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

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    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.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.