News / Asia

Tibetan Blogger Self-Immolates, Leaves Posts Behind

Gudrup, a writer and poet who self immolated in in Dreru, Tibet - part of the area China has designated the Tibet Autonomous Region, October 4, 2012.Gudrup, a writer and poet who self immolated in in Dreru, Tibet - part of the area China has designated the Tibet Autonomous Region, October 4, 2012.
x
Gudrup, a writer and poet who self immolated in in Dreru, Tibet - part of the area China has designated the Tibet Autonomous Region, October 4, 2012.
Gudrup, a writer and poet who self immolated in in Dreru, Tibet - part of the area China has designated the Tibet Autonomous Region, October 4, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Sources tell VOA's Tibetan Service a 43-year-old poet and blogger named Gudrup engulfed himself in flames Thursday in Dreru, Tibet - part of the area China has designated the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Witnesses said Gudrup was badly burned when he was brought to a hospital. A doctor later told them Gudrup had died, but the authorities so far are refusing to release his body to his family.

This past March, Gudrup blogged about the anti-China protests that had gripped southwestern China and Tibet, writing on March 14 "Tibetans who refuse to denounce His Holiness the Dalai Lama or accept China’s rule on Tibet are secretly killed or made to disappear."

In the same post, Gudrup called on fellow Tibetans to "win the battle through truth, by shooting arrows upon our lives."

Tibet Self-Immolation Map, October 1, 2012 updateTibet Self-Immolation Map, October 1, 2012 update
x
Tibet Self-Immolation Map, October 1, 2012 update
Tibet Self-Immolation Map, October 1, 2012 update
He also warned Tibetans "are sharpening our nonviolent movement... declaring the reality of Tibet by burning our own bodies to call for freedom."

Gudrup's actions bring the number of self-immolations to 53 since February 2009, and are part of a slowly growing number taking place within the Tibet Autonomous Region. Most of the self-immolations have occurred in southwestern China.

China has repeatedly denounced self-immolations as terrorist acts, calling the practice barbaric. But representatives of the Dalai Lama and the prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile say the practice is a sign Tibetans can no longer tolerate Beijing's push against their culture and religion.

"The fact that Tibetans after 50-plus years are still protesting, and in [the] drastic form of self-immolation, clearly indicates that they are protesting against the occupation of Tibet and the repressive policies of the Chinese government," Lobsang Sangay told a gathering in Dharamsala, India last week.

The Tibetan government-in-exile says 51 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since March of 2009 to protest Chinese rule.

China views Tibet as a non-negotiable part of its territory and has long accused the Dalai Lama of trying to separate the Himalayan region from China. The Dalai Lama has said repeatedly that he is not pushing for Tibetan independence, but for greater autonomy.

Tenzin Noryang also contributed to this report.

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid