News / Asia

China Offering Rewards for Self-Immolation Intel

Tibetan exiles hold candlelight vigil after reports of 52-year-old Tamdrin Dorjee's self-immolation, Dharmsala, India, Oct. 13, 2012.
Tibetan exiles hold candlelight vigil after reports of 52-year-old Tamdrin Dorjee's self-immolation, Dharmsala, India, Oct. 13, 2012.
VOA News
Chinese authorities are offering reward money in an attempt to put an end to self-immolation protests by ethnic Tibetans.

Officials in Kanlho Prefecture announced Wednesday a reward of about $8,000 to anyone who informs about people planning to set themselves on fire.  The announcement also promised a reward of about $30,000 to anyone who gives any creditable information about the most recent self-immolations.

 
Tibet Self-Immolation Map, October 23, 2012.Tibet Self-Immolation Map, October 23, 2012.
x
Tibet Self-Immolation Map, October 23, 2012.
Tibet Self-Immolation Map, October 23, 2012.
At least three Tibetans have set themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule and Chinese policies in the past five days.  Six Tibetans have died in self-immolation protests this month.
 
China has long-accused Tibetan exiles of self-immolating as part of a separatist struggle, denouncing them as terrorists.

On Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei again accused the Dalai Lama of inciting the deadly protests, saying it "is despicable and deserves the people's condemnation."

This citizen journalist image shows a Tibetan man self-immolating in Labrang, China, October 23, 2012.This citizen journalist image shows a Tibetan man self-immolating in Labrang, China, October 23, 2012.
x
This citizen journalist image shows a Tibetan man self-immolating in Labrang, China, October 23, 2012.
This citizen journalist image shows a Tibetan man self-immolating in Labrang, China, October 23, 2012.
The Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile say they oppose all violence.

At a U.S. State Department briefing Wednesday in Washington, spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said she was not aware of the reward offer but expressed concern about the escalating tensions.

"We have consistently expressed our concern about the violence in the Tibetan areas, about the continuing pattern of self-immolations, heightened tensions in Tibet in general.  And we continue to both publicly and privately urge the Chinese government at all levels to address the underlying policies in Tibet that have created these tensions and which threaten the cultural heritage of the region," said Nuland.

Robert Barnett, director of the Modern Tibetan Studies Program at Columbia University in New York, says the immolations are worrisome.

"It does suggest that boiling point could be reached as all these things come together," said Barnett.

Barnett says it is difficult to determine the significance of the reward money.

"If they [Chinese officials] are moving to a stage where they think that the exiles are planning them (the self-immolations) rather than just encouraging them, that would be a new development," he said.

And Barnett says there appears to be an element of fear about how the powerfully symbolic protests are spreading.

"I think that this [the patten of self-immolations] is conceived as dangerous by the authorities.  The fact that this movement is spreading further to the east, closer to the Chinese borders, into these populations where you have educated Tibetans - students, monks - who have a tradition of thinking for themselves, I think they may be concerned about this," he said.

But he also says the motivation for trying to find and stop would-be protesters from setting themselves on fire may be humane, that for all the brutality of the Chinese state, officials honestly want to see an end to the tragic, and horrifying, suicides.

Since February of 2009, at least 58 Tibetans have set themselves on fire to protest Chinese policy in Tibet.  In 48 cases, the protesters have died.  And experts like Barnett note that the tone and tactics used by Chinese officials at a national level is not always reflected on the local level, where authorities tend to be more aggressive.

Such aggression has become increasingly visible.  Earlier this month, Chinese police in Nagchu town arrested about 30 people, including the uncle, sister and brother in-law of a 43-year-old man who set himself on fire in protest.

Activists have also accused Chinese security forces of killing a man to prevent him from setting himself on fire and bringing attention to Tibet's plight.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: AgMg from: USA
October 25, 2012 11:00 PM
This is same meaning og Illegal Bangali conquer and bullying in Rahkine state of Burma. Both Illegal Bangali from Burma and Chinese from Tibet return to their home, every problems will be solved atonce. Why the world didn't express direct source of problem? Stop avoiding to tell unrelated words. Quick reach the end of crises make quick reach peace. Why China Communist and Muslims want to disturb otherpeople to stay peacefully? Please Would speak and demand ......

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid