News / Asia

Beijing Pressured After Teen Monk Self-Immolates

Tibetan exiles hold candlelight vigil for those who have recently self-immolated, Dharmsala, India, May 31, 2012.Tibetan exiles hold candlelight vigil for those who have recently self-immolated, Dharmsala, India, May 31, 2012.
x
Tibetan exiles hold candlelight vigil for those who have recently self-immolated, Dharmsala, India, May 31, 2012.
Tibetan exiles hold candlelight vigil for those who have recently self-immolated, Dharmsala, India, May 31, 2012.
The London-based rights group Free Tibet says the death of an 18-year-old Tibetan monk in a self-immolation protest in southwest China Tuesday should prompt international pressure on Beijing to "let Tibetans decide their own future."

In a written statement, Free Tibet director Stephanie Brigden said Tuesday's suicide of Lobsang Lozin in Sichuan province shows that Tibetan calls for freedom now are "overwhelming." Activists have reported more than 40 self-imm
Locations of self-immolations in TibetLocations of self-immolations in Tibet
x
Locations of self-immolations in Tibet
Locations of self-immolations in Tibet
olations since 2009 by Tibetans protesting what they see as repressive government policies. Some of the self-immolations have been fatal.

Tibetan activists said Lozin set himself on fire at Gyalrong Tsodun Kirti Monastery in Ngaba Tibetan autonomous prefecture in Sichuan province, and walked toward a local government office shouting slogans.

"Some say he walked around 100 steps toward the Chinese communist party office in Ngaba, yet we cannot confirm this," said Kanyag Tsering, a Dharamsala-based representative of Kirti monastery. "And then he fell down and died."

Administrators of the Tibetan government-in-exile, which is also based in the Indian city, expressed "deep concern" about Lozin's death and said Chinese authorities sent a large contingent of armed police to the monastery's town, Barkham, in an apparent bid to prevent further unrest.

Activists said local Tibetans blocked a bridge to prevent police from reaching the monastery.

According to Tsering, resident monks moved quickly to retrieve the teenager's body.

"The monks have cleaned his body, brought it in the monastery and said prayers," said Tsering. "The unusual thing is that they are preparing to cremate his body tonight. According to Tibetan custom, they would usually keep the body for a few days and cremate it on an appropriate day. But since they are cremating it tonight, it shows that the monks fear that Chinese officials will take away his body."

There was no immediate comment on the incident from the Chinese government, but Beijing has said Tibetans enjoy religious freedom and higher living standards resulting from China's economic development.

Tibetans have long accused Beijing of suppressing and eroding their culture by flooding Tibetan regions with Han Chinese, the county's main ethnic group.

Activists posted a photo on the Internet purporting to show Lozin on fire. Two other monks from the same monastery died after setting themselves on fire on March 30. The monastery is one of the region's largest, with more than 300 monks.

- Graham White and VOA Tibetan Service's Dorje Tseten contributed to this report.

Michael Lipin

Michael covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: John from: New York
July 20, 2012 12:11 AM
Why would a Tibetan decide to self-immolate? The following essay is the best understanding I have read on this issue:

http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2012/05/09/tibet-cynical-sinicism-and-the-tragedy-of-self-immolations/

by: DanTe
July 17, 2012 11:14 PM
Sounds like China is given a Solution, not a Problem. The more of these idiots burn themselves alive, the better. Hopefully before they had spawned and further infest the gene pool with the stupid gene. Burn Away!
In Response

by: Wangchuk from: NYC
July 19, 2012 10:22 AM
Sounds like yet another Han chauvinist who doesn't care about Tibetans, Uighurs & Mongolians or anyone who dares to challenge the CCP. This is an example of the lack of humanity among the Chinese communists.

by: KFC from: Asia
July 17, 2012 11:02 PM
Frankly, Tibetans cannot live without the subsidies from China, in terms of economy and finance. Tibetan activists are blinded by oversea powers who plot to create unrest in this country to stop its peaceful development.
In Response

by: Wangchuk from: NYC
July 19, 2012 10:21 AM
KFC sounds like yet another 50 Cent Gang member posting pro-CCP messages. China has occupied Tibet for 60 years but Tibetans have not benefited. That's why so many are protesting against China. Tibet has had the "benefit" of CCP rule for 6 decades yet 1/4 of Tibetans live in abject poverty, 85% don't have a secondary education & 50% are illiterate, according to PRC statistics. Also per capita GDP of Tibetans today is about US$2500 yet Bhutan, which has a similar culture & economy as pre-1959 Tibet, has a per capita GDP of US$6,000. Logically Tibet would've been better off had China never invaded in 1950.

by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
July 17, 2012 10:20 PM
Sorry only Chinese can decide Tibet's future because Tibet belongs to China. Tibetans, you are Chinese first then you are Tibetans, don't forget that, dont even think of against China or you are a traitor. We will kill all traitors for the sake of our mother land.
In Response

by: Wangchuk from: NYC
July 19, 2012 10:17 AM
Once again Mr. Huang shows his colonial mentality re Tibet. Huang doesn't want Tibetans deciding Tibet's future only Chinese people. And which Chinese? Well the CCP in Beijing of course! Huang also shows his racist mentality saying he will kill all Tibetans who want freedom. So will China kill all Tibetans to preserve Chinese rule in Tibet? Is Huang advocating genocide? Huang is a perfect example of the Han chauvinist mentality of the CCP & their 50 Cent Gang.
In Response

by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
July 19, 2012 10:01 AM
Thank you Bob, you just use your own action to support my opinion, that nobody like traitors. However, I don't agree with you about I have to go back to China. First, Canada is not an enemy of China. Second, I can do more help to China by living in Canada. I buy products from China and send back money. It's one of many reasons why China is growing so fast because oversea Chinese helps a lot. As you my friend, stop saying you were from Hong kong, you are a shame of Chinese.
In Response

by: Bob from: Hong Kong
July 19, 2012 4:07 AM
J. Huang, you are one sicko. What are you doing in Canada? You should be back in your "Mother Land", the wonderful communist China. I'm a Canadian and I support the Tibetan people. All they want is to be able to practice their religion in peace, something that the commies in Beijing are afraid of. Get out of my country Huang. You are the traitor!

by: Bill from: Simon
July 17, 2012 9:59 PM
Will US government let native Indian tribes decide their own fate without ANY restriction what so ever?
In Response

by: John from: China
July 17, 2012 11:39 PM
support your opinion!
In Response

by: Sanjay from: US
July 17, 2012 10:24 PM
Tibetans and White people are facing same fate.

Chinese are moving in, exterminating Tibetans.

Non-Whites are moving in, exterminating White people. In Europe, in America, in Australia.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs