News / Asia

China Detains Hundreds After Tibet Immolations

VOA News
Chinese police reportedly have detained hundreds of people as part of a security lockdown in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, after two people set themselves on fire there earlier this week to protest Chinese rule.


The U.S. government-backed Radio Free Asia cited a local source late Wednesday as saying that Chinese authorities have locked up about 600 Tibetan residents.  It said many others from outside the Tibetan Autonomous Region have been expelled.

On Sunday, two young men set themselves on fire outside Lhasa's famous Jokhang Temple, in the first such incident to take place in the heavily guarded Tibetan capital.  State media say one of the protesters died at the scene, while the other was hospitalized.

The crackdown comes as exile groups reported Wednesday that a mother of three young children in a largely Tibetan area of southwestern China died after setting herself on fire, in an another apparent protest against Chinese rule.

The protester, identified as Rikyo, 33, died in front of the Jonang Dzamthang monastery in a prefecture known by Tibetans as Ngaba and located in Sichuan Province.  

The head of the Jonang Welfare Association, Tsangyang Gyatso, says the protester was a neighbor of three young Tibetans who set themselves on fire earlier this year while demanding the safe return of their exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

Tibet Immolation MapTibet Immolation Map
x
Tibet Immolation Map
Tibet Immolation Map
Anti-China protests have rocked southwestern China and neighboring Tibet for the past 14 months, as Buddhist monks, nuns and their supporters push their demands for freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama.

John Powers, a professor of Asian studies at Australian National University says that many Tibetans feel the self-immolations are necessary because an unofficial state of martial law in their region has restricted other ways of expressing dissatisfaction.

"The Chinese state has upped the level of oppression so much that now it's really only possible to stage individual protests, and that's one of the reasons why these very public, very dramatic self-immolations are taking place - because the Tibetans really have no other options," Powers said.

China says the immolations incite separatism and are directed from outside the country.  But representatives of the Dalai Lama, who lives in northern India, say protesters are driven to self-immolate in large part because they can no longer tolerate Beijing's ongoing push against Tibetan culture and religion.

This week's immolations follow a new Chinese move to ban Tibetan Buddhists, including current and former government officials, students, and party members, from engaging in religious practices during the sacred month of Saka Dawa, which began May 21.  Saka Dawa commemorates the Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death.

You May Like

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous from: US
June 04, 2012 12:29 AM
It's about time for the living god Dalai Lama to come out from the shadows to tell his followers to stop sacrifice themselves unnecessarily. Religion makes fools of some of the most innocent people. I'm just horrified that Dalai Lama can sit there idly while his followers killing themselves in the name of Buddism.


by: Fred from: Changsha, china
June 01, 2012 5:56 AM
buy an air ticket and fly tibetan by yourself. i visisted tibet two years ago, and i witnessed the religious freedom of tibetans as well as the free trip of countless foreigners. No one conducted any ristrictions on the religious service there. Even foreigners can pray if they want to do it. Self-immolation is anything but a honorable protest or an justified solution to any troubles. you can visit the native tibetans and interview them about the economic changes that have taken place in this land during the past half century before making any comments. visit before comment, OK?


by: Happiness from: Las Vegas
June 01, 2012 3:58 AM
"James from Australia":

What history are you talking about? How far back to you want to go? In that case maybe the Mongolians should claim China if you want to talk history. It's amazing how the Chinese propaganda claims Tibet when the two cultures, language are totally different. Yeah....agreed China has provided for economic development in the region however, every Tibetan understands it is yet another propaganda by the Chinese govt. and Tibetans know it could all be taken away within matter of seconds if the govt. chose to do so.....so where is


by: Anonymous
May 31, 2012 9:56 PM
Be here to discuss what is truth & right regardless of who from where. Why care even if he is from Mars as long as he is the telling the truth.


by: George from: China
May 31, 2012 9:32 PM
I don't like to lable someone just by words but I have to say that those whoever stimulating, watching, encouraging & inspired by those self-immolations are real killers for his gloomy purpose no matter what he was entitled and what slogans he declared!


by: a real Chinese
May 31, 2012 9:29 AM
You think you are a Chinese friend? I think you are a lier. you are not a Chinese friend, nor are you an Australian. You must be a Chinese backed by Chinese government speaking here for propaganda


by: James from: Australia
May 31, 2012 7:57 AM
I hope those people who don't even speak Chinese stop abusing and assailling China. You don't know about Tibet, you don't know about China. Tibet is apart of China for thousands of years. Moreover, to those people who still think Beijing government is "oppression" Tibet, please, read about some real history, or purchase a flight ticket to Tibet and have a look by your own eyes, have a look at a real Tibet, to see is that like what you've heard from those "politicians". I wanna say, Tibet has been much more developed than fifty years before. Tibet residents want peaceful life, I beg those politicians, stop, stop sacrifice those innocent residents to achieve your “dream”. To all the American people, maybe I’m not so familiar with your country’s history and culture, but I heard and I understand that your country is built for peaceful, freedom and love, so please, please stops supporting those separatism, if you know the truth, you will understand that they are no different from BIN LADEN! -- A Chinese Friend.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid