News / Asia

US: Tibetan Self-Immolations 'Desperate Acts' of Protest

Exile Tibetans carry torches as they participate in a candlelit vigil in Dharmsala, India, June 21, 2012.Exile Tibetans carry torches as they participate in a candlelit vigil in Dharmsala, India, June 21, 2012.
x
Exile Tibetans carry torches as they participate in a candlelit vigil in Dharmsala, India, June 21, 2012.
Exile Tibetans carry torches as they participate in a candlelit vigil in Dharmsala, India, June 21, 2012.
VOA News
The U.S. State Department says the spate of self-immolations in Tibetan areas of southwestern China are not the work of outcasts or troublemakers as China contends, but rather the desperate acts of people who are being denied their basic human rights.

U.S. Undersecretary of State Maria Otero also rejected China's assertion that spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is encouraging the fiery protests.

"Clearly these self-immolations are not only desperate acts, but desperate acts born of the frustration and the despair that people feel as they see the increased violations of their human rights, and the increased restrictions [imposed] on Buddhist monasteries," said Otero.

Otero also leveled fresh criticism at Beijing for its ongoing crackdown on Tibetan dissent, instead of engaging Tibetan officials in talks aimed at easing tensions in the far-flung Tibetan regions of China.  She said members of her staff have discussed conditions in eastern Tibet with monks and found they are clearly committed to their way of life.

"They see [monastic] life as a real reflection of the beliefs of the Tibetan people," said Otero.  "And the only way they can respond to the restrictions and repressions [from Beijing] that are now becoming stronger and stronger is to take these acts of desperation."

Otero spoke the same day two more Tibetan activists set themselves on fire to protest a widely-perceived lack of freedoms under Chinese rule.  

The two protesters, one of whom died at the scene, were carrying Tibetan national flags and calling for the safe return of the exiled Dalai Lama as they launched their fiery protest in China's western Qinghai province.  

They were the 43rd and 44th Tibetans to self-immolate since March of 2011, when Chinese security forces launched a push to lock down the region to prevent public signs of dissent.

Beijing says the immolations incite separatism and are directed from outside the country. But representatives of the Dalai Lama, who lives in northern India, say protesters are driven to self-immolate in large part because they can no longer tolerate Beijing's ongoing push against Tibetan culture and religion.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid