Chinese occupation.