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    » 01/05/2012, 00.00

    TIBET – CHINA

    Self-immolation by monks is “the image of the suffering of the Tibetan people”

    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.”
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    See also

    15/01/2011 TIBET – CHINA
    Human rights worse in Tibet in 2010
    A report by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy notes that intellectuals, monks and students are the most affected. Beijing wants to settle the Tibetan issue once and for all through violence and repressive laws and by further tightening its stranglehold over the territory.

    23/07/2010 TIBET – CHINA
    Eyewitnesses describe the violence of March 2008 in Lhasa
    ‘I saw with my own eyes’ is a report written by Chinese journalists and lawyers that contains more than 200 interviews with people who went through those tragic days and their aftermath. A Tibetan human rights activist talks about it.

    23/10/2009 TIBET – CHINA
    Lhasa: Chinese authorities execute four Tibetans
    The four men had been convicted on 8 April, according to the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy. China’s crackdown against ethnic Tibetans continues relentless following unrest on 14 March last year.

    05/12/2011 TIBET – CHINA
    Pictures emerge showing Chinese repression in Tibet
    Handcuffed monks with a sign hanging around their neck are dragged away from their monastery. They are crime: demanding religious freedom for Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama. Shameful and hateful pictures are posted online.

    26/09/2008 TIBET – INDIA – CHINA
    More than a thousand monks and many civilians have disappeared since the March crackdown
    Whether they were arrested in March or simply disappeared thereafter, their relatives and friends are in the dark as to their whereabouts or even if they are still alive. An appeal is made to foreign governments, international agencies and the United Nations not to forget them.



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