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

Thousands of Ethiopian Israelis Rally Against Racism

PM Netanyahu says he will meet Damas Pakada, the Ethiopia-born Israeli soldier who was filmed being beaten by two policemen More

Ten Migrants Drown in Mediterranean, 4,800 Rescued

All of those rescued are being ferried to Italian ports, with some arriving on Italy's southernmost island, Lampedusa, and others taken to Sicily and Calabria More

HRW: Saudis Using US Cluster Bombs in Yemen

Human Rights Watch says photographs, video and other evidence have emerged indicating cluster munitions have been used in 'recent weeks' in airstrikes in Houthi stronghold in northern Yemen 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.
From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil Wari
X
Henry Ridgwell
May 03, 2015 1:12 AM
Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Black Families Use Baltimore Case to Revisit 'Police Talk'

Following Freddie Gray’s death in police custody this month, VOA interviewed black families throughout the eastern U.S. city of Baltimore about how they discuss the case. Over and over, parents pointed to a crucial talk they say every black mother or father has with their children. Victoria Macchi has more on how this conversation is passed down through generations.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video 'Woman in Gold' Uses Artwork as Symbol of Cultural Identity

Simon Curtis’ legal drama, "Woman in Gold," is based on the true story of an American Jewish refugee from Austria who fights to reclaim a famous Gustav Klimt painting stolen from her family by the Nazis during World War II. It's a haunting film that speaks to the hearts of millions who have sought to reclaim their past, stripped from them 70 years ago. VOA's Penelope Poulou reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video First Surgical Glue Approved for Use Inside Body

While medical adhesives are becoming more common, none had been approved for use inside the body until now. Earlier this year, the first ever biodegradable surgical glue won that approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on the innovation and its journey from academia to market.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Study: One in Six Species Threatened with Extinction

Climate change is transforming the planet. Unless steps are taken to reduce global warming, scientists predict rising seas, stronger and more frequent storms, drought, fire and floods. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, a new study on species extinction underscores the need to take action to avoid the most catastrophic effects of rising temperatures.
Video

Video Taviani Brothers' 'Wondrous Boccaccio' Offers Tales of Love, Humor

The Italian duo of Paolo and Vittorio Taviani have been making movies for half a century: "The Night of the Shooting Stars," "Padre Padrone," "Good Morning, Babylon." Now in their 80s, the brothers have turned to one of the treasures of Italian culture for their latest film. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver reports.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Baltimore Riots Shed Light on City’s Troubled Past

National Guard troops took up positions Tuesday in Baltimore, Maryland, as authorities tried to restore order after rioting broke out a day earlier. It followed Monday's funeral of a 25-year-old black man who died while in police custody earlier this month. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Challenges Await Aid Organizations on the Ground in Nepal

A major earthquake rocked Nepal on Saturday and killed thousands, injured thousands more and sent countless Nepalese outside to live in makeshift tent villages. The challenges to Nepal are enormous, with some reconstruction estimates at around $5 billion. Aid workers from around the world face challenges getting into Nepal, which likely makes for a difficult recovery. Arash Arabasadi has the story from Washington.

Poll: Baltimore Police Charged

Poll archive

VOA Blogs