News / Asia

Tibetan Monk Self-Immolates in Nepal

Nepalese police react to a Tibetan exile who set himself on fire in Kathmandu, February 13, 2013.
Nepalese police react to a Tibetan exile who set himself on fire in Kathmandu, February 13, 2013.
VOA News
A Tibetan monk set himself on fire in Nepal's capital Wednesday, as separate reports emerged confirming the 100th self-immolation in Tibetan areas of China took place earlier this month.

The incidents are part of a four-year protest campaign against Chinese rule in Tibet.

Sources inside China told VOA's Tibetan Service the 100th victim was a 37-year-old monk from the Kirti Monastery in Ngaba, or Aba in Chinese. He is believed to have died on February 3 after setting himself alight in a small town.

Many of the initial self-immolation protests took place in this area, and the resulting crackdown by Chinese authorities has delayed information about the situation.

Tibetan Self-Immolations, Through January 22, 2013Tibetan Self-Immolations, Through January 22, 2013
x
Tibetan Self-Immolations, Through January 22, 2013
Tibetan Self-Immolations, Through January 22, 2013
Meanwhile, Sudip Pathak, head of the Human Rights Organization of Nepal, told VOA he visited the badly burned monk who self-immolated Wednesday, the only person allowed to see him in the Kathmandu hospital where he is being treated. Pathak said the protester - who remains unidentified - is in critical condition, with burns over 96 percent of his body.

Police said the monk had doused himself with gasoline in a restaurant bathroom before stepping outside onto the street and setting himself on fire near Kathmandu's Boudhanath Stupa, one of Buddhism's holiest sites.

He timed his self-immolation to coincide with the important Tibetan New Year festival of Losar. Tibet's government in exile had asked Tibetans to show solidarity with Tibetans inside China by not celebrating the holiday.  

Some eyewitnesses said the monk was chanting anti-China slogans before police and other locals rushed in to put out the flames. A local Tibetan community leader, identified only as Mingma, called the suicide attempt "respectable."

"This was a sacrifice by this man. It was his attempt to draw the attention of the world towards the suppression by the Chinese over our homeland. He was giving up his life so that the people of Tibet could get their freedom."

Pictures of the self-immolation show shocked bystanders watching as a team of police rush in to help a man covered in flames standing in the street.

The self-immolation campaign began in February 2009 to protest what Tibetans say is Chinese repression of their culture. China denies the charges and says the suicide protests are acts of terrorism.

Over the last two months, Beijing has criminalized acts of self-immolation and targeted those accused of inciting them, imposing long jail terms and using financial incentives to encourage the work of informants. The crackdown also targets individuals that authorities say have sent videos or photographs of such acts to contacts outside China.

More than 20,000 Tibetan exiles are living in Nepal, after a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule. Nepal has prohibited demonstrations by Tibetan exiles and cracked down on such gatherings in recent years, to avoid angering China.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: SEATO
February 15, 2013 5:15 PM
@Edward from China: Cut out all the craps about liberating the Tibetans from slavery and serfdom.It was all communist propaganda,to justify their invasion of Tibet.Life for Chinese was better under the Manchus,right? But,nevertheless,the Chinese still fought to overthrow them,right? Simply because they are foreigners at the end of the day.The Tibetans are just the same.They don't like to be ruled over by Chinese.You can't buy their allegiance and loyalty by offering them material wealth,only to lose their identity and culture in the process.China keeps claiming that other countries grabbed their lands and now they want them back.It is actually the opposite.China has been grabbing lands from them
In Response

by: Sentter from: China
February 20, 2013 10:01 PM
You should read the history and then you will know how many lands be sized by outher countries from china.

by: onesimus757 from: Outer Banks, NC
February 15, 2013 4:21 PM
we have a unique Comet that will light the night sky in a major way. i believe The Tibetan space observers saw a comet right before China invaded. i am a Christian and not affiliated with any denominations, Psalm 19 describes what the Zodiac ect. is purposed for. i believe The God of Israel is The God of all nations. a star that falls from space to Earth that turns the waters of the earth bitter, it is called Wormwood. the comet approaching was discovered by 2 Russian astronomers from the area near Chernobyl. Chernobyl (sp?) is Russian for Wormwood. a sign? maybe, a thing to pay attention to , for sure.

by: Stale Bread
February 15, 2013 3:37 PM
BTW, even the 1st of the Tibetan immolations happened in the Exile community, which now encourages more immolations by celebrating the anniversary of the 1st immolation as "Martyr's Day", on April 29 of every year, endorsed by Dalai Lama's government (who supposedly do not encourage the immolations).

There is even a "Martyr Award".

Interesting, isn't it?


by: Stale Bread = Toast from: Virginia
February 15, 2013 10:15 AM
I find it odd that the Tibetan Exiles call for "investigation" in China, over these self-immolations, when quite a few of them ( are happening in the Exiles' own community in India.

And seriously, only 100? India had as many as 1,451 and 1,584 self-immolations reported in 2000 and 2001, respectively. You think they care??

Doesn't that say something about VOA, when VOA reports the 100, but not the other 3,000?


by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
February 13, 2013 6:37 PM
Obviously, those self immolationers were brainwashed. Why majorities were teenage monks? teenagers and religion believers are easy targets of brainwashing.
In Response

by: cm7 from: south
February 14, 2013 5:15 PM
I think you are right. I live in the states and the best of our buildings are Roman knock-offs the majority of the time. US culture is dead or else offensive. This is not my culture. I actually think Nepal is kind of cool and was thinking about going there although I'm sure they could use better utilities and services but I'm not buying this "suppression of culture" stuff. Maybe if you are an Extraterrestrial or something THEN you might be suppressed in your culture but I have no idea why these people would be setting themselves on fire over this in Tibet. The VN war was a different story. People were living in war torn countries, constantly seeing gore and tragedy and often times losing their whole families... so living with pain like that might be an excuse for wanting to set yourself on fire... but suppression of culture in NEPAL?? NEWSFLASH... The Dalai Lama supports secular and western culture which is NO upgrade, imo. Yeah... I think this is terrorism and there is some mind control going on.

by: SEATO
February 13, 2013 8:38 AM
Self immolation to draw world attention to your plight is just a waste of time.China wouldn't care less.The whole world do business with them.The entire global economy depends on them where 90% of the goods we use,are made.China knows that so they would just carry on suppressing diisidents and separatists.You see,anti China demonstrations are forbidden in Nepal,Vietnam and a lot more countries.No country,big or small,would want to displease them.Come to your senses.You would never win back your independence by pleading or awaking world consciense !
In Response

by: Andres from: New York
February 14, 2013 12:44 AM
What such actions do do is force a recognition amongst those in a position to speak out, yet don't, of their growing evil disposition.

The longer the world ignores such people, yet come to the aid of others (self-evidently purely for the acquisition of wealth), the more civilization descends into chaos.

The unique situation the world faces is that, unlike the past, great powers did not see a moral obligation to give aid people who were unlike them.
In Response

by: Edward from: Canada
February 13, 2013 1:55 PM
I always wonder why would the Tibetans want to go back to serfdom (a.k.a. slavery), perhaps the jump from Serdom to Communism is too much... when I visited Tibet the B&B owner was a slave & said a majority of the Tibetans are happy because their lives are better... the ones that had 'exiled' were the ones in power (a.k.a. slave owners) & that's why they want the country back. I also think the Han people are more educated overall & are now competing with the locals...& like Chinese in other parts of Asia they tend to do well economically, & eventually lead to local dissatisfaction - case in point Malaysia. Rich Chinenese businessman then leave Malaysia to Canada & China/HongKong... this may happen to Tibet but it'll take another 20 yrs.

by: Sun from: China
February 13, 2013 8:20 AM
In fact,this is only a evil trick played by some person who want to complish their autocratic rule.And they even don't care the ignorant
believers' life . Chinese goverment always concern on Tibet's develope and it make a big difference .I believe we can do better.
In Response

by: Adam from: MI
February 14, 2013 12:50 AM
Fake photo. I can make one when I was 15.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs