.Solidarity and Resistance :
A Statement by the Global Tibet Movement
10 March 2012 is the anniversary of one of the most momentous days in Tibetan history.
On this day in 1959 thousands of Tibetans took to the streets of Lhasa to protest against Chinese rule and protect their leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
53 years later Tibetans in Tibet continue to defiantly resist Chinese rule and call for Freedom in Tibet.
Tibet woes seize the spotlight in China
Philip Wen / THE AGE
March 8, 2012
BEIJING: Wu Zegang shifted uncomfortably in his seat, avoided eye contact with the reporters surrounding him and refused to answer any questions.
After a few minutes, the heat on the deputy Communist Party secretary and governor of Sichuan's Aba prefecture - the epicentre of Tibetan unrest and self-immolations - was too much. He stood up, left his desk and retired to the back of the room, before he was eventually shepherded through a rear exit and into a lift by minders, while dozens of journalists and camera crew jostled to get close.
"Will you adjust any of your Tibetan area policies?" one local reporter piped up one final time as Mr Wu disappeared from view.
The rare scenes of media spotlight and pressure - made possible by the relatively unbridled media access at China's annual National People's Congress - highlights the intense interest and awareness among Chinese media of the red-button issue, despite government-enforced restrained lines of reporting.
There were three more self-immolations in Aba this week, including a mother-of-four and two teenagers, bringing the toll to at least 26 in the past year, with more than half of those setting themselves alight in the past three months alone. Most are protesting against what they say are restrictions on their religious freedom, amid an unprecedented military crackdown.
Earlier, the Sichuan press conference, on the sidelines of the congress, had meandered along with polite questions from local media regarding disaster management, the economy and the environment, before a foreign reporter raised the issue of Tibetan self-immolations.
Called on by provincial party chief Liu Qibao to respond, Mr Wu forcefully delivered a prepared statement, denying any fault from the Sichuan government and putting the blame on an orchestrated effort from overseas "separatist groups" plotting Tibetan independence.
"This all proves a motivated and political ploy by overseas separatist interests," Mr Wu said.
"The 14th Dalai Lama not only does not discourage this behaviour, but actively supports this separatist, anti-social action."
Mr Liu added "oppression on ethnic minorities and their religion does not exist" in Sichuan. But Mr Wu may consider himself unlucky to have felt most of the heat at such a public forum. Shi Jun - Aba prefecture's former head before being promoted to deputy governor of Sichuan - is considered the mastermind of Sichuan's hardline Tibetan policies. He has not attended this year's congress.
Read this article online ( here )
Self-immolation Shadow over China's Two Sessions
Thursday, March 08 2012 @ 10:41 pm GMT
Three Tibetans, a 32-yr-old widowed mother of four and two teenagers, died of self-immolation in separate incidents as China convened its annual sessions of National People's Congress (NPC) and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
On 5 March 2012, the day the fifth session of 11th NPC opened, 18-yr-old Dorjee set himself on fire at around 6.30 pm (Tibet Time) near a government office in Cha (Chinese: Jia) Township, Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) County, Ngaba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province. Dorjee's flaming body was seen walking towards the office building as he shouted protest slogans against the Chinese government, according to sources. He died on the spot. Security officers later took away the body despite opposition from the local Tibetans.
On 4 March 2012, on the eve of the NPC session, a 32-yr-old widowed mother of four died after setting herself alight at around 6.30 am (Tibet Time) in front of a police station outside the main gate of Kirti Monastery. Rinchen, whose youngest child is a few-month-old baby and the eldest is 13, demanded the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the restoration of freedom in Tibet. Monks took possession of her burnt body and took it inside the monastery.
On 3 March 2012, the day the Fifth Session of CPPCC opened, a 19-yr-old Tibetan student self-immolated at a vegetable market in Machu (Chinese: Maqu) town, Kanlho (Chinese: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture) in Gansu Province. Sources say Tsering Kyi was stoned by Chinese vendors while still in flames and almost provoked a massive clash between the Tibetans and the Chinese stone-throwers. According to sources, the local police have refused to release Tsering's body to her family unless the family agrees that Tsering's self-immolation death was motivated by personal problems rather than political grievances. Xinhua, China's state-owned news agency on 7 March echoed the same contention that Tsering's death was caused by 'depression'.
To date, continued repression and absence of any recourse to justice have driven 26 Tibetans to self-immolate in protests in Tibet. It is appalling that the Chinese government has consistently reacted with force and violence to stop the self-immolations. Treating it, in a myopic way, as just a law and order issue, the Chinese government has sent security officers particularly the People’s Armed Police (PAP) and Public Security Bureau (PSB) to crush the protests, be it firing unarmed protesters or kicking and beating bodies in flames with spiked batons.
The fact that not a single local official was sent to hear the grievances of the Tibetan self-immolators and other protesters has deeply hurt Tibetan sentiments and corroded the last remaining faith in the government, if any.
Read full article at Tibet Custom ( here )
Names, images, reports of 25 Tibetan self-immolators
since Feb 2009 ( here )
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