Change in Beijing, Change in Tibet?
Image Credit: Wikicommons

Change in Beijing, Change in Tibet?


Please also see Saransh Sehgal’s interview with Dr. Lobsang Sangay, the Kalon Tripa (prime minister) of the Tibetan government in exile here.

Since 2009 an estimated 71 Tibetans have set themselves on fire inside China (as of this filing), constituting one of the biggest waves of political self-immolations in recent memory. Despite being given scant attention globally, Tibetans have regularly set themselves on fire as a means of protesting China’s repressive policies in the region. The latest incident occurred on Sunday in Gansu province, capping off a particularly deadly week that saw eight self-immolations, along with a major street demonstration by hundreds of Tibetan students in Eastern Tibet. This, of course, all takes place against the backdrop of the ongoing 18th Communist Party Congress.

The reaction from Beijing has not been encouraging. Lobsang Gyaltsen, a delegate at the CPC congress and vice governor of the Tibet Autonomous Region said on November 8, “Overseas separatists entice victims. Those people who support Tibetan independence call their deeds a heroic act and these people heroes.”

“It is actually an act of murder to entice somebody to commit suicide …. The Dalai Lama group is sacrificing other people’s lives to achieve their evil goals,” he added.

Meanwhile, Beijing has also been ratcheting up security in Tibet and has banned foreign journalists from working in the area.

Kate Saunders, the spokesperson for the Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet, told The Diplomat, “The self-immolations are a dramatic and visible counter to the claims of the Chinese Communist Party  to  be  improving  Tibetans’  lives and  they  are  a  direct challenge  to  the  Party’s  legitimacy  in Tibet. The international community should also prevail upon the Chinese leadership to end the military buildup and limit the dominance of the security apparatus, factors that have intensified the dangers in Tibet, increasing the risk of more self-immolations.”

Yankee Doodle
March 16, 2013 at 16:18

Exactly.  The Amerikan cowboys should had given America to Big Chief Sitting Bull and the United States of North American Indians instead of massacring them.  White Europeans were illegal immigrants to another peoples' land.  And that's not even castigating Amerikans for forcibly rounding up free Africans to become slaves for the whites in the "New World".  Such hypocrisy they should be trying to instigate rebellions and uprising now in other countries.  Go, free your people first, Kate and Co..

neutral thinker
November 20, 2012 at 03:21

Most people who think Tibet needs a change had never been to there.  Neither do they read some history. People who think Dalai Lama is good, had never been to one of his speeches. 
Did you know what those monks did to Tibetan people before CCP era?  
Did you know that standard of life in Tibet has been improved tremendously in the last half century?  
Did you ever talk to real Tibetans in Tibet but not the ones overseas who wish to get a asylum visa? 
Do you really want a state that controlled by religious monks? Isn't that a dictatorship?
C'mom people, you are just being naiive!!

Immolation Forever
November 19, 2012 at 15:14

Maybe all you trolls should also immolate yourself?  You would be making a great statement against "tyranny".  C'mon, you chicken or something?  Or maybe just armchair critics paid by Washington only? 

November 14, 2012 at 02:14

Tibet is the perfect example of the neo-imperialist agenda of the disgusting CCP regime. It is actually a great service this monks are doing for the world. By performing self-immolation and getting attention on the world stage they are exposing the corruption and totalitarianism of the rogue CCP regime. The tibetans suffering will not go unheard and they are already doing their part to try and expose the atrocities the CCP has/is committing to this very day. It will serve as a light to all those nations who might be fooled into thinking china's rise is "peaceful".

November 13, 2012 at 22:14

quite a cynical comment, but in a sense you're absolutely right. However, if China seeks "long term" stability though, an imperial policy may not be the way to achieve that.

November 13, 2012 at 21:24

I don't see how anyone can call China's actions in Tibet a "failed policy." This is a calculated Imperial policy from an authoritarian ethnically defined nationalist government, and it has been very successful. 

November 13, 2012 at 03:27

Nice article on tibet, saransh sehgal. challenge for xi jinping comes at a right time.

Tseten Zöchbauer
November 13, 2012 at 01:51

Very sad to not see in this article what the self immolates request is .. That they shout while burning: "Freedom for Tibet" " Return of HH the Dalai Lama" "Free Tibet" " We want Freedom and Unity!"  … Beside what ever changes inside Tibet is not guaranteeing anything for betterment for Tibet and Tibetans inside Tibet mainly not for Freedom to Tibetans. Also it is unimaginable why, Xi should do anything to change … His success was made by that very system and his father might be a moderated one but he is not. he got since years trained and prepared for this position … His brain is red as it can be… Every time Chinese leadership changed, Tibetan Government was full of hope. But nothing changed. Tibetans inside Tibet know Chinese the best and they are not hoping for changes coming from Xi Jinping but asking fro Freedom from China. This should give to all of us to think. If there would be a little hope, the Tibetans inside Tibet would know. China failed there policy in Tibet and the same did the Middle Way approach of the Tibetan government, because there was never any serious support from UN or and powerful governments.. Now the Tibetans inside Tibet took the problem in their hands … Lonely, left to face a sick communist country made strong by western greed … By heartless democrats …  That are the informations I miss in this report. I miss deeper researches to write such a long article and new informations as well meaningful statements. Tibet is in such a difficult situation that good and helpful imformations by Media are urgently needed

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