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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs