News / Asia

Tibetan Spiritual, Political Leaders Condemn China Death Sentence

Members of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress participate in a protest against the alleged human rights violations by the Chinese authorities in Tibet, in Hyderabad, India, January 10, 2013.Members of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress participate in a protest against the alleged human rights violations by the Chinese authorities in Tibet, in Hyderabad, India, January 10, 2013.
x
Members of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress participate in a protest against the alleged human rights violations by the Chinese authorities in Tibet, in Hyderabad, India, January 10, 2013.
Members of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress participate in a protest against the alleged human rights violations by the Chinese authorities in Tibet, in Hyderabad, India, January 10, 2013.
Ivan Broadhead
The head of the Tibetan monastery that saw one its monks sentenced to death Thursday for inciting self-immolation has condemned the Chinese justice system. The head of the monastery implored Beijing to be more liberal in its treatment of Tibetan dissidents.  
    
Lorang Konchok, a monk at the Kirti Monastery in Aba county, Sichuan province, was one of eight activists to be prosecuted in a Chinese court. He was condemned to death with a two-year suspension - a sentence that usually is commuted to life imprisonment.   

The Kirti Monastery has emerged as a hub for protests against Chinese rule of Tibet. Since 2009, almost 100 Tibetans have self-immolated.

Focus on Kirti Monastery

Between 15 and 30 are believed to be members of the monastery, which remains under tight control by Chinese security forces.

The 11th Kirti Rinpoche, the head of the monastery, has been living in exile in India for over 50 years. He told VOA the situation is increasingly serious.

“We are facing the virtual extermination of the Tibetan people and nation. It is the opposite of what China claims Tibet to be; namely a socialist paradise.

“These immolations… are the result of individual and voluntary action. I would appeal to the Chinese government to be liberal to the Tibetan people,” he said.

The elderly lama is participating in a four-day peace camp in the Indian capital, New Delhi, where more than 6,000 Tibetans from the Diaspora have gathered.  

Human rights issues

Asked whether he would condone self-immolation or reject it outright, Kirti Rinpoche responded with the following:

“I am in no position to communicate or advise Tibetans inside Tibet. But to Tibetans living in the Free World, I would advise that there are other ways to vent your feelings and express protest.”

As the New Delhi peace camp entered day three Friday, men and women in the large crowd wept as Tibetan children performed a play depicting Chinese human rights abuses.

Lobsang Dawa, a 17-year-old performer, described the impetus for the play, including arbitrary arrest, torture and mass Han immigration.

Ten years ago, Dawa’s mother had carried her son across the Himalaya on her back to escape Chinese oppression in Tibet. The young man discussed his hopes for the future.

“As Martin Luther King said, ‘I have a dream.’ We Tibetans also have a dream: that one day we return to Lhasa with the Dalai Lama,” said Dawa.

Protests amid deep concerns

Also at the interfaith protest was Lobsang Sangay, the Sikyong or prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile. Sangay was critical of the trial of Lorang Konchok and the seven other activists. He called the verdicts “unhelpful and unjust.”

He rejected comments by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei, that the Dalai Lama was behind the growing wave of self-immolations, before calling on China to allow the United Nations and international media to observe future trials of Tibetan dissidents.  
“To review their policies and introduce reform is the solution, not introduce more hardline policies. Otherwise you enter a vicious cycle of repression, imprisonment and resentment. The cycle needs to end and the best way is to find a solution through peaceful means,” said Sangay.

Next month marks the 54th anniversary of the Dalai Lama’s escape from Lhasa, and the annual commemoration of anti-China protests across the Tibetan plateau in March 2008.

Consensus in the Diaspora is that the death sentence faced by Konchok marks the beginning of a renewed Chinese crackdown on Tibetan dissent.

You May Like

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Kafka
February 04, 2013 8:13 AM
The Dalai Lama uses his religious aura to allow young people to play toward his political ambitions, which is inhumane and sacrilegious.

by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
February 03, 2013 12:12 AM
“I am in no position to communicate or advise Tibetans inside Tibet.“
then how the hell you assert that China oppress Tibetans inside?

If they were not brainwashed, then why most of self immolations came from the same monastery?

Those inciters should immolate themselves!

by: HaleW
February 02, 2013 1:44 PM
Talk about being contrary. A monk is sentenced to death for encouraging self immolation(aka death). All the government is doing is making the monk a martyr which will likely encourage more self immolations. Duh!
In Response

by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
February 03, 2013 12:18 AM
you are wrong, China did it to prove those self immolations were incited by someone behind. Those teenage monks know nothing about oppression, but brainwashed.
Ask yourself, why normal Tibetans dont do self immolation? Because they know their life are much better than at Dalai era.

by: Anonymous
February 02, 2013 11:50 AM
concerned

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More