|Conventional short name:|
|Local:||Bot / པཏ|
|Others:||Mandarin, Mongolian, Uyghur, Kazakh|
|Dalai Lama:||Qi Siba|
|Independence:||from Chinese Empire|
The nominal ruler of Tibet is the Dalai Lama. In practice, the Ganden Tripa (often translated as Prime Minister) rules the country
Tibet gained independence in 1947 following the collapse of the Chinese Empire. The newly-independent state was largely dominated by a Sinicized elite, who had come to power under Chinese rule. A revolution broke out, led by traditionalist rebels seeking to purify Tibet. In 1952, the military leaders drove out the old rulers. Shortly thereafter, the Dalai Lama came of age and was formally enthroned as the leader of Tibet, though in practice, he was a figurehead. In 1955, the Tibetans invaded parts of Uyguristan and Nanhanguo in the short Tibetan War.
In 1958, the 14th Dalai Lama died under suspicious circumstances. It's generally believed that the generals were responsible (the Dalai Lama had begun to show sympathies towards pacifism). Both the Tibetan authorities and the government-in-exile claimed a different individual as Dalai Lama. Despite attempts by the Lhasan authorities, the Panchen Lama recognized the exiles' candidate as the 15th Dalai Lama, providing a powerful rallying figure for the exiles. The 15th Dalai Lama died in 1965, believed to have been assassinated, and this time, the Tibetan authorities sent troops to force the Panchen Lama to recognize their candidate for 16th Dalai Lama.
At the same time, the government-in-exile, located in Samraj recognized their own Dalai Lama, recognized by several other important Lamas. The exiles' Dalai Lama is a popular speaker and prolific writer, author of a number of books that have been translated into hundreds of languages and sold in every country of the world.
Tibet is a theocracy, governed under a form of Tibetan Buddhism. Adherents of other religions-- including the Muslim Hui of the Gansu region in the far north of Tibetan territory-- do not have religious freedom. This fact is a frequent target of foreign protesters and has been criticized by the Dalai Lama in exile.