News / Asia

Tibetan Protests Erupt in Western China

Immolations Spark Protests in Tibet Ahead of China's Leadership Transitioni
|| 0:00:00
X
Jeff Seldin
November 09, 2012 10:20 PM
A new wave of self-immolations in Tibetan areas of China is sparking new protests -- Tibetans taking to the streets, demanding more freedoms from China. The mass outcry comes as China's attention is focused in Beijing, where the current Chinese leadership is set to hand over power. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.

Immolations Spark Protests in Tibet Ahead of China's Leadership Transition

Shannon Sant
Reports from China's western Qinghai Province say hundreds or even thousands of Tibetans marched on government offices Friday.  The protests come amid attempts by China's government to maintain social stability during a political transition.
 
Tibetans marched on government offices in Rebkong, a region of eastern Tibet, after a series of self-immolations that drew international attention.  Estimates ranged from hundreds to thousands of protesters who began gathering on the streets at 5:00 a.m.  Many said they were speaking out against China's education system.

"Our sources have confirmed that many of the students have been calling for freedom of language and for the return of his Holiness," said Stephanie Brigden, executive director of rights group Free Tibet.
 
Mass protests in Rebkong also occurred in 2010, when demonstrators spoke out against China's plans to replace Tibetan with Chinese as the language of instruction in local schools.
 
Tibetans protest in the Rongwo Township in Rebkhong County in western China's Qinghai province, November 9, 2012.Tibetans protest in the Rongwo Township in Rebkhong County in western China's Qinghai province, November 9, 2012.
x
Tibetans protest in the Rongwo Township in Rebkhong County in western China's Qinghai province, November 9, 2012.
Tibetans protest in the Rongwo Township in Rebkhong County in western China's Qinghai province, November 9, 2012.
"They're having to make a difficult choice about what language they choose to study, because if they have to access future education opportunities, particularly higher education, and then employment opportunities, then they need to study in Chinese.  If they choose to study in their own language, this will marginalize them in the future," Brigden added.
 
This month the United Nations' most senior human rights official urged China to allow independent monitors and journalists to visit Tibetan areas where immolations have taken place. On Friday, regional representatives attending the People's Congress in Beijing rejected the proposal.
 
Qiangba Puncog, a chief delegate from the Tibet Autonomous Region, said that China does not welcome some people, who think Tibet has many problems, human rights issues. He added that most Chinese officials do not think it is appropriate for rights officials to come to Tibet to conduct an investigation.
 
Tibet Self-Immolation Map, October 23, 2012 updateTibet Self-Immolation Map, October 23, 2012 update
x
Tibet Self-Immolation Map, October 23, 2012 update
Tibet Self-Immolation Map, October 23, 2012 update
Reports indicate the protesters are mostly students and monks.  While security forces have not yet intervened in the protests, police and armed forces have reportedly been deployed outside major Chinese government offices where people are demonstrating.

On Thursday Tibetans gathered in the same area to mourn at the funeral of Kalsang Jinpa, who set himself on fire to protest China's policies on Tibet.  Witnesses say the 18-year-old raised a banner calling for the Dalai Lama's return to Tibet.  There have been three self-immolations in Rebkong just this month.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid