Tag Archives: self-immolations

Hope and Movement

I think it’s time for an update on the situation in Tibet:

Tibetans have been clamoring for the freedom to express themselves – culturally, religiously, and of course freedom of speech and press – and we’ve seen tragedy strike again and again.  62 Tibetans have now self-immolated.  62.  As I’ve expressed in my previous posts, I agree with the Central Tibetan Administration and H.H. the Dalai Lama on this – these individuals are desperate, and they are committing the ultimate sacrifice because they feel the world will not listen.

Remember, the Chinese invaded Tibet in 1949.  Tibetans have done everything they could, first appealing to the UN, fighting back against the incoming PLA troops, and then peaceful protests, for decades.   They simply have never had the resources that the PLA has always had at their disposal (to give you an indication: when China invaded Tibet, the entire plateau only had three radios.  Also consider than when the PLA first marched into Lhasa, they arrived with over 20,000 troops – all of whom had horses and empty stomachs – the fragile agricultural balance and carefully maintained surplus that Tibetans had kept going for four centuries was depleted and destroyed in roughly a few months.  Mao may have called himself a Communist, but the poor farmers and working class suffered first).

Today, people are suffering from poverty, imprisonment, police brutality, the destruction of their culture, and a general lack of freedom (take, for instance, the 19-yr-old monk arrested yesterday for having a cell phone).

As you may know, we saw 7 self-immolations in 7 days last week – the highest frequency yet.  Supporters of the Tibetan people have demanded change in its wake.  However, there is finally some good news.  The world is listening.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Chinese Government, Cultural Anthropology, Public, Community, Tibet, Tibetan Current Events and Activism, Tibetan Refugees

Portraits of Self-Immolation Protesters

In less than a week, there have been three more self-immolations in Tibet.  This brings the number to 54.  At least 44 of these individuals have died – and 41 of them have set themselves alight in this fiery form of rebellion since January of 2012.

Take a moment to see their faces.  All of them had their own stories.  We’re left to fill in a lot of blanks.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/internationaltibetnetwork/sets/72157630599786116/with/8059245412/

from Tibet Network Flickr

Leave a comment

Filed under Chinese Government, Tibet, Tibetan Current Events and Activism

Two More Young Tibetans Self-Immolated Yesterday

…Emphasis on “young.”  Both of them were under twenty.

This I read on the International Tibet Network‘s Facebook page:

“Lobsang Kalsang, 18, a monk at Kirti Monastery and Damchoe, 17, a former monk at the monastery self-immolated on 27 August 2012 outside Kirti monastery, Ngaba Town. According to eye witnesses, they took about 20 steps near the east gate of the monastery, shouting slogans and then fell. Chinese security personnel put out the flames and took them to local hospital initially and later to Barkham hospital. Sources said that they both died.”

Since news and media is heavily monitored by Chinese officials, there is still some uncertainty whether these two young people did indeed pass.  There is also a case a monk and his niece, a nun, who may or may not have immolated.  It seems most Tibetans believe they did indeed self-immolate in protest.

Here is a list of the Tibetans who have recently risked, or lost, their lives for Tibet in this fiery form of protest: http://standupfortibet.org/learn-more/

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Chinese Government, Public, Community, Tibet, Tibetan Current Events and Activism, Tibetan Refugees