Tibet on Fire: Self-Immolations Against Chinese Rule

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NULAND: We are aware that there are reports that Chinese authorities have handed down sentences to two Tibetans for allegedly inciting the self-immolation of others. As we have regularly said, the United States wants to see these kinds of tragic acts of self-immolation come to an end, and we continue both publicly and privately to urge the Chinese government at all levels to address policies in Tibet — in Tibetan areas that have created tensions and that threaten the distinct religious, cultural, and linguistic identity of the Tibetan people. And we take this opportunity once again to call on the Chinese government to permit Tibetans to express their grievances freely, publicly, peacefully, and without fear of retribution.

And now the Chinese media is accusing the U. Government, the VOA is behind all those what they are alleging that self-immolation by the Tibetans. Any comments on that? Do you not have a — do you not have any additional comment from what VOA said? I mean, they can deny it all they want, but it seems like a rather scandalous thing to say to suggest that VOA is responsible for people setting themselves on fire.

I mean, this is a — I mean, this is —. As far as your problem in Tibet is concerned, if U. Any kind of — are you planning, or there should be now Dalai Lama is calling on the U.


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NULAND: Well, as you know, Goyal, in almost every encounter we have at a senior level with Chinese officials we raise our concerns about human rights in general, about Tibet specifically, and we urge the Chinese Government to engage in a substantive dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representative without preconditions as a means of addressing the grievances that the people of Tibet have and to relieve tensions.

And we continue to call on Chinese Government officials to permit Tibetans to express their grievances freely, publicly, and peacefully, without fear of retribution. On the contrary, we want Europe to engage more in Asia along with us, to see the region not only as a market, but as a focus of common strategic engagement. And as a good example, European governments, including Germany, UK, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and Poland, have joined the call for Chinese authorities to address the worsening human rights conditions in Tibetan areas. The United States is deeply concerned and saddened by the continuing violence in Tibetan areas of China and the increasing frequency of self-immolations by Tibetans.

Chinese authorities have responded to these tragic incidents with measures that tighten already strict controls on the freedoms of religion, expression, assembly and association of Tibetans. Official rhetoric that denigrates the Tibetan language, the Dalai Lama, and those that have self-immolated has further exacerbated tensions. The United States government has consistently urged the Chinese government to address policies in Tibetan areas that have created tensions. These policies include increasingly severe government controls on Tibetan Buddhist religious practice and monastic institutions; education practices that undermine the preservation of Tibetan language; intensive surveillance, arbitrary detentions and disappearances of Tibetans, including youth and Tibetan intellectual and cultural leaders; escalating restrictions on news, media and communications; and the use of force against Tibetans seeking peacefully to exercise their universal human rights.

Chinese authorities have responded to these tragic incidents with measures that tighten already strict controls on freedoms of religion, expression, assembly and association of Tibetans. Official rhetoric that denigrates the Tibetan language, the Dalai Lama, and those who have self-immolated has further exacerbated tensions.

Senior U. The U. Government has consistently urged the Chinese government to address policies in Tibetan areas that have created tensions. We call on the Chinese Government to permit Tibetans to express their grievances freely, publicly, peacefully, and without fear of retribution. We hope that the tragic acts of self-immolation end. We call on the Chinese Government to engage in dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives without preconditions. I think there are now more than 80 people who have self-immolated in and around Tibet. So we very much hope that the desperation that led to these acts can be alleviated by more attention to the basic rights of the Tibetan people.

Do you have a readout of that? We will have a larger statement on the Tibetan situation next week, but just to confirm the report that you have that yesterday, Assistant Secretary Mike Posner did meet with relatives of Tibetans who had recently self-immolated in the Tibetan area. He expressed our deepest condolences and our grave concern for the spiraling violence and harsh crackdown in Tibetan areas as well as grief with regard to the self-immolations. You know our policy with regard to this and our concerns. We remain very concerned about rising tensions that result from counterproductive policies, including those that limit freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association in Tibet, and we are disturbed by reports of violence between police and student protestors that left 20 students injured after a protest earlier this week by approximately a thousand Tibetan medical students in Qinghai province against a government-issued booklet which derided the Tibetan language, the Dalai Lama, and self-immolators.

So we are going to continue to raise this publicly and privately and urge the Chinese Government at all levels to address policies in Tibetan areas that have created tensions and that threaten the distinct religious, cultural, and linguistic identity of the Tibetan people. But again, we will have more to say on the Tibet issue next week.

Or are they? We had a chance, at the level of the President, to see Wen Jiabao in Cambodia, and there was a — as the readout of that made clear, there was a concerted effort on the Chinese part to talk about continuity. But obviously they have — we will see how we go forward. With regard to the immolations in Tibet, we obviously make those points as often as we can, and we have been concerned about the accelerating level of these and continue to raise it with the Chinese side.

AMANPOUR: We want to know from your perspective whether the new leader will Xi Jinping will be any different on Tibet, for instance, because there have been many burnings by ethnic Tibetans and there have been four reported just today in China. What do you think is the prospect for any different kind of relationship, Ambassador. So, again, do you have any hope or anticipation that there might be some kind of different relationship between China and not only the ethnic Tibetans in China but Tibet itself?

And its going to have to be leadership by consensus and of course, Xi Jinping will be the first among that seven, so we are very very hopeful. But in the meantime, preserving the ethnic, religious, linguistic identity of the Tibetan people is a top priority for the U. There has been no respite to it — this — I think more than 50 have died so far. Do you have anything on that? Have you brought this to the Chinese of late, the newly inaudible has come up? We encourage China to work with authorities in Tibet to address the grievances of the people and to protect the cultural diversity of their country.

So this is obviously — and to address the worsening human rights situation in Tibet — we will continue to do that. I think you know that we have consistently expressed our concern about the violence in the Tibetan areas, about the continuing pattern of self-immolations, heightened tensions, and Tibet in general. And we continue to both publicly and privately urge the Chinese Government at all levels to address the underlying policies in Tibet that have created these tensions and that threaten the cultural heritage of the region. So any comment on this?

You know that whenever we see these tragic incidents, we again call on China to meet the legitimate grievances of the Tibetan people within China to protect their human rights, to protect their way of life, and to work on these issues through dialogue. Has she received the letter? Yeah, we have received it. And the Secretary, as is the case in all circumstances, raised both human rights issues, specific cases, and called on the Chinese to continue a serious dialogue with the Dalai Lama.

And one after another, they are putting themselves on fire or inaudible. What they are saying is that China is destroying their culture and history and their livelihoods, and now time has come for the international community to intervene.


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Yesterday, one Tibetan self-immolated in Delhi when President Hu Jintao was visiting there and has been increasing such incidents inside Tibet. What is your assessment of the situation inside Tibet now? We remain deeply concerned about the tensions and the human rights violations in the Tibetan areas. So we continue to call on China to respect the human rights of Tibetans and to allow journalists in, et cetera. Washington, D. We rededicate ourselves to the liberty and fundamental dignity for the Tibetan people — to economic and political empowerment for all Tibetans, and a future of stability and democracy for Tibet.

We must heed the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and we must not forget the people of Tibet and their ongoing struggle. The United States remains gravely concerned about recent violence and continuing tensions in Tibetan areas of China. We call on all governments including China to respect the fundamental freedoms of religion and expression of all of its citizens including members of ethnic minorities.

View statement on UNmultimedia. Further, the disturbing trend of self-immolations by Tibetans reflect the desperation of the human rights situation and the need for the Chinese government to change its repressive policies against the Tibetan people. View on Pelosi. I stand in solidarity with all of the friends of Tibet who today have gathered in Washington, D. The free world has been horrified by the string of self-immolations of Tibetans over the last year, including several monks and nuns. These peace-loving Tibetans have set themselves aflame in desperation at the abuses suffered by their people at the hands of the Chinese government.

I am saddened by the recent loss of life but unsurprised that the people of Tibet are crying out for the world to recognize their plight and take action on their behalf. In recent months, Western reporters trying to visit Tibet have been turned away by security forces. As many as 11 innocent Tibetans, according to some estimates, were killed when police fired into a crowd of peaceful protestors.

Chinese troops have been moved into the region. Internet access has been shut down. The stakes are high in Tibet and the Chinese government knows it. They are tightening their grip on the region. I have urged U. Furthermore, I call on President Obama, during his visit next week with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping to publicly voice his strong concern about the current atmosphere in Tibet and the repressive policies of the Chinese government, which are directly impacting the everyday lives of Tibetans.

I also urge the president to continue to push for Lhasa to be the next U. As United States Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, I am gravely concerned by reports of violence and continuing heightened tensions in Tibetan areas of China, including reports of security forces in Sichuan province opening fire on protesters, killing some and injuring others. These reports follow the self-immolation of four Tibetans earlier this month, bringing the number of reported self-immolations by Tibetans to 16—mostly monks and former monks, and two nuns—since March Government consistently and directly has raised the issue of Tibetan self-immolations with the Chinese government.

Government repeatedly has urged the Chinese government to address the counterproductive policies in Tibetan areas that have created tensions and that threaten the distinct religious, cultural and linguistic identity of the Tibetan people. Over the last year, Chinese government security and judicial officials also have detained and imprisoned Tibetan writers, artists, intellectuals, and cultural advocates who criticized Chinese government policies. We urge Chinese security forces to exercise restraint, and we renew our call to allow access to Tibetan areas of China for journalists, diplomats and other observers.

View on HumanRights. Since March, this brings the count to some 15 Tibetan Buddhist self-immolations in China.

Aflame | The New Yorker

We have consistently — the U. Government has consistently and directly raised with the Chinese Government this issue of Tibetan self-immolation. These actions clearly represent enormous anger, enormous frustration with regard to the severe restrictions on human rights, including religious freedom inside China. And we have called the Chinese Government policies counterproductive and have urged the Chinese Government to have a productive dialogue to loosen up in Tibet and allow journalists and diplomats and other observers to report accurately and to respect the human rights of all of their citizens.

You have undoubtedly seen news reports of the recent wave of self-immolations of Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns since March of this year in desperation at the abuses suffered by her people.

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Just last week a second nun did the same. According to the International Campaign for Tibet, she apparently called for religious freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama before setting herself aflame. Their testimony was moving and deeply disturbing. They spoke of the abuses suffered by the Tibetan people which in recent months have driven these peace-loving people to desperate forms of protest.

In light of these realities, we urge you, in your capacity as U. Speak with the Tibetan people and faith leaders. Press for a fact-finding mission into the Kirti monastery which has featured prominently in the recent wave of self-immolations. You are uniquely positioned to reflect American values and priorities to the Chinese people and the Government of China. In that light, it is important for you as the lead representative of the United States in China to publically declare that the Chinese government must respect the peaceful religious, political, civic, and cultural expressions of the Tibetan people.

For the United States, this is both morally imperative and politically prudent. Frank R. Wolf, Member of Congress James P. Pitts, Member of Congress. When we see reports of lawyers, artists, and others who are detained or disappeared, the United States speaks up both publicly and privately. We are alarmed by recent incidents in Tibet of young people lighting themselves on fire in desperate acts of protest, as well as the continued house arrest of the Chinese lawyer Chen Guangcheng.

We continue to call on China to embrace a different path.


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Yesterday, a Tibetan nun set herself on fire and died. This is the 11th instance of this — these people setting — self-immolations. But obviously, we have consistently and directly raised with the Chinese Government our concerns about Tibetan self-immolations, and we have repeatedly urged the Chinese Government to address its counterproductive policies in Tibetan areas that have created tensions and that threaten the unique religious, cultural, linguistic identity of the Tibetan people. And let me take this opportunity to again call on the Government of China to respect the rights of all of its citizens who peacefully express their desire for internationally recognized freedoms, and particularly the rights of Tibetans to resolve their underlying grievances with the Government of China.

NULAND: Well, I think that some of these policies are well known — destruction of religious property, displacement of people, replacement of people in sensitive religious areas, et cetera. How have you done that? Has that been through the Embassy in Beijing? Has that been here in Washington? Has there been anything particularly recent on this? But as you know, Assistant Secretary Campbell and others have raised these issues directly and regularly, as has the Secretary, on the larger issue of the rights of Tibetan people within China.

We have our assistant secretary for human rights who addresses these freedom — these issues. So these issues are very well represented in this building. Are you talking also something with the Indian Government or Indian officials?

Tibet on Fire: Self-Immolation Against Chinese Rule

Or are they talking to you about this issue? Government security and judicial officials detained and imprisoned Tibetan writers, artists, intellectuals, and cultural advocates who lamented or criticized government policies. The recent self-immolations of young Tibetans, many of whom have been affiliated with Kirti Monastery, are desperate acts that reflect intense frustration with human rights conditions, including religious freedom, inside China.

The Commission has thoroughly documented the policies that many believe have created escalating tensions and a growing sense of isolation and despair among Tibetans. Senior State Department officials have consistently and directly raised with the Chinese government the issue of Tibetan self-immolations. We have urged the Chinese government to allow access to Tibetan areas for journalists, diplomats and other observers. We also have asked the Chinese government to resume substantive dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives.

When President Obama met with the Dalai Lama at the White House in July, the President stressed that he encourages direct dialogue to resolve long-standing differences and that a dialogue that produces results would be positive for China and Tibetans.

Second Tibetan Self-Immolation Protest In 2013

One such nun is pictured here. Recently, cameramen smuggled out video footage of Chinese police in full riot gear carrying automatic rifles and iron bars outside of the monastery where several of the self-immolations occurred. These acts clearly represent anger and frustration with regard to Tibetan human rights, including religious freedom, inside China. This is all from the Free Tibet group. Do you have any comment? Go ahead and finish. We continue to urge the Chinese Government to allow access to Tibetan areas of China for both journalists and diplomats. First, it is to promote a substantive, results oriented dialogue between the Chinese Government and the Dalai Lama or his representatives.

The Administration at all levels — from the President, Secretary, Assistant Secretaries, to myself — has urged the Chinese Government to engage in a dialogue with the representatives of the Dalai Lama. Regrettably, the Chinese government has not engaged in a substantive dialogue with the Tibetans since January I want to take this opportunity to briefly mention some of our concerns and ongoing activities. We are extremely concerned about the deteriorating human rights situation in China and in particular in the Tibet Autonomous Region and other ethnic Tibetan areas in neighboring provinces.

Recent regulations restricting Tibetan language education, strict controls over the practice of Tibetan Buddhism, the arrests of prominent non-political Tibetans, and the heavy security presence reflect the difficult human rights situation there today. The forcible removal of monks from Kirti Monastery is also a cause for deep concern.

We are extremely concerned about the deteriorating human rights situation in China and in particular in the Tibet Autonomous Region and other Tibetan areas. Recent regulations restricting Tibetan language education, strict controls over the practice of Tibetan Buddhism and the arrests of prominent non-political Tibetans reflect the difficult human rights situation there today.

Religious restrictions in Tibetan areas have dramatically worsened in recent years. Discriminatory religious policies exacerbated tensions between Han Chinese and Tibetan Buddhists and triggered the riots that claimed the lives of Han and Tibetan civilians and police officers. Reports state that as many as monks were forcibly removed from Kirti again in April of this year, and paramilitary forces still have the monastery on lockdown.

To date, we have no further information about the welfare and whereabouts of those monks that were removed. We were joined in that effort by then-Ambassador Huntsman, who visited the Tibetan Autonomous Region in September Mission in China has made visiting Tibetan areas and engaging on human rights and religious freedom in Tibetan areas a top priority. Images posted online by Tibetans in exile showed crowds gathering to pile khatags Tibetan blessing scarves on the body of Tamdin Thar, who was in his forties or fifties, while massed ranks of armed police gather at the roadside nearby.

Armed police were seen extinguishing the flames as Tamdin Thar lay on the ground, still moving slightly, and he was then taken away in a vehicle by security forces. According to Tibetan sources in exile in touch with Tibetans in the area, he died within hours, and local people gathered in the town calling for the return of his body, despite an increasing number of armed police being deployed. The body was returned to local people at around mid-day today, according to various sources. The Chinese state media confirmed the self-immolation and death but did not name Tamdin Thar.

Info: Rikyo was in her mid-thirties and from a nomadic family. She set herself on fire near to Jonang Dzamthang Gonchen Monastery. The flames around her body were so intense that police on the scene were beaten back by the fire and attempts to extinguish it failed.

Following her self-immolation, her body was taken to the Jonang Dzamthang Monastery and kept there, according to Tibetans in exile who are from the area. Chinese government officials came to the monastery and sought to impose an immediate cremation. Rikyo was cremated the same day, and a large number of Tibetans converged at a special cremation prayer service near the monastery. According to monks from Kirti Monastery in exile, year old Dargye had entered Kirti monastery as a boy and disrobed a few years ago. Voice of America Tibetan language service has reported that the two Tibetans, who self-immolated together, worked in a restaurant in Lhasa.

Dargye was reportedly from Ngaba Chinese: Aba in Sichuan where most of the self-immolations have taken place. The self-immolations are the first in Lhasa where Chinese security has been tight since March when protests occurred across Tibet and rocked the capital city. Nineteen-year old Dorje Tseten had left home after high school and had been renting a room in a house in Lhasa. The entire household was detained soon after his self-immolation. The two Tibetans who self-immolated today were named by two exile Tibetan sources as Choepak Kyap and Sonam.

Although paramilitary troops were deployed immediately, local people managed to prevent them from taking away the bodies of the two Tibetans, who had died following the self-immolation, according to the same two sources. According to the exile Tibetans, who are in contact with Tibetans in the area, the bodies were taken to the monastery in order to carry out prayers, and many other Tibetans are gathering there.

It is expected that a cremation and funeral services will be held soon. Info: Circumstances around the deaths of a Tibetan religious figure and his niece in Kardze who died in a fire remain unclear. Thubten Nyandak, 45, and his niece Atse, 23 died on April 6, , in their residence at a monastery. Tibetan writer Woeser also states that this was a case of self-immolation. Immediately after making the call, he and his niece set themselves on fire.

The Beijing-based Tibetan writer Woeser published a photograph on her blog on August 2, of the small wooden building which had caught fire resulting in the deaths of Thubten Nyandak Rinpoche and Atse. The image shows scorch marks around one of the windows, but Woeser contends that both people would have had time to escape the fire, if they chose to do so. Invisible Tibet, Why are the numbers used for Tibetans who have self-immolated inside Tibet inconsistent?

He was also the former abbot of Dzamthang Monastery in Dzamthang Ch: Rangtang County, Ngaba Ch: Aba Prefecture, the site of one self-immolation before his own death, on February 19, , and three more after his death, those of Choepak Kyap and Sonam who jointly self-immolated on April 19, , and Rikyo who self-immolated on May 30, RFA, Lama, nun die in fire — April 6, It is not known when or under what circumstances he left Dzamthang Monastery.

Both Thubten Nyandak Rinpoche and Atse were known to be staunch advocates of Tibetan culture and religion and of unity among Tibetans. Before their deaths, Thubten Nyandak Rinpoche had called family members asking them to bring butter to fuel the lamps he said he was lighting for all of the self-immolators. Fearing closure of the monastery, the monastery officials told the police that Tulku Athup and his niece died due to accidental fire in the house rather than self-immolation. Chinese police then withdrew from the monastery.

Since then the authorities have imposed severe restrictions across the region and cracked down on local Tibetans leaving many of them severely injured. Info: Chimey Palden, a year old monk from Tsodun monastery in Ngaba, set fire to himself, along with fellow monk Tenpa Darjey, aged 22, on March 30, outside the prefectureal government offices in Barkham, Ngaba. Chimey Palden went to Kirti monastery in Ngaba as a philosophy student in , but stayed only a few months.

In , on a visit to Lhasa, he was searched by Public Security personnel, who found a photo of the Dalai Lama, a picture of the Tibetan national flag and a Tibetan song on his mobile phone. He was detained for more than a month. Info: Tenpa Darjey, a year old monk from Tsodun monastery in Ngaba, set fire to himself, along with fellow monk Chimey Palden, aged 21, on March 30, outside the prefectureal government offices in Barkham, Ngaba.

He then returned to Tsodun where he was regarded as one of the best students in the logic and debating class. He was the youngest of four brothers and sisters. Sherab had been a monk at the small Ganden Tenpeling monastery in Raruwa since the age of nine. Last October he went to study at Kirti monastery in Ngaba, but had returned home on March 26, Info: Sonam Dargye, a year old father of three from the town of Rongpo, is the second Tibetan in the Rebkong area to set fire to himself.

A video released by VOA and shared by Tibetans on Facebook shows the body of Sonam Dargye still aflame in the middle of the street in Rongpo town, as hundreds of Tibetans gather around. Info: Lobsang Tsultrim set himself on fire and proceeded to march along the main road in the upper part of Ngaba county town, shouting slogans of protest against the Chinese government. As he walked on from the site of his self-immolation, armed police personnel came running to intercept him, at which he turned and ran back in the other direction, continuing to shout.

He was then knocked to the ground by a police officer, and the police extinguished the flames, and threw him into the back of a pickup vehicle. He was held down by police officers, but was seen to raise his arms while continuing to shout, showing that he was still alive. He was the eldest of four brothers and sisters. It is the first self-immolation in Rebkong, and the 28th in Tibet since February, Jamyang Palden survived the self-immolation, but his condition is serious, according to Tibetans in exile in contact with those in the area. Jamyang Palden set fire to himself in Dolma square, near Rongpo monastery, which is the main monastery in Rebkong.

Monks and local people took him to hospital, but it seems that he has since been moved back to the monastery. Despite the buildup of troops, images from Rebkong today show local people gathered at the scene of his self-immolation, quietly praying for him. The gathering led to a peaceful protest, with Tibetans calling for the Dalai Lama to return to Tibet. There are fears for the safety of Tibetans in Rebkong due to the military buildup following the self-immolation.

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Info: An year old male named Dorjee set fire to himself today at around p. It is believed that he died at the scene, and that authorities took away his body. Rinchen was in her early thirties, and was married to a Tibetan man who had died details of when he died and the circumstances are not clear. It could not be immediately confirmed whether she had three or four children; the youngest was several months old, and the oldest in their early teens. She died soon afterwards, according to the same sources.

Rinchen was the eldest of eight siblings in her family, from Jiashang township in Ngaba. Info: Nangdrol was the fourth of eight children, and is from Choeje village, Barma township, Dzamthang, the Tibetan area of Amdo. The same sources reported that he died, and his body was taken back to the monastery where traditional Buddhist rituals were carried out for him. According to the same sources, monks did not comply with police orders to hand over the body, and this evening February 19 , more than people had gathered to hold vigil.

It has been confirmed that year old Nangdrol, who set himself on fire on February 19 in Dzamthang, Sichuan, was a layperson and not a monk as previously reported, according to Tibetan sources. According to Tibetans in the area who are in contact with Tibetans in exile, Nangdrol cared passionately about Tibetan culture and language and had urged fellow Tibetans to be united, and to preserve their cultural and religious identity.

He was subjected to torture during the five years and three months he was held in custody. Info: At about pm on February 13th, Kirti monk Lobsang Gyatso, age 19, of the Badzritsang house in Naktsangma of Cha township, set himself on fire at the top of the main street of Ngaba town shouting slogans ofprotest against the Chinese government. In the same moment, armed police and special police officers came and extinguished the fire and took him away while beating him.

His present condition and whereabouts are not known. Info: Tenzin Choedron set herself on fire early in the evening on February 11, shouting slogans against the Chinese government, according to monks from Kirti monastery in exile sister monastery to Kirti in Ngaba. She chose the same place as nun Tenzin Wangmo, the Sumdo bridge area below the nunnery, which is around three kilometers from Ngaba county town Tibetan nun dies following self-immolation protest.

Tenzin Choedron did not die immediately, but was taken away by soldiers and police. According to new information today, she died soon afterwards and her funeral ceremony is being arranged. He was at Lab monastery, and set fire to himsef in Tridu town. It is thought that he survived, but it is not clear. Info: According to two Tibetan monks from Kirti monastery in Dharamsala, India associated with Kirti monastery in Ngaba , the Tibetan set himself on fire at a primary school early in the evening in Ngaba county town in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province the Tibetan area of Amdo.

Sources said that the Tibetan seemed to be a monk, but his name and place of origin are not known. He was taken away by police, and it is not known whether he is still alive. Two monks were also detained from the vicinity. ICT Reports:. The clip can be viewed here. According to exiled Tibetan sources, at around pm he doused himself in petrol and set himself on fire. He walked into the street calling for the long life of the Dalai Lama and for freedom in Tibet, according to the same sources.

Police began to kick and beat him with clubs spiked with nails rather than immediately focusing on putting out the flames. Losang Jamyang died after his self-immolation but reports about the time of his death differ. He was taken away by police, and one of the most reliable reports suggest that he may have survived until Monday January 16 when he died.

Losang Jamyang became a monk at the local Andu monastery of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism as a child, but later joined a primary school Bontse school in Ngaba county and completed his education there. In he was a leading member of a popular association for the promotion of Tibetan language in his village, and as a result had faced pressure from the local authorities.

Info: Sonam Wangyal also referred to as Lama Sobha , a respected religious figure in his local area, drank kerosene and set himself on fire on January 8 early in the morning in Darlag county, Golog Chinese: Guoluo Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai the Tibetan area of Amdo , according to the Tibetan government in exile. His self-immolation was said to be linked to lack of religious freedoms in the area. Info: This the first self-immolation to occur in the Tibet Autonomous Region, and the 13th since Kirti monk Tapey set himself on fire on February 27, The state news agency Xinhua confirmed the self-immolation and reported that the nun died after setting herself on fire near her nunnery in Tawu also known as Dawu, Chinese: Daofu county in Kardze.

Nuns began to pray for her. The local authorities have locked down the area, closing a major road in Tawu, and deploying troops to the nunnery. Info: Dawa Tsering, 38, became the 11th Tibetan to self-immolate as a form of political protest against Chinese rule when he set fire to himself on the morning of October 25 in Kardze Monastery in eastern Tibet. Dawa Tsering was reportedly participating in a religious ritual inside the monastery attended by hundreds of local people when he set himself on fire. His current condition and whereabouts are not known, and Chinese police have reportedly surrounded the monastery.

Info: Tenzin Wangmo, a 20 year-old Tibetan nun from Mame Dechen Chokorling nunnery also known as Mame nunnery in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province Tibetan region of Amdo , died after self-immolating at the Sumdo bridge, located below Mame nunnery, approximately three kilometers outside of Ngaba county town.

The nuns of Mame nunnery refused, after which soldiers and police cordoned off the nunnery and surrounding villages. Info: Norbu Damdrul, 19, a former Kirti monk, set fire to himself in a protest on the main street in Ngaba Chinese: Aba county town just before noon on October A large crowd of Tibetans who had gathered at the scene was dispersed at gunpoint by security personnel, according to the same sources.

Info: Choepel and Kayang, both former monks at Kirti monastery who may have been expelled, set fire to themselves along the main road of Ngaba county town. Both young men died following the protest. The same sources said that he had sustained a head injury as a result of the beatings from police at the time of his detention.

Info: A year old monk from Kirti monastery immolated himself in Ngaba county town at approximately pm local time on October 3, according to Tibetans in exile in contact with Tibetans in the area. The monk, Kelsang Wangchuk, carried a photo of the Dalai Lama and was shouting slogans against the Chinese government when he set fire to himself along the main street in Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province. Full details of the incident have yet to emerge, but some exiled sources say that he was immediately surrounded by security personnel, who extinguished the fire and beat Kelsang Wangchuk before taking him away.

Shortly after the immolation, additional security forces were deployed in Ngaba county town and at Kirti monastery. After extinguishing the flames, police took the two young monks into custody. One of his of his legs had been amputated. A video was posted on YouTube showing Lobsang Kunchok in the street after he self-immolated.

Warning: graphic content. Info: Tsewang Norbu died after setting fire to himself and calling for freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet. Tsewang Norbu drank petrol before immolating himself and died soon afterwards, according to Tibetan exiles in contact with the area. Xinhua, August Xinhua in English, August Info: Phuntsog, a year old monk, immolated himself on March 16, the 3rd anniversary of a protest at Kirti in during which at least 10 Tibetans were shot dead. Police extinguished the flames and were seen beating Phuntsog before he died, according to Tibetan exiles in contact with Tibetans in the area.

According to the same sources, protests then broke out against the Chinese authorities involving hundreds of monks and laypeople. After an attempted peaceful march from the monastery, police broke up the protests, detaining an unknown number of monks and beating Tibetans involved. An account of the aftermath of the self-immolation: Kirti monks intervened when police were beating Phuntsog and took him back to the monastery before ensuring he received medical treatment. Without government permission, they knew the hospital would not take him. So the monks decided to give into the government so that he could be admitted to hospital.

He passed away there at around 3 am local time today March Kirti was soon placed under lockdown and monks subjected to a stringent patriotic education campaign as part of a wide-spread crackdown in Ngaba that included several hundred security personnel posted to Kirti monastery. Exiled sources from the area reported that contrary to the official report, the two people who died in their attempt to prevent monks from being moved from the monastery by armed police on April 21 were Dongko male , aged 60, and year old Sherkyi female. The two Tibetans died after severe beatings.

On Monday, August 29, year old Kirti monk Losang Tsondru named in the state media as Drongdru , who was detained on April 12, was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment by the same court. Losang Dargye became a monk at a young age, and in he travelled to Lhasa to begin higher Buddhist studies at Drepung monastery, which he completed with distinction.

He is believed to have been among a group of Drepung monks who peacefully protested on March 10, , and was detained for some months before being allowed to return to Ngaba. He was detained on April 11 this year in a raid by police and soldiers on his quarters in the monastery. Konchok Tsultrim was serving as the monastery storekeeper. Details of the exact charges against him are not known. And we believe these are inconsistent with internationally-recognized principles of religious freedom and human right.

We continue to monitor the situation closely, and are obviously concerned by it. Info: Tapey, a Kirti monk in his mid-twenties, was shot by security personnel when he set himself on fire as a form of protest after prayer ceremonies at his monastery were cancelled.

Tibet on Fire: Self-Immolations Against Chinese Rule

Early in the afternoon, according to at least two sources including one who spoke to an eyewitness, Tapey walked alone to a nearby crossroads in the market area of the town. He had already doused himself with oil by the time he reached the crossroads. He then set himself on fire and raised a home-made Tibetan flag that had at its center a photograph of the Dalai Lama.

Reports indicate that the PAP extinguished the fire after Tapey was shot and he was immediately taken away by police. The man has been identified as Dhondup also known as Passang Dhondup a wood painter at Norbulingka Institute, near Dharamsala. The year old man was born in Gyantse Chinese: Jiangzi in Tibet and had arrived in India in and had been working in Norbulingka institute from , according to Tibetan media.

The incident occurred in an area near Lhagyal Ri on the pilgrimage route that goes around the Tibetan Temple and the residence of the Dalai Lama , a place where people gather for the incense-burning ceremony. He initially survived but died from his injuries on July 22, Tenzin Choeying doused himself with kerosene and set fire to himself at around 9 am in the entrance of a residential hall at the Central University for Tibetan Studies today, according to eyewitnesses. Wearing bandages and with his face scarcely visible, Dorjee Tsering says the following through an oxygen mask:.

I am 16 years old. In , Chinese occupied our Tibet. This caused Tibetans to become fragmented.. I have had a strong determination to do something for Tibet since my childhood. So, I thought that there was nothing else I could do other than self-immolation. Because if there is self-immolation, people get shocked, thinking that he set himself on fire for his country. When they are shocked, countries like the United Kingdom, America and Africa begin to pay attention to Tibetans.

When they pay attention, then they will support Tibetans. That will be helpful for us. It seems the oil put on my body was not enough for it to burn completely. Finally I want to say: Tibet must get freedom as soon as possible and long live His Holiness. Victory for Tibet. This review appeared in Journal of Contemporary Religion : Tibet on Fire: Buddhism, Protest, and the Rhetoric of Self-Immolation by John Whalen-Bridge provides an introduction to this sad yet instructive reality, as it examines statements by Tibetans, the Chinese government, 10 and other sources, in order to probe the causes and meanings of contemporary Tibetan self- immolations.

Non-specialists in Tibetan studies will ind self-immolation stories and their contextualisations to be useful in gaining a greater understanding of an important religious, political, and human rights phenomenon. Tibet specialists, however, might be put of by the lack of depth regarding both the Tibetan literary and ethnographic resources that are used, since 15 English-language news stories provide the data backbone for the book without much supplement. Whalen-Bridge then uses this template to explore media representations among Tibetan, Chinese, and other sources, in order to probe the only battle that, he contends, Tibetans can ight with the Chinese: the sot power rhetorical battle for the hearts and minds of themselves and others 2.

Interestingly, the vast majority of these immolations have occurred on the eastern edges of the Tibetan plateau, where Sichuan and Gansu provinces meet. Whalen- 30 Bridge claims that this distribution is due to most Tibetans in these regions feeling outnumbered by ethnic Chinese in what Tibetans consider to be their own homeland In the sense of political identity, for the immolator, self-immolation asserts a sense of Tibetan identity that the 35 Chinese cannot attempt to take away through law or political re-education programmes In a religious sense, Whalen-Bridge inds immolators asserting Tibetan identities as Buddhists in two out of every three cases For example, immolators may insist on the need to protect the Buddhist religion from Chinese anti-religious policies in Tibet and remain willing to give their lives for this protection Immolators also set themselves ablaze so that their ultimate 40 religious leader, the Dalai Lama, can return to Tibet.

Because self-immolations support Tibetan identities in these ways, Whalen-Bridge states that, while Tibetans may not maintain enthusiasm for the burnings, they may still consider immolators to be Buddhist heroes of a sort, despite the tensions between Buddhist non-harm ethics and intentional self-killing