Author Topic: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa  (Read 82314 times)

Namdrol

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Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« on: June 04, 2012, 08:31:03 AM »
Just as the series of self-immolation of Tibetan monks seemed to taper off, now it happened again in Lhasa itself, the heart of Tibet. When it happened among the outskirts of Tibetan community it did not raise as much attention as when it happened in Lhasa, the center of attention of the whole world, the tension is like that during the 2008 riot again, if not more serious.

Why isn't the Dalai Lama making a public announcement condemning self-immolation and asking the monks to stop it as it is not really a Buddhist way of protesting? The Dalai Lama can be very firm and adamant when he bans Dorje Shugden, and many go all out to carry out the ban, more than what the original ban should be, so if the Dalai Lama put his foot down in condemning self-immolation, I am sure it will stop completely. So why isn't the Dalai Lama doing that?


http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=46,10924,0,0,1,0

Two Tibetan Buddhist monks set themselves on fire in protest of Chinese rule
By Claire Cozens, AFP May 28, 2012

Beijing, China -- Two Tibetan Buddhist monks have set themselves on fire in Lhasa, US-based broadcaster Radio Free Asia said, in the first-ever reported self-immolations in the capital of China’s Tibet Autonomous Region.

The monks reportedly set themselves on fire on Sunday outside the Jokhang temple, a renowned centre for Buddhist pilgrimage in Lhasa, which has been under heavy security since deadly riots broke out in 2008.

Radio Free Asia said the two were believed to be among a few Tibetan youths who gathered to protest against Chinese rule outside the temple, and that they appeared to have died in the blaze.
“The security forces arrived immediately and put out the fire and all the tourists in the area were cordoned off from the site,” a witness told the broadcaster.

“Within 15 minutes, the area was cleaned and not a trace of the incident was left.”

Radio Free Asia quoted a source as saying the situation in Lhasa was now “very tense” and the city was filled with police and paramilitary forces.

One Lhasa resident contacted by AFP on Monday also reported an increased police presence in the city, adding officers were carrying out identity checks in the street and the mobile signal was blocked.


However, security authorities in Lhasa contacted by telephone refused to comment on the incident.
“We are not clear about the situation yet. Wait until the media makes an announcement,” said an official who declined to give his name.

More than 30 people have set themselves on fire in China’s Tibetan-inhabited regions since the start of March 2011 in protest at what they say is religious and cultural repression by the Chinese authorities.

Robbie Barnett, a Tibet expert at Columbia University in New York, said Sunday’s incident marked the first protest in Lhasa since anti-Chinese government riots broke out 2008, before spreading to other Tibetan areas.

“This is the first incident of any significance in four years. It’s a big setback for the authorities,” he told AFP by telephone from New York.

“These self-immolations are very troubling for the Chinese because it is a new method of protest that it very hard to prevent.”
Tibetans have long chafed under China’s rule over the vast Tibetan plateau, accusing Beijing of curbing religious freedoms and eroding their culture and language.

The tensions have intensified over the past year, but Beijing insists that Tibetans enjoy religious freedom and have benefited from improved living standards brought on by China’s economic expansion.

Most of the suicide attempts have taken place around the Kirti monastery in China’s southwestern province of Sichuan, which has become a flashpoint for the mounting anger at Chinese domination over Tibet.

The only previous case in Tibet itself was in December, when a former Buddhist monk set himself alight in Changu prefecture shouting anti-Chinese slogans. He was taken to hospital and later died of his injuries.

Chinese media made no mention of the latest immolations. Internet searches for the Chinese name of the temple where they reportedly occurred, Dazhaosi, were blocked in China on Monday.

dondrup

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2012, 01:53:13 PM »
It really baffles me why HH Dalai Lama, CTA or any influential person not making a statement to stop self-immolation from occurring again in Tibet? What about those monasteries where these monks who had died of self-immolation came from?  Is the World similarly standing on the fence too by not doing anything to stop unnecessary sacrifices of human lives?  It seems like the Tibetans have come to a point of accepting self-immolation as an appropriate way to make a stand. After so many self-immolations, the sacrifices had not produced the results intended.  China is still in control of Tibet!  Are we going to see more self-immolations in the future soon?  Om Mani Padme Hum!

Ensapa

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2012, 02:08:43 PM »
It really baffles me why HH Dalai Lama, CTA or any influential person not making a statement to stop self-immolation from occurring again in Tibet? What about those monasteries where these monks who had died of self-immolation came from?  Is the World similarly standing on the fence too by not doing anything to stop unnecessary sacrifices of human lives?  It seems like the Tibetans have come to a point of accepting self-immolation as an appropriate way to make a stand. After so many self-immolations, the sacrifices had not produced the results intended.  China is still in control of Tibet!  Are we going to see more self-immolations in the future soon?  Om Mani Padme Hum!

Its rather that they dont give a rat's ass about the Tibetans who are now obsessed with self immolation. The CTA just wants it to keep going and keep continuing because they and their narrow minds think that by doing this they will eventually pressure china to bow down to their demands and also that it attracts international attention. But by now, everyone is already numb to all the self immolations.

Lobsang Sanggay was wrong to talk about the self immolators as if they were matyrs and that he would hold prayers for them. In a way that means the CTA SUPPORTS AND ENCOURAGES SELF IMMOLATION. An ordinary government would have expressed shock and disbelief as well as plead their citizens to not harm themselves in this way. This shows how much CTA cares about Tibet but not its people.

If a government cares not for its people, then is it really a government at all or a failed one? CTA should really wake up to this reality. When people start to go on hunger strikes in india, NONE OF THE MINISTERS OR THE GOVERNMENT ENCOURAGED IT. They all discouraged it and tried to feed the hunger strike people. They did not make statements like how brave they were and they would pray for them.

CTA, you dont need to be a genius to realize that you should not be encouraging self immolation or any sort of violence in Tibet because all it will do is to cause China to be more angry at you and refuse to talk to you even further. It also makes China look down on you as all you care about is THE LAND and NEVER ABOUT THE PEOPLE. Wake up and show that you care about harmony, stability and peace in Tibet, then perhaps, China will listen.

icy

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2012, 03:10:31 PM »

As I see it self-immolation will only infuriate China.  It has closed doors for further negotiation for autonomy and nullified previous efforts.  Tibetans must learn from the Japanese.  After the 2nd world war, defeated Japanese rebuilt Japan from scratch to conquer the world economy instead of war.  Similarly, Tibetans can use their rich cultural heritage and Buddhism to penetrate and integrate into China without self-immolation nor negotiation whatsover to regain their position in China.  Tibetan's secret and most powerful weapon is Dorje Shugden.  This is what the Dalai Lama has been orchestrating before he exits the present scene to the next.  If CTA is smart they should lift the ban and work to reunite all Tibetans for this cause.

dondrup

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2012, 05:34:43 PM »

As I see it self-immolation will only infuriate China.  It has closed doors for further negotiation for autonomy and nullified previous efforts.  Tibetans must learn from the Japanese.  After the 2nd world war, defeated Japanese rebuilt Japan from scratch to conquer the world economy instead of war.  Similarly, Tibetans can use their rich cultural heritage and Buddhism to penetrate and integrate into China without self-immolation nor negotiation whatsover to regain their position in China.  Tibetan's secret and most powerful weapon is Dorje Shugden.  This is what the Dalai Lama has been orchestrating before he exits the present scene to the next.  If CTA is smart they should lift the ban and work to reunite all Tibetans for this cause.

I agree.

The World can benefit further with Tibetans’ rich cultural heritage and Buddhism.  Just look at how Tibetan Buddhism has spread all over the Western countries and the rest of the World till today.  Many fortunate people had embraced and benefited from Tibetan Buddhism.  Tibetans must preserve their rich heritage and share with the World. 

Tibet has also produced many highly attained Buddhist Masters after the advent of Buddhism in Tibet.  However due to the ban on Dorje Shugden, many of these high lamas could not perform their Dharma activities freely and perfectly to make the Gelugpa tradition flourish and grow even more.  If CTA had lifted the ban on Dorje Shugden earlier and sooner, Tibet and Tibetans would have been better off than what had happened so far.

lotus1

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2012, 06:35:11 PM »
It is sad to hear about self-immolation. Although the monks are doing it to urges China to free Tibet, I am not agreed to this act. For youngsters, after seeing self-immolations, they may think that it is the best way to do since the monks are doing it and just follow. There are a lot of different way to protest but not self-immolation.
For me, I believe that our human life is very precious. It is also mentioned in the Lamrim.  It cannot be just wasted by killing own self like self-immolation. We should treasure this life and do more to practice Dharma and to benefit others. Besides, I do not believe China will like this act of self-immolation. Instead of freeing Tibet, they may ban people from learning and practising Buddhism.
Therefore, I hope no more self-immolation and HH Dalai Lama would openly ask the monks to stop.   

kris

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2012, 07:21:46 PM »
I think whether or not CTA or HH Dalai Lama make a statement of self-immolation it not the key here. The key here is that two people has died for making a statement, and to me, that is very sad.

Based on the Lamrim, human life is difficult to obtain, and having the opportunity to be near Dharma and become a monk is even more difficult. However, by just giving away the lives is just too wasteful, even though they are trying to make a statement or point. I totally understand that they are trying to make a point, but I felt there are so many other ways to make a point to the world...

AnneQ

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2012, 10:32:43 AM »
I like what icy had posted that instead of infuriating China by having more self-immolation which hasn't produced any results at all, another way to regain "autonomy" over China is to win them over to the rich and cultural heritage of Tibetan Buddhism. As it is, since the ban, China has been very open to Buddhism, esp DS practice, which I see as a positive sign. Tibetans must except that China will never free Tibet for strong political reasons, but Tibetans can win China over culturally through Buddhism and Dharma, and in the end gain religious freedom and harmony with China, being little brother to big brother China. Wouldn't that be more ideal than losing more precious lives?

beggar

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2012, 12:30:32 PM »
I like what icy had posted that instead of infuriating China by having more self-immolation which hasn't produced any results at all, another way to regain "autonomy" over China is to win them over to the rich and cultural heritage of Tibetan Buddhism. As it is, since the ban, China has been very open to Buddhism, esp DS practice, which I see as a positive sign. Tibetans must except that China will never free Tibet for strong political reasons, but Tibetans can win China over culturally through Buddhism and Dharma, and in the end gain religious freedom and harmony with China, being little brother to big brother China. Wouldn't that be more ideal than losing more precious lives?


I like what you say here - that the Tibetans will probably never be able to fight the political might of the Chinese but they still can win them over with their greatest asset, which are the Buddhist teachings and lineages. Outwardly, all these years, even the Dalai Lama has said they are no longer fighting for independence and he's now giving advice to the Chinese to find solace in Buddhism: http://www.dorjeshugden.com/forum/index.php?topic=1990.0

With self-immolations going on in Lhasa and the exiled Tibetan community splitting up among themselves, it doesn't look like the Tibetans will ever endear themselves to Chinese to achieve independence. It's ridiculous how the Tibetans continue to accuse Shugden practitioners of being Chinese spies - as if continuing that vein of speech will help their cause for independence. Unwittingly, they have only just provided more fuel for the Chinese to use against them - which indeed they are. Shugden is widely promoted and practised in China now. They also risk upsetting their host country, India, with these kinds of internal conflicts and instability within their various Tibetan camps throughout India. With two big giants like India and China involved, Tibetans had better be much more careful about not rocking the boat with their petty little accusations and witchhunts.

DorjeShugden.com has written a letter about this and sent it out to Tibetan groups everywhere - do you guys know of this? There's good points, including yet another logical argument for not propagating the ban further. Read it here (and perhaps be inspired to send out more copies: http://dorjeshugden.com/wp/?p=10541#letter22

beggar

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2012, 12:52:53 PM »
Forgot to add this link too of the effects of the ban in China, with monks in China now being "forced" to pray to Shugden. The motivation may not be good, but the connections are certainly being made which, in a Dharma sense, will always create an imprint that will open into something positive.

Proof of the Bigger Picture:Chinese demanded monks to worship Shugden
http://dorjeshugden.com/wp/?p=13134

Vajraprotector

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2012, 10:34:57 PM »
The Dalai Lama gave some explanation, saying that this is a very sensitive political issue and that "If I get involved in that, then the retirement from political power is meaningless. Whatever I say the Chinese government they immediately manipulate."

This reminded me of the 2008 Tibetan unrest- a series of riots, protests, and demonstrations that started in Tibetan regional capital of Lhasa and spread to other Tibetan areas and a number of monasteries including outside the Tibet Autonomous Region. The Dalai Lama did speak up, but not everyone listened. Worse, there were accusations that the unrest was motivated by separatism and orchestrated by the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama denied the accusation and said that the situation was caused by wide discontent in Tibet. It was concluded that the presence of Tibetan flags and shout for independence was a sign that support for His Holiness' Middle-Way approach is wavering and a new generation of Tibetans do not want to sit and wait.

It is obvious that the Tibetans are fed up. What was different was for decades, it was considered almost blasphemy to criticise the Dalai Lama and his policies. Not any more, hence people are making their own decisions to resort to violence or extremes, which could be beyond His Holiness' control. It is sad, because there is no way China can be pressured to give in despite these tragic deaths. Morever, the Tibetans not only have to deal with being refugees, they also have a lot of internal issues to deal with that created a lot of confusion and chaos, e.g. the 2 Karmapas, the ban etc. 

For now, the support for the ban and etc might be strong due to pressure from the CTA to the monastic institutions and the Tibetan settlements, but sooner or later, the support for the ban will also waver as Tibetans have to deal with other issues at hand and also the sad truth that independence and autonomy are not within their grasps.

dsiluvu

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2012, 06:54:29 PM »
This is so embarrassing!!! Not only have they lost their country... separate their people now they are killing them?! And not even in the name of the Buddhas but something impermanent as their country and land. I wonder if any of these Tibetans have any Dharma in them at all.

The Chinese are probably laughing their heads off because the lesser there are, the better and good riddens! THe Dalai Lama or CTA best speak up and not keep quiet for it is only bringing their own people and moral down.  Not only that it is also putting Buddhism to shame because Buddhism is about non-violence and not taking one's life.

This will surely make any possible dialogue with China less and less possible. f I was the CTA... I would tell my people to STOP creating these terrible acts as it brings them no where and it paints a bad image of the CTA for allowing this sort of behaviour to go on. Their silence means their approval. They better do something positive fast if they want any progress in that direction!   

rossoneri

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2012, 08:04:35 AM »
How many more lives do we have to sacrificed in order for HH Dalai Lama or CTA to lift the ban? The Tibetan Government should now encourage their people to have unity among themselves and one of the method is to unite them by lifting the ban of Dorje Shugden. I believed morally among the Tibetans will be lifted at the same time if the DS ban is lifted. Now, we all are playing a guessing game if it's really true HH Dalai Lama banning DS practice is for spreading it across China. We never know, at least not until it is lifted. But i have faith and believed this is the reason and the only reason for HH Dalia Lama banning the practice. Maybe it is not the right time for Him to lift the ban just yet. But for how long more do we have to wait?  How many more self-sacrifices do we have to witness again?

Positive Change

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2012, 03:00:08 PM »
I mean no disrespect to one's beliefs and actions but to me self-immolation is but a senseless act of grabbing headlines. It is pure sensationalism! It perhaps is not as bad as taking another's life/lives in proving a point in the case of suicide bombers, but surely taking one's own life is bad enough.

I do not share this from atop a soap box but as a mere Buddhist practitioner who would like to make sense of the act of killing oneself which is a heinous and grave injustice to oneself and one's practice. I do not believe Buddhism supports the taking of one's life or any other being, in fact it teaches us that we as the vessel of compassion should use our most opportune life to benefit others. If setting oneself on fire (let's put it plainly) is for the benefit of others, then perhaps we should all set ourselves on fire for the sake of sentient beings... then what?

I have seen footage of self-immolations and I have no doubt some of these people have achieved some form of attainments in order to go through such bodily pain and harm. So perhaps I am wrong in my views... but even if one was attained and have a different view, surely one needs to look at how others view it too and not be a "bad" example to follow... surely these points have to be thought through.

Perhaps I am merely venting in frustrations of my own clouded misconceptions but I really cannot see any justice or good from taking one's own life in such a macarbe way!

Can someone please shed some decent light on these acts?

Ensapa

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2012, 04:07:04 PM »
The Dalai Lama gave some explanation, saying that this is a very sensitive political issue and that "If I get involved in that, then the retirement from political power is meaningless. Whatever I say the Chinese government they immediately manipulate."

This reminded me of the 2008 Tibetan unrest- a series of riots, protests, and demonstrations that started in Tibetan regional capital of Lhasa and spread to other Tibetan areas and a number of monasteries including outside the Tibet Autonomous Region. The Dalai Lama did speak up, but not everyone listened. Worse, there were accusations that the unrest was motivated by separatism and orchestrated by the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama denied the accusation and said that the situation was caused by wide discontent in Tibet. It was concluded that the presence of Tibetan flags and shout for independence was a sign that support for His Holiness' Middle-Way approach is wavering and a new generation of Tibetans do not want to sit and wait.

It is obvious that the Tibetans are fed up. What was different was for decades, it was considered almost blasphemy to criticise the Dalai Lama and his policies. Not any more, hence people are making their own decisions to resort to violence or extremes, which could be beyond His Holiness' control. It is sad, because there is no way China can be pressured to give in despite these tragic deaths. Morever, the Tibetans not only have to deal with being refugees, they also have a lot of internal issues to deal with that created a lot of confusion and chaos, e.g. the 2 Karmapas, the ban etc. 

For now, the support for the ban and etc might be strong due to pressure from the CTA to the monastic institutions and the Tibetan settlements, but sooner or later, the support for the ban will also waver as Tibetans have to deal with other issues at hand and also the sad truth that independence and autonomy are not within their grasps.

It is very obvious that the Dalai Lama is not interested at all to get into a political tango with China because it is a waste of time and it will not bring much results because it is the rest of the world vs those that are in Tibet. CTA should be taking responsibility for this and they should find ways and negotiate with China instead of just hoping for HHDL to do something.

I mean, the CTA themselves are not interested in the Tibetan cause. they prefer to just sit aside and revel in their past glories rather than actually work hard to make it happen. They dont make an effort to talk to China, neither do they actually try to appease China in any way. They're just making things harder for themselves and others in every way and not towards their goals.

Why is it that the CTA seems to go against the goals? wouldnt it be smarter to appease the enemy rather than angering them further so that they will cooperate and understand? Has years of Buddhist practice done nothing for the Tibetan people and the CTA? It does seem like it. No matter how or what has been said, the CTA is still a bad example for Buddhists due to their actions.

How many more people will die due to self immolations and also how many more will need to suffer needlessly just because they happen to be too close to the self immolator? The CTA, by now, should really speak up and discourage openly this practice instead of encouraging it in a subtle way. Eventually people will see through and they will not support CTA any longer.