News / Asia

China Cracks Down Following Tibetan Immolations

Map of Tibetan immolations, China, TibetMap of Tibetan immolations, China, Tibet
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Map of Tibetan immolations, China, Tibet
Map of Tibetan immolations, China, Tibet
VOA News
Reports from Chinese-ruled Tibet say government forces have clamped tight controls on community life in Lhasa, after two young men set themselves on fire there Sunday afternoon, the first such incident to take place in the heavily guarded Tibetan capital.  

The reports said one of the protesters, a 19-year-old male, died at the scene outside the Jokhang Temple, while the other remains hospitalized.

Sources told VOA's Tibetan service Monday there have been an undetermined number of arrests since the incident, as Chinese authorities seek to control the spread of anti-government self-immolation protests. Those protests have rocked southwestern China and the neighboring Tibetan Autonomous Region for the past 14 months, as Buddhist monks, nuns and their supporters push their demands for freedom and the return of their exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

Tibetan sources also said that eyewitnesses have photographed the latest protest, but they could not be forwarded because Chinese authorities immediately cut information links to the outside world.

There have been at least 37 self-immolations since March 2011.

China says the immolations incite separatism and are directed from outside the country. However representatives of the Dalai Lama say Tibetans who carry out immolations are driven to do so because they can no longer live under Chinese rule. They accuse China of using separatism as an excuse to crack down even harder on Tibetan culture and religion.

Sunday's protest is the most dramatic act of defiance in Lhasa since a 2008 uprising, when Chinese security forces placed the city in a permanent state of lockdown.  

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

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by: maybeseen from: china
May 31, 2012 2:52 AM
1. From the comment i can see that you have no idea of the Chinese history.
Please learn the history. Thank you very much.
If one of your states(provinces) annonced that it is an independent country and it wants freedom. What would you do?

2. People here needs peaceful life. Do you have any idea what the so called "Exiled spiritual leader" have done in China?Of course you will never know. The media sticks to want is useful for their own goverment. And all of us are victims.

3. Chinese goverment make mistakes. But in the long way to achieve civilization, which goverment can avoid mistakes?

by: O.J. from: USA
May 31, 2012 2:41 AM
China committed a holocaust against Tibetans when it invaded Tibet in the 1950's. As a result of China's invasion thousands of Tibetan were gunned down mercilessly, 6000 monasteries destroyed, golden Buddha statues melted for the communist coffers, then later Tibetans were forced to plant wheat instead of their traditional winter hardy crop of barley. The crops ofcourse failed. A total of 1.5 million Tibetans died as a result. This whole tragedy is censored from western media because we in the west are now totally dependent on China for our economic well being. Another bit of horrendous news mostly censored by the media is that China prohibits anyone in Tibet even having a picture of the Dalai Lama. This is their revered leader and savior and they are not even allowed to carry a photo? Talk about repression! These monks are setting themselves on fire out of sheer desperation. The whole world has ignored the Tibetan plight from the beginning. The Tibetans have peacefully and patiently waited for a resolution to this Chinese onslaught for over 50 years, but now their patience is beginning to wear very thin. They are trying to focus the world's eyes back on the human rights abuses occuring in China in the only way they possibly can, by giving up their lives to do so.

by: prosperity from: South Australia
May 30, 2012 6:24 AM
"Reports". "Sources". Where do these "reports' and "sources" come from? Who are they? I have heard that some "reports" say a lot of "reports" are not the truth. They are totally fabricated by government and its agencies, and they are nothing but one more small part of a concerted propaganda campaign.

by: CcyY
May 30, 2012 3:40 AM
It is so sad that as a Chinese people we never know what really happens in Tibet. It is also ridiculous that every year the government spends a lot of money from taxpayers in controlling the flow of information and maintaining stability ,however,our taxpayers lose the basic right to know.

by: nina from: greece
May 29, 2012 8:11 AM
Tibet should be free, it is a shame that the equally ancient civilization China hunts and destroys such a jewel of culture which occupies a few centimeters of earth. Shame also for the destruction of Buddhist monasteries..... Human evolution unfortunately is a very very slow process.....In symphathy for the Tibetan people and culture i buy nonchinese products, and i don't
care if they are cheaper...

by: Order from: China
May 29, 2012 3:06 AM
In China,human rights is a serious problem for a long time.In a short-term it is not a easy job to improve such issue,Gray areas are full of every situation.Much internal news are blocked for the local government in order to reduce the possibility of uncertain action.
The much delusion the much outrage.

by: Ramblinwreck from: Hebei Province China
May 29, 2012 12:57 AM
I am suprised this column came up in China. Usually these type of articals are censored. That said, if the link remains open it is because the Chinese Gov't thinks there is no outside threat to this information being read by those in China. Many in China think the Chinese Gov't is correct to call Tibet a province of China, after all they have funded investment in Tibet, improving schools, roads, hospitals and infrustructure for the last 30 years, it Tibet wanted independence they should not have "taken" the help. Tibet will never be independent as long as the West needs China's $$. They are getting more confident of this, and less worried about outside pressures. This says something, ABOUT the WEST, not China.

by: BUG from: UKRAINE
May 29, 2012 12:04 AM
Wishful thinking. Stop an anonymous suicide?
That is impossible with today's technology.
All you can do is suppress the truth after the fact.
Surely that is what is happening.
China's MIB coming to a place near you.

by: Jerry from: China
May 28, 2012 10:04 PM
Don't criticize Chinese government and interfere China's inner affairs any more because things here are changing so much and we all need peace life. U.S is just the source of the world fights and conflicts. Stop your stupid instigation. Do not always take yourself as the World Police.

by: Mike from: USA
May 28, 2012 7:29 PM
I tried to post this comment. "atv one time the Mongol's ruled China. The ruler of Mongolia named the Dalai Lame the spiritual head of Mongolia.Thus the Chinese claim that Tibet is a partb of China the Mongolians ruled in Tibet. This makes the Dalai Lame the spirirtual head of China. It does not grant sovereignty of China over Tibet, but perha[ps vuice versa.
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