News

    Tibetan Protester Self-Immolates in Indian Capital Ahead of China Summit

    Tibetan exiles try to douse the flames from their comrade, Jamphel Yeshi, after he set himself on fire during a protest against the upcoming visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to India in New Delhi, March 26, 2012.
    Tibetan exiles try to douse the flames from their comrade, Jamphel Yeshi, after he set himself on fire during a protest against the upcoming visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to India in New Delhi, March 26, 2012.
    Kurt Achin

    A string of Tibetan self-immolation protests has touched the Indian capital in a dramatic way.  A young Tibetan is recovering after lighting himself on fire just days before the arrival of China's president here.

    For a while, Monday's rally by Tibetan exiles in New Delhi proceeded just as similar events did in the past. Days before the scheduled arrival of the Chinese president, the demonstrators shouted, “Hu Jintao is a dog.”

    VOA assistant reporter Neha Sethi was an eyewitness to the shocking scene that soon followed soon.

    "Suddenly there was a commotion and this guy came running," he said Sethi. "He was completely on fire. You could see him burning completely. His left arm was burning like a log of wood. You could see cracks on it. There were policemen trying to, you know, put the blanket on him to douse the fire."

    The man is 27-year-old Jamphel Yeshi. He is in a Delhi hospital with burns over 98 percent of his body.

    This is the second self-immolation by a Tibetan exile in New Delhi in recent months.  Another Tibetan suffered minor leg burns in a failed immolation attempt near the Chinese embassy last year.

    In Chinese-controlled areas, there has been a much longer string of self-immolations by Tibetan protesters over the past year.  Elected Tibetan exile officials say 29 Tibetans have self-immolated in regions under Chinese control.

    China refers to the self-immolators as terrorists who are carefully coordinated by “trained separatists.”

    Reporter Sethi says protesters gave indications well before Monday's immolation that something unusual was going to happen.

    "They were telling me that there's going to be something different from the regular stuff, and that you are going to see something happening today that you have never seen before," said Sethi. "A lot of media people were guessing that it might just be someone self-immolating."

    Still, Choedon Lama, regional general secretary for the activist Tibetan Youth Congress, insists the self-immolation was spontaneous.

    "It is not pre-planned.  We don't know," said Lama. "Even we don't know what is happening and even one more people may come outside. We don't know. There is no plan at all."

    Tibetans accuse China of pursuing a policy of deliberate cultural extinction in Tibetan-inhabited areas. Images of Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, are forbidden. Monks and nuns are forced to undergo patriotic “re-education” programs. And Beijing floods the areas with non-Tibetan economic migrants who are accused of discriminating against the local population.

    Chinese President Hu Jintao will be in the Indian capital later in the week for a summit of the five so-called BRICS nations -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South  Africa. Tibetan groups say they have more protests planned. But after Monday's immolation, their access to the site of the summit may be severely restricted by Indian police.

    Neha Sethi contributed reporting to this article

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora