News / Asia

Witnesses Report Massive Chinese Crackdown in Tibetan Capital

A Tibetan protester eats after the conclusion of a 24-hour hunger strike was held to express solidarity with compatriots who were victims of a Chinese crackdown in Ngaba, Sichuan Province in March, at the Tibetan Youth Club in Katmandu, Nepal, April 2011.A Tibetan protester eats after the conclusion of a 24-hour hunger strike was held to express solidarity with compatriots who were victims of a Chinese crackdown in Ngaba, Sichuan Province in March, at the Tibetan Youth Club in Katmandu, Nepal, April 2011.
x
A Tibetan protester eats after the conclusion of a 24-hour hunger strike was held to express solidarity with compatriots who were victims of a Chinese crackdown in Ngaba, Sichuan Province in March, at the Tibetan Youth Club in Katmandu, Nepal, April 2011.
A Tibetan protester eats after the conclusion of a 24-hour hunger strike was held to express solidarity with compatriots who were victims of a Chinese crackdown in Ngaba, Sichuan Province in March, at the Tibetan Youth Club in Katmandu, Nepal, April 2011.
Lou Lorscheider
A leading Tibetan exile group is reporting a massive security clampdown in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, as Chinese security forces push to control community life in the aftermath of two Tibetan self-immolations on Sunday.

The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy quotes witnesses as saying that scores - and perhaps hundreds - of people have been rounded up for questioning in the isolated city since two young men set themselves on fire in an apparent protest against Chinese rule.  The group told VOA's Tibetan service the police roundup includes anyone appearing on security video taken near the site of the protest. It was not clear Thursday how many people remain in police custody.

The two young men launched their fiery protest outside Lhasa's famed Jokhang Temple - the first such incident reported in the heavily guarded city. State media say one of the protesters died at the scene, while the other was hospitalized.

Details of the crackdown in the isolated capital emerged just hours after a 33-year-old Tibetan mother of three died in Sichuan province after setting herself on fire in a separate protest against Chinese rule. The woman died in front of the Jonang Dzamthang monastery in a prefecture known by Tibetans as Ngaba.

The head of the Jonang Welfare Association, Tsangyang Gyatso, said the woman was a neighbor of three young Tibetans who set themselves on fire earlier this year while demanding the safe return of their exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

Anti-China protests have rocked southwestern China and neighboring Tibet for the past 14 months, as Buddhist monks, nuns and their supporters push their demands for freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama. At least 37 people have set themselves on fire since then in Sichuan and the adjoining Tibetan Autonomous Region, and more than 20 of those protesters have died.

John Powers, a professor of Asian studies at Australian National University, told VOA that many Tibetans feel the self-immolations are necessary because an unofficial state of martial law in their region has restricted other ways of expressing dissatisfaction.

"The Chinese state has upped the level of oppression so much that now it's really only possible to stage individual protests, and that's one of the reasons why these very public, very dramatic self-immolations are taking place - because the Tibetans really have no other options," said Powers.

China 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.

This week's immolations follow a new Chinese move to ban Tibetan Buddhists, including current and former government officials, students, and party members, from engaging in religious practices during the sacred month of Saka Dawa, which began May 21. Saka Dawa commemorates the Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in public More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid