News / Asia

11th Tibetan Buddhist Self-Immolates in Southwestern China

Tibetan nun Palden Chetso who died after setting herself on fire in southwestern China is seen in this undated file photo.
Tibetan nun Palden Chetso who died after setting herself on fire in southwestern China is seen in this undated file photo.

China says a Tibetan nun has died after setting herself on fire in southwestern China.  It was the 11th such self-immolation protest this year involving Buddhist monks and nuns in the restive region.

Palden Chetso, 35, died Thursday in Sichuan province.  A witness told VOA's Tibetan service he found the nun drenched in gasoline on a local roadway moments before she set herself ablaze.  She said she was prepared to sacrifice for greater freedoms and the return of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.  

Eight Buddhist monks and two nuns have self-immolated since a young protesting monk died after setting himself on fire in March at the flashpoint Kirti monastery.  That death sparked months of protests by monks and nuns and triggered a major Chinese crackdown on area monasteries that included the arrests and disappearances of hundreds of monks.

In Washington Wednesday, the head of the Tibetan government in exile, Lobsang Sangay, urged the United States to press China for access to the region to investigate the incidents and the crackdown.

He also denied Chinese accusations that his exile government has encouraged the self-immolations.

"So, as a matter of principle, Tibetan administration based in India, which I am the head, do not, do not encourage protests inside Tibet, or for that matter, self-immolation as well, because, mainly because we know the consequences. If you protest in Tibet, more often than not you get arrested, or beaten up, sometimes tortured; sometimes you disappear, sometimes you die," he said.

Sangay said the immolations demonstrate the failure of Chinese policies in Tibet, where the Beijing government has spent billions of dollars on infrastructure projects in a bid to win over a sometimes restive population.

"After 60 years, the socialist paradise generation, in the sense those Tibetans who grew up under the Chinese system of education, of propaganda, of economy, of culture are saying: 'Enough. This is unbearable. We can't live under the circumstances.'  And they are resorting to a tragic method, a desperate method of self-immolation. So, clearly the Chinese government['s] hard-line policies are not working."

He also affirmed that the protesting monks and nuns were acting to demand greater freedom of religion and the return to China of the Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in northern India.

"One thing is very clear. As they were, as they set themselves on fire, as they were on fire, almost all of them cries or says two main slogans. One is 'Freedom for Tibetans' or 'Freedom in Tibet.'  And, two, 'Long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama' or 'Return of His Holiness Dalai Lama to Tibet.'  So, one can only imagine how it feels to be yourself in fire."

Sangay has taken over the political leadership of the Tibetan exile movement from the Dalai Lama, who announced this year that he will restrict himself to his role as a spiritual leader. China denounces the Dalai Lama as a "splittist" who seeks independence for Tibet, though the Dalai Lama denies it.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid