News / Asia

Tibetan Nomad Self-Immolates in China

Activists carrying mock-ups of coffins to mourn for those who killed themselves in self-immolation, take part in a rally to commemorate the uprising in Lhasa 53 years ago against Chinese rule, March 10, 2012.
Activists carrying mock-ups of coffins to mourn for those who killed themselves in self-immolation, take part in a rally to commemorate the uprising in Lhasa 53 years ago against Chinese rule, March 10, 2012.
VOA News
The London-based rights group Free Tibet says a Tibetan nomad in central China has become the third person this week to set himself on fire to protest Chinese rule.

Free Tibet Director Stephanie Brigden says the 24-year-old man, named Jopa, set himself on fire Friday in the township of Meruma in Aba county in the southwest province of Sichuan.

"We know based on witness evidence that the public security bureau attended very quickly and extinguished the flames and took Jopa away. We don't know what his whereabouts are now or whether he has survived his act of self-immolation. But people reported that he was very seriously injured and might not survive," Brigden added.

Brigden says that Chinese military and security forces reportedly deployed into the town shortly after the self-immolation.

Nearly 50 Tibetans have set themselves on fire over the past three years, as Tibetans grow increasingly frustrated about what they see as the Chinese government's limitations on their religion and culture - a charge Beijing denies.

Earlier this week, Free Tibet reported that the mother of two young children died after setting herself on fire outside Tso Monastery in Gansu province. A 21-year-old monk from Kirti Monastery in Sichuan province also reportedly self-immolated, but is believed to have survived.

Brigden says the self-immolation protests show that Tibetans are taking "very serious risks" to share information about their plight with the outside world. She says there is little doubt it is affecting the Chinese leadership.

"China is very sensitive to bad P.R. [public relations]," she said. "It has spent a very long time to improve it's P.R. record with the global community," she said. "And obviously the fact that Tibetans have no other recourse than to set themselves on fire is a very, very bad P.R. strategy."

The Chinese government has described the self-immolations as barbaric and terrorist acts.  It accuses overseas groups and the Dalai Lama of inciting separatism.  Beijing also has portrayed those who have set themselves on fire as outcasts and criminals.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid