Self-immolation by monks is “the image of the suffering of the Tibetan people”
by Nirmala Carvalho
For the director of the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, Beijing is using “cultural genocide” and “birth controls” to silence the Tibetan people. If China does not change, 2012 will be bad “for the human rights of the Tibetan people”.
Dharamsala (AsiaNews) – Self-immolation by Tibetan monks “will remain forever the image of the intense and continuous suffering and gross human rights violations of Tibetans” at the hand of the Chinese regime. “The Chinese government has once again reacted with force and violence against the legitimate voices of the Tibetan people, and has failed to address its grievances,” said Tsering Tsomo, executive director of the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, who spoke to AsiaNews about the ongoing crackdown in Tibet and the Chinese provinces with Tibetan majorities.
In the past nine months, 13 Buddhist monks and nuns shave et themselves on fire in public to protest against Chinese violence and the continued exile of the Dalai Lama. The images of these men and women burning have gone around the world, unleashing a debate over their extreme gesture.
On several occasions, the Dalai Lama has said that Tibetan Buddhism rejects suicide. He has therefore called on monks to show patience and compassion instead of taking their own lives.
Some groups of Tibetan exiles have chosen instead to use self-immolation as a means of struggle against the Chinese regime.
“The international community is well aware of the sufferings of the Tibetans inside Tibet,” Tsomo said. For the 36-year-old, who was born in India, “women’s suffering is even greater because” China’s “attack on the dignity of the human person” is coupled by its “attack on the dignity and rights of women.”
“Our sources have told us of the policies implemented inside Tibet” such as the “one-child policy”. Under existing Chinese law, this policy does not apply to the country’s ethnic minorities.
The problem is also cultural. “Chinese propaganda is using the Chinese language and ideology to educate our children. It is a gross violation of human rights, a virtual cultural genocide. However, Tibet’s stability is essential for China’s own stability. Unless something is done urgently in 2012, the situation will spiral out of control.”