Author Topic: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa  (Read 83949 times)

Ensapa

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #30 on: July 11, 2012, 04:39:51 PM »
...and another case of self immolation. If Lobsang Sanggay would say something about this, it would have stopped. But he did not and this will keep continuing. It wont be long before people realize it is not caused by China as what the CTA would like everyone to believe, but are instigated by CTA. Hearing about how this young man left his mother and left his birthplace in a lockdown saddens me a lot that there are still people who naively think it will make a change when it will only make more suffering and it will still not aid the Tibetan cause.
 
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Self-immolating youth identified as Tsewang Dorjee, All witnesses arrested
Phayul[Tuesday, July 10, 2012 15:53]

DHARAMSHALA, July 10: The Tibetan man who set himself on fire on July 7 has now been identified as Tsewang Dorjee, a 22-year-old nomad from Damshung, central Tibet.

The Dharamshala based Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile in a release today said Tsewang Dorjee set himself on fire in the centre of Damshung, at a place of where people gather in large numbers.

“Tsewang Dorjee raised slogans and set himself on fire in protest against the Chinese government,” the Tibetan Parliament said. “Barely three minutes into his protest, Chinese security personnel arrived at the scene, doused the flames and took him to a hospital.”

The parliament also expressed fears of his death.

“No one was allowed to meet him after his protest. Reports suggest that Tsewang Dorjee passed away later that night.”

He is survived by his old mother.

Earlier reports had indicated that Tsewang Dorjee was taken to a hospital in the adjoining city of Lhasa with no reports about his well-being.

The Tibetan Parliament noted that the entire Damshung region is currently reeling under a heavy lockdown and people who witnessed Tsewang Dorjee’s self-immolation have since been arrested.

“All communication lines have been cut in Damshung. Even for people living in the nearby areas such as Lhasa are unable to reach Damshung.”

“The Chinese authorities in the region have arrested all the people who witnessed Tsewang Dorjee’s self-immolation protest and have passed strict orders barring anyone from speaking about the protest,” the release said.

Since 2009, the number of Tibetans who have set themselves on fire demanding freedom in Tibet and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile have now reached 43.

Damshung, which means "chosen valley" in Tibetan, is a hub of pastoral production and commerce. The region has been subjected to China’s unpopular rangeland policies, including the fencing of grasslands and restrictions over livestock development.


Ensapa

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #31 on: July 15, 2012, 06:09:57 PM »
This is a very interesting analysis on the self immolations of Tibet, and how they seemed to have increase after Lobsang Sanggay became the prime minister. Could it be that the Tibetans have lost hope, which is why they immolated themselves, or it could be that it is the new direction that LS is taking to provoke China to freeing Tibet? Hmmmmm...

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What do the self-immolations & Kalon Tripa have in common? ?
He made it happen! Well, sort of, according to him at least.

The following section is from the Tibetan Political Review editorial on the KTs recent statements in Australia:

“Surprise One: The Kalon Tripa’s Link to the Self-Immolations?
 
The Kalon Tripa made a notable comment that indicates a certain inward-focus as he approaches his one-year mark in office.  According to a reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald, Sangay made a “surprising” statement:


“Sangay’s surprising admission comes when he volunteers this fact: The intensifying outbreak of self-immolations ‘coincides with my election. The final round of voting for my election was March 16. Ninety per cent have coincided with my taking over the leadership.’”
This was the same reporter who cited Sangay’s “movie-star looks” so clearly he was not hostile to the Kalon Tripa.  It is likely that the reporter found this assertion “surprising” because it implies a direct and causal link between the self-immolation crisis in Tibet and Sangay’s own tenure in office.
 
That is one possibility.  But it is also possible to cite the statistics that 100% of the self-immolations inside Tibet have been after the 2008 uprising, 95% have been after the immolations first spread beyond Ngaba, and 98% have been after His Holiness’s announcement that he would devolve his political powers.
 
In short, the reporter was probably surprised because it is far from clear that the self-immolations have much at all to do with the Kalon Tripa’s “taking over the leadership”.”

Ensapa

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #32 on: July 18, 2012, 11:07:29 AM »
Here's another case of self immolation and this time, he is barely an adult. My heart cracked when i read this story.

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Breaking: Teenage Tibetan monk burns self to death
Phayul[Tuesday, July 17, 2012 18:35]


Lobsang Lozin in an undated photo. (Photo/Kirti Monastery)

DHARAMSHALA, July 17: A teenage Tibetan monk set himself on fire today in an apparent protest against the Chinese government in the beleaguered region of Ngaba, eastern Tibet.

Lobsang Lozin, 18, set himself on fire at around 12 noon near his monastery’s main prayer hall and began walking towards the local Chinese office in flames before falling down.

“Lobsang Lozin, a monk of the Gyalrong Tsodun Kriti Monastery, set his body on fire near the monastery’s main prayer hall around noon today and walked in the direction of the county’s local office engulfed in flames,” Kanyag Tsering, a monk at the exile base of Kirit Monastery in Dharamshala said. “Lobsang Lozin succumbed to his burns and passed away at the site of his protest.”

Lobsang Lozin was heard shouting many slogans but it is still not clear what these slogans were.

According to the Dharamshala based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, monks at Lobsang Lozin’s monastery took his body inside and are currently holding prayers and rituals for the deceased.

“Lobsang will be cremated later in the evening,” TCHRD said.

The rights group expressed fear of confrontation after local Tibetans blocked a bridge to stop Chinese armed forces from reaching the monastery.

“Following the self-immolation, a large number of security personnel including People’s Armed Police came rushing towards the monastery but were met with strong resistance from the local Tibetans who tried to stop the security personnel at the bridge near the monastery,” TCHRD said. “It is feared that the tense stand-off between the security personnel and local Tibetans might get worse.”


Lobsang Lozin passed away at the site of his self-immolation protest in Barkham, Ngaba region of eastern Tibet, July 17, 2012. (Photo/Kirti Monastery)

Son of Jorgyal and Tsepopo, Lobsang Lozin has been described as an exemplary student with excellent track record in his monastic studies.

The Central Tibetan Administration in a release today said it was “deeply concerned” at the tense situation in the region.

Gyalrong Tsodun Kirti monastery is located some 80 kilometers away in the north of Barkham County town. It is one of the biggest Gelug monasteries in Gyalrong region and has over 300 monks.

On March 30 earlier this year, two monks from the same monastery, Chime Palden (21) and Tenpa Dhargyal (22), set themselves on fire in protest over China’s continued occupation of Tibet.

With today’s incident, 45 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since 2009 demanding freedom in Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama from exile.

Ensapa

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #33 on: July 21, 2012, 03:59:07 PM »
Here's the latest news on the recent self immolation case. What shocked me was that he was good in his Buddhist studies. Then how did he came to the conclusion of setting himself on fire?

He would have been a Geshe that would have benefitted many people, but instead he chose to throw that away for the sake of CTA's independence...

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Lobsang Lozin’s charred body immersed into river
Phayul[Thursday, July 19, 2012 17:48]

Lobsang Lozin in an undated photo. (Photo/Kirti Monastery)
DHARAMSHALA, July 19: The charred body of Lobsang Lozin, who set himself on fire protesting China’s occupation of Tibet, has been immersed into a river near his monastery in Barkham region of Ngaba, eastern Tibet.

Lobsang Lozin, 18, was given the traditional Tibetan water burial in the night of July 17, the day of his fatal protest.

“The remains of Lobsang Lozin, who gave his life in protest against the Chinese government, were given a water burial in the river nearby Tsodun monastery on the night of July 17,” the exile base of the Kirti Monastery in Dahramshala said in a release yesterday.

“On July 18 the people of Tsodun gathered at the monastery for worship and prayer, and all shops and restaurants in the
township remained closed in a show of mourning.”

Lobsang Lozin, who has been described as an exemplary student with excellent track record in his monastic studies, set himself on fire at around 12 noon near his monastery’s main prayer hall and began walking towards the local Chinese office in flames before falling down.

Later, monks at the Gyalrong Tsodun Kriti Monastery carried Lobsang Lozin’s body inside the monastery premises and offered prayers and conducted rituals.

A “tense stand-off” was reported after local Tibetans blocked a bridge to stop specially dispatched Chinese armed forces from reaching the monastery.

“That evening, a large group of security forces dispatched from Barkham reached Tsodun, but the local Tibetans did their utmost to block the way,” the release said. “The security forces were stopped from entering the monastery and remained on the far banks of the river conducting military drills.”

Gyalrong Tsodun Kirti monastery is located some 80 kms to the north of Barkham County town and is one of the biggest Gelug monasteries in Gyalrong region with over 300 monks.

On March 30 earlier this year, two monks from the same monastery, Chime Palden (21) and Tenpa Dhargyal (22), set themselves on fire in protest over China’s continued occupation of Tibet.

With Lobsang Lozin’s self-immolation, 45 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since 2009 demanding freedom in Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama from exile.


Ensapa

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #34 on: July 22, 2012, 04:40:32 PM »
Ah, finally HHDL has said why he will never talk on self immolation. Interesting, tho, that the main reason why is so that he will not hurt the families of those who self immolated. Perhaps HHDL knows that it is the CTA who has been encouraging it? And the families are aware of it as well and he would not want to break their hearts? But at that cost, more and more people will self immolate...hmmm... what do you guys think?

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Dalai Lama says he must remain neutral on self-immolations
Tibetan spiritual leader says he does not wish to upset families of the dead or offer political opportunity to China

Tania Branigan in Beijing
guardian.co.uk, Monday 9 July 2012 14.47 BST

The Dalai Lama at the inauguration of a hospital near Dharamsala, India, this month. Photograph: Ashwini Bhatia/AP
The Dalai Lama has said he cannot be negative about the spate of self-immolations by Tibetans in China because it would hurt their families.

The exiled spiritual leader said it was best for him to remain neutral on a "very, very delicate political issue".

Around 40 Tibetans, many of them monks or former members of the clergy, have set themselves on fire over the last year and a half, triggering a security clampdown.

"Now, the reality is that if I say something positive, then the Chinese immediately blame me," he told The Hindu newspaper.

"If I say something negative, then the family members of those people feel very sad. They sacrificed their ... life. It is not easy. So I do not want to create some kind of impression that this is wrong."

China has accused the Dalai Lama of inciting the self-immolations, while he has blamed Chinese policies.

Although he has expressed deep sorrow at the deaths and injuries of those involved, he has stopped short of asking Tibetans not to set fire to themselves – as another senior Buddhist figure, the Karmapa, did last year.

The Karmapa, who some see as a potential successor to the Dalai Lama as Tibetan spiritual leader, praised the "pure motivation" and bravery of those involved, but added: "I request the people of Tibet to preserve their lives and find other, constructive ways to work for the cause of Tibet."

Tsering Woeser, an outspoken Tibetan poet and writer who lives in Beijing, has also called for an end to self-immolations, saying it does not help the cause of Tibetan rights.

Ensapa

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #35 on: July 23, 2012, 11:31:42 AM »
Below is the response of China's government to the recent strings of self immolations. It is not exactly a good reaction, but then again, it is the government's duty to ensure the peace of the land. Therefore, China's hardline approach can be seen by some as a justified response to the self immolations. CTA and the Tibetans can actually remove this hard handed approach by complying and working from the inside...but....

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Intensify fight against separatism in Tibet: China’s propaganda chief
Phayul[Monday, July 23, 2012 11:50]

DHARAMSHALA, July 22: China's propaganda chief, on a visit to Tibet last week, underlined the importance of maintaining stability and ordered officials to intensify the fight against separatism in the restive region.

Li Changchun, ranked fifth in the hierarchy of the ruling Communist Party, was on a five-day visit to Tibet's Nyingtri and Lhasa, places where Beijing plans to undertake multi-billion dollar tourism projects.

"The lifeblood of Tibet rests in ethnic unity, social harmony and stability," the Party’s mouthpiece People’s Daily paper quoted Li as saying.

"We must guide officials and the people to continually strengthen their understanding of the great (Chinese) motherland and people and deepen and expand the fight against separatism."

Li also pushed for an education campaign to "underscore the historic fact that Tibet is an inseparable part of China," which should form "the ideological basis for the fight against separatism and the maintenance of stability."

The propaganda chief visited the headquarters of the Tibet Daily and its news website, asking the staff to "introduce a real and changing Tibet to the whole world."

In the ancient Tibetan capital city, the senior Chinese leader visited the Potala Palace and the Jokhang Temple, the site of a twin self-immolation protest against Chinese rule in May this year.

According to the paper, at the Jokhang Temple, Li gave offerings to the monastery, encouraging the monks there to be patriotic and devout and make contributions to ethnic unity and the ethnic cultural development.

On May 27, Dhargey, 25 and Dorjee Tseten, 19 set themselves on fire in front of the historic Jokhang Temple demanding freedom in Tibet and the return of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

Since then, seven more Tibetans have self-immolated, taking the toll to 45.

Following their fiery protests, Lhasa has been reeling under a heavy security lockdown with hundreds of Tibetans reportedly detained, including many who had witnessed the self-immolations. Tibetans from outside central Tibet have been arbitrarily expelled in large numbers.

Last month, New York based Human Rights Watch in a release said China’s “drastic” security drive and “extreme measures” could further “deepen” tensions on the plateau.

Tibet, for the second time this year, remains closed to outside visitors.

Ensapa

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #36 on: July 23, 2012, 02:40:28 PM »
I found another interesting opinion piece on why the Dalai Lama should not speak up on the self immolations. From a Tibetan perspective, the whole thing does sound somewhat funny and illogical...sometimes, I wonder how does a Tibetan mind work (the laypeople) that they can come up with such interesting conclusions that sounds more like a very desperate attempt to justify the self immolations...

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My Take: Why the Dalai Lama cannot condemn Tibetan self-immolations
Editor's Note: Tenzin Dorjee is executive director of Students for a Free Tibet, a global grassroots network of students and activists working for Tibetan independence. A writer and an activist, he is a spokesperson for the global Tibetan youth movement.

By Tenzin Dorjee, Special to CNN

(CNN)–In a crass display of moral blindsight, Stephen Prothero's blog post on Tibetan self-immolations blames the victim instead of the bully.

Tibetans are stuck in one of the world's last remaining and most brutal colonial occupations. It is through this lens, more than anything else, that we must understand the self-immolations.

Since 2009, at least 44 Tibetans -– monks, nuns and lay people -– have set themselves on fire to protest China's rule; 39 self-immolations have occurred this year alone. Every one of these acts is a direct result of China's systematic assault on the Tibetan people's way of life, their movements, their speech, their religion, and their identity.

Instead of responding to China's oppression with revenge –- a path far more tempting to the basic human instinct -– Tibetans have chosen a means far more peaceful. Without harming a single Chinese, they set aflame their own bodies to shine a light upon the atrocity taking place in their homeland. They sacrifice their own lives not in the name of “God” or “Buddha,” as Mr. Prothero so dismissively suggests, but in an altruistic intention of alerting the world to their people's suffering.
But in the process, create more suffering for people around them and also untold suffering for their families...how altruistic can that be?
CNN's Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the big stories

By demanding that the Dalai Lama condemn these individuals who have shown compassion beyond our imagination, Mr. Prothero has betrayed a colossal indifference to the courage and circumstances of those fighting for the same democratic freedoms and human rights that he himself enjoys.

How can the Dalai Lama condemn the self-immolators when their motivation was evidently selfless and their tactic nonviolent? Would we ask Gandhi to condemn activists in the Indian freedom struggle who were killed while lying on the road to block British police trucks? Or the hunger strikers who were starving themselves to death in order to protest the injustices of British rule in India?
Yeah, but they didint get their community into trouble after their deaths, did they? Nor were they inspired by some covert CTA agent somewhere around. Their intention was peace and to have more freedom and not to split away.

By every measure, it's the Chinese leaders and not the Dalai Lama who are responsible for the self-immolations in Tibet. They have the power to ease tensions, reverse restrictions, and stop the self-immolations overnight. But instead of seeking a lasting solution to the Tibet issue, they continue to aggravate the situation by intensifying the repression.
But the Tibetans also aggravated the issue. CTA also aggravated the issue. It takes 2 hands to clap. Why is it a one sided thing? Why keep blaming China when you guys could just  appease china with actions and subvert control on them? Sigh, the blame.

No one is more tormented by the self-immolations than the Dalai Lama, whose bond with the Tibetan people goes deeper than language can express. In fact, it is the singular calming influence of the Dalai Lama that has kept the movement nonviolent to date.
That is true, but he did it using the Dorje Shugden ban.

An act of faith, desperation or protest: Self-immolations through time

As a universal icon of peace, the Dalai Lama's spiritual influence goes well beyond the Buddhist world. Nevertheless, his moral authority is not an infinite resource. There is an invisible moral rope with which the Dalai Lama has bound the Tibetans to nonviolence for four decades. But this rope is wearing thin as China's escalating tyranny drives Tibetans into a corner.

Self-immolation, which emerged as a tactic from being cornered for too long, represents the final outpost in the spectrum of nonviolent resistance. If this last remaining space for expression, no matter how drastic, is taken away, the rope might just snap. Chaos will ensue, vastly increasing the chances of a full-blown ethnic conflict that even the Dalai Lama will have exhausted his moral capital to stop.

From all of Mr. Prothero's accusations, the most offensive is his comparison of self-immolations to sati – a social system in ancient India where widows were pressured to throw themselves into the funeral pyre of their deceased husbands. Self-immolation – a political act of reason – is the polar opposite of sati – a blind act of superstition.

There is not a single case of Tibetan self-immolation that was prompted by social pressure or religious obligation. Every incident of it, unexpected as it is, shakes the nation, the community, not to mention the family, to its foundations. Every Tibetan prays in his or her heart that the latest might be the last.
But most or all of it were prompted by CTA agents? Yes if they pray it to be the last, WHY IS IT STILL HAPPENING? People who want to self immolate would change their mind if that was what was really in their mind.

The image of a person engulfed in flames is shocking, often disturbing, to people living in the free world. For all our obsession with violent movies, graphic video games, and live coverage of wars, it still rips our hearts to pieces when we see a human in flames.

Rather than indulging in philosophical investigations into the morality of self-immolations, we must see these actions for what they are: urgent pleas for help from a people pushed to the brink by decades of ruthless repression.
By repression, you mean not following the rules of the land set out by China?

One hopes that most people are focused on the real question at hand: how shall we answer this call?
By not encouraging it. Aint that simple?
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Tenzin Dorjee.

dsiluvu

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #37 on: July 23, 2012, 11:36:00 PM »


DHARAMSHALA, March 31: Dharamshala was tense with an overwhelming outpour of emotions yesterday as the casket, draped with the Tibetan National flag, carrying the body of Jamphel Yeshi entered the exile Tibetan headquarters.

The long convoy of cars and motor bikes decorated with flags, banners, and photos of Jamphel Yeshi engulfed in flames, slowly made its way past lines of aggrieved mourners to Tsug-la Khang, the main temple.

Thousands of Tibetans and supporters had gathered at the courtyard across the main gate of the Dalai Lama’s residence to pay last respects to Jamphel Yeshi at the state funeral.

As the casket was lowered on an elevated platform, a shower of khataks poured down, an offering usually reserved for high lamas.

Jamphel Yeshi, all of 27, had set himself on fire on March 26, at a mass protest rally in New Delhi demanding international intervention in the ongoing crisis in Tibet and protesting Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to India.

Although suffering 98 per cent burn and given zero per cent chance to survive, Jamphel Yeshi’s heart continued to fight on for almost a gruelling two days. He was declared dead in the morning of March 28.

Jamphel Yeshi had escaped into exile in 2006 and studied in Dharamshala and New Delhi, where he had been staying for the past two years.

The exile Tibetan leadership was in full strength as the Supreme Justice Commissioners, Ministers, Parliamentarians, heads of NGOs, and the general public stood in a moment silence, praying for Jamphel Yeshi and all Tibetan martyrs.

Emotions heightened and anguish gave way to tears when an executive member of the Tibetan Youth Congress read out Jamphel Yeshi’s last hand written letter to fellow Tibetans, explaining his decision to torch his own body.

“What I want to convey here is the concern of the six million Tibetans,” Jamphel Yeshi wrote. “At a time when we are making our final move toward our goal – if you have money, it is the time to spend it; if you are educated it is the time to produce results; if you have control over your life, I think the day has come to sacrifice your life. The fact that Tibetan people are setting themselves on fire in this 21st century is to let the world know about their suffering, and to tell the world about the denial of basic human rights. If you have any empathy, stand up for the Tibetan people.”

Dhondup Lhadar, vice-president of TYC gave a moving account of Jamphel Yeshi’s life story and the last moments with his relatives and friends.

“Jamphel Yeshi’s sacrifice was an act of the highest order of service to one’s country and people. He knew exactly what he wanted to tell us Tibetans and the world that freedom is the basis of happiness for all living beings,” Lhadar said.

Thousands gather to pay final respects to Jamphel Yeshi. (Phayul photo/Tendar Tsering)

Minister for Religion and Culture and acting Kalon Tripa, Pema Chhinjor said he was moved beyond words to express his true feelings.

While encouraging Tibetans to organise activities to strive for the demands of those who have self-immolated, Kalon Chhinjor reiterated the Kashag’s appeal to Tibetans and Tibet supporters to organise their activities peacefully, in accordance with the laws of their country, and with dignity.

Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament, Penpa Tsering categorically stated that Jamphel Yeshi’s sacrifice was an outright act of non-violence and blamed Chinese President Hu Jintao for the loss of two Tibetan lives, one in India and another in Tibet, during his short stay in India.

"Hu Jintao is responsible for two more lives since he came to India. The question is how many more Tibetans will have to die before the issue is resolved?"

The entire businesses in Dharamshala, Tibetan and India, shut down as the body of Jamphel Yeshi made its last journey to the cremation grounds.

Jamphel Yeshi was placed on the pyre, for final rest, amidst prayers and slogans calling him a martyr echoing the hills.

The flames from his body once again rose high.
http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?id=31157&t=1


“Jamphel Yeshi’s sacrifice was an act of the highest order of service to one’s country and people. He knew exactly what he wanted to tell us Tibetans and the world that freedom is the basis of happiness for all living beings,” Lhadar said.

I really do not think all this burning oneself for Tibets Freedom is ever gonna work. I am sorry I do not feel empathy for the Tibetans as much as I did and do for Aung San Suu Kyi and her fight for her nation! Why I say this is because... sorry Tibetans... "freedom is the basis of happiness for all living beings" hence why DO YOU NOT simply allow your own people their FREEDOM to practice Dorje Shugden and STOP discrimination within your own? It is like your own HOUSE is a MESS but your are FINGER POINTING another?! Hu? And if Buddhism is really part of Tibet then they would know better about the causes they are creating in not getting any where near their goals for human rights.

You cannot GET what you do not GIVE! Please wise up Tibetans/CTAs!
So sorry you don't embrace your own teachings on karma. So sad!


Ensapa

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #38 on: July 24, 2012, 02:04:19 PM »


DHARAMSHALA, March 31: Dharamshala was tense with an overwhelming outpour of emotions yesterday as the casket, draped with the Tibetan National flag, carrying the body of Jamphel Yeshi entered the exile Tibetan headquarters.

The long convoy of cars and motor bikes decorated with flags, banners, and photos of Jamphel Yeshi engulfed in flames, slowly made its way past lines of aggrieved mourners to Tsug-la Khang, the main temple.

Thousands of Tibetans and supporters had gathered at the courtyard across the main gate of the Dalai Lama’s residence to pay last respects to Jamphel Yeshi at the state funeral.

As the casket was lowered on an elevated platform, a shower of khataks poured down, an offering usually reserved for high lamas.

Jamphel Yeshi, all of 27, had set himself on fire on March 26, at a mass protest rally in New Delhi demanding international intervention in the ongoing crisis in Tibet and protesting Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to India.

Although suffering 98 per cent burn and given zero per cent chance to survive, Jamphel Yeshi’s heart continued to fight on for almost a gruelling two days. He was declared dead in the morning of March 28.

Jamphel Yeshi had escaped into exile in 2006 and studied in Dharamshala and New Delhi, where he had been staying for the past two years.

The exile Tibetan leadership was in full strength as the Supreme Justice Commissioners, Ministers, Parliamentarians, heads of NGOs, and the general public stood in a moment silence, praying for Jamphel Yeshi and all Tibetan martyrs.

Emotions heightened and anguish gave way to tears when an executive member of the Tibetan Youth Congress read out Jamphel Yeshi’s last hand written letter to fellow Tibetans, explaining his decision to torch his own body.

“What I want to convey here is the concern of the six million Tibetans,” Jamphel Yeshi wrote. “At a time when we are making our final move toward our goal – if you have money, it is the time to spend it; if you are educated it is the time to produce results; if you have control over your life, I think the day has come to sacrifice your life. The fact that Tibetan people are setting themselves on fire in this 21st century is to let the world know about their suffering, and to tell the world about the denial of basic human rights. If you have any empathy, stand up for the Tibetan people.”

Dhondup Lhadar, vice-president of TYC gave a moving account of Jamphel Yeshi’s life story and the last moments with his relatives and friends.

“Jamphel Yeshi’s sacrifice was an act of the highest order of service to one’s country and people. He knew exactly what he wanted to tell us Tibetans and the world that freedom is the basis of happiness for all living beings,” Lhadar said.

Thousands gather to pay final respects to Jamphel Yeshi. (Phayul photo/Tendar Tsering)

Minister for Religion and Culture and acting Kalon Tripa, Pema Chhinjor said he was moved beyond words to express his true feelings.

While encouraging Tibetans to organise activities to strive for the demands of those who have self-immolated, Kalon Chhinjor reiterated the Kashag’s appeal to Tibetans and Tibet supporters to organise their activities peacefully, in accordance with the laws of their country, and with dignity.

Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament, Penpa Tsering categorically stated that Jamphel Yeshi’s sacrifice was an outright act of non-violence and blamed Chinese President Hu Jintao for the loss of two Tibetan lives, one in India and another in Tibet, during his short stay in India.

"Hu Jintao is responsible for two more lives since he came to India. The question is how many more Tibetans will have to die before the issue is resolved?"

The entire businesses in Dharamshala, Tibetan and India, shut down as the body of Jamphel Yeshi made its last journey to the cremation grounds.

Jamphel Yeshi was placed on the pyre, for final rest, amidst prayers and slogans calling him a martyr echoing the hills.

The flames from his body once again rose high.
http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?id=31157&t=1


“Jamphel Yeshi’s sacrifice was an act of the highest order of service to one’s country and people. He knew exactly what he wanted to tell us Tibetans and the world that freedom is the basis of happiness for all living beings,” Lhadar said.

I really do not think all this burning oneself for Tibets Freedom is ever gonna work. I am sorry I do not feel empathy for the Tibetans as much as I did and do for Aung San Suu Kyi and her fight for her nation! Why I say this is because... sorry Tibetans... "freedom is the basis of happiness for all living beings" hence why DO YOU NOT simply allow your own people their FREEDOM to practice Dorje Shugden and STOP discrimination within your own? It is like your own HOUSE is a MESS but your are FINGER POINTING another?! Hu? And if Buddhism is really part of Tibet then they would know better about the causes they are creating in not getting any where near their goals for human rights.

You cannot GET what you do not GIVE! Please wise up Tibetans/CTAs!
So sorry you don't embrace your own teachings on karma. So sad!


This article itself is sad and disturbing. It is almost as if the Tibetans are encouraging self immolations by celebrating and feting self immolation victims. While it might be nice to gloss it up by saying that they are very selfless by sacrificing their lives for the sake of Tibet, nobody realizes that it has failed to grab China's attention at all. All that they got was more negative impressions on the Tibetans, thus the crackdowns on the monastery and on the Tibetans. There are other ways of raising awareness of what the Chinese are putting them through, but ending your life just to be the hero does not really justify such an act, and it will only inspire more such acts to continue. And at end, the only place that this self immolators get mentioned at are in phayul.com and on Tibet news related sites because too many has been reported, and people will eventually get sick of the same thing happening again and again.

The only impact the self immolations seem to have is that more and more copycat incidents come from it, and China gets more and more aggressive against the Tibetans and the areas and the families of the self immolators. People who self immolate are called victims for a reason: they have this wrong view that by burning themselves, they are actually doing their community a favor but it is not and it makes things worse for their families and their community. You dont have to be Buddhist to know that self immolation is wrong. You only need to be human and have common sense to see that destroying yourself will not bring about much benefits except create more deaths. Proof? What has China done about it so far other than having more and more crackdowns?

Ensapa

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #39 on: July 27, 2012, 06:34:18 AM »
I found this on phayul today. It is a very disturbing news that CTA has gotten what it wants from the self immolation: media attention, and the US is giving them just that. What CTA dosent know is, they are being manipulated by the CTA in reality. The US has always been working and been trying to undermine China for decades, and they tried to use HHDL to do it during the 1970s but little did they know that HHDL was much more smarter than that. Now, they are trying to do it again using self immolation. the CTA is being manipulated by the US but they play right into their hands....

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Will continue to raise concern over self-immolations: US
Phayul[Thursday, July 26, 2012 22:40]

DHARAMSHALA, July 26: The United States said Wednesday it will continue to raise “deep concern” over the ongoing wave of self-immolations inside Tibet with China.

Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner, briefing reporters after the annual U.S.-China Human Rights Dialogue in Washington, said discussion on a “range of concerns” about the self-immolations and Tibet’s cultural and religious rights were held.

“We’ve raised and will continue to raise our deep concern about more than 40 self-immolations in Tibetan parts of China,” Posner said in a statement.

Later, responding to a question, Posner said US raised concerns about broader issues that apply both to the Uighur and Tibetan community relating to “discrimination in terms of language rights, ability to practice their religion freely, discrimination employment – a range of issues involving their cultural rights, their religious freedom, et cetera.”

Painting a grim prospect for China’s rights record, the US State Department said human rights situation in the world’s most populous country is deteriorating.

"The overall human rights situation in China continues to deteriorate," Posner said.

"Our message to the Chinese government is you've made progress on the economic front, this is the moment to open up the space to allow people to dissent."

Chinese people needed to be able to voice legitimate grievances and play a "meaningful role in the political development of their own society," he added.

The closed-door annual U.S.-China human rights meeting was held in Washington from July 23-24.

According the State Department, this year US focused on charges that Beijing is restricting freedom of expression and Internet freedom, curbing the rights of religious and ethnic minorities and failing to implement internationally recognised labor rights.

Posner, whose portfolio covers democracy, human rights and labor issues, said the US raised with the Chinese dozens of individual cases of those persecuted that included lawyers, bloggers, nongovernment group activists, journalists and religious leaders.

He declined to elaborate on China's responses.

The Chinese delegation released a statement saying the talks were "candid, open and constructive" and helped "improve mutual understanding and reduce misunderstanding".

Although the annual dialogues have become a fixture on the diplomatic calendar, skeptics have questioned the effectiveness of the exercise.

Due to its failure to yield much concrete results, observers believe that China is misusing the dialogues to help fend off critics without taking action.

icy

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #40 on: July 29, 2012, 11:57:10 AM »
Now China presses the appointed 11th Panchen Lama to address unrest in Tibet.

BEIJING, China, 28 July 2012

The Chinese appointed 11th Panchen Lama Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu offers a lamp at the main shrine of the Tibet Buddhist Theological Institute in Lhasa, capital of southwest China’s Tibet autonomous region, on 26 July 2012.File photo/Xinhua/China

As suicides continued unabated in Tibet, China for the first time pressed Panchen Lama, the Tibetan Buddhist monk being groomed to counter the Dalai Lama’s influence, to campaign against the self immolations, especially among young monks.

Twenty-two-year-old 11th Panchen Lama Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu, who was appointed in 1995 by China replacing his Dalai Lama appointed “predecessor” Choekyi Galtsen at the age of six in a controversial circumstances, began taking active role in the recent months with high-profile publicity from the state-owned media.

Mostly based in Beijing, the young Lama, who is also the Vice President of Buddhist Association and nominated member of the Chinese People’s Consultative Conference, for the first time stepped out of main land China in April this year and attended a Buddhist conference in Hong Kong.

Since last week he is touring Lhasa, the provincial capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, making high-profile visits to Buddhist temples and monasteries and urging monks to safeguard China’s interests and work for social stability.

Described by China’s official Xinhua news agency as “a spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism”, the young Lama Thursday visited the Tibet Buddhist Theological Institute in Lhasa and called on monks to “love their country and abide by laws”.

Opened in October 2011, the institute hosts 150 students including monks from various Tibetan Buddhist sects.

After performing the rituals, Panchen Lama, regarded as the second most highest monk after the Dalai Lama, asked students to abide by national laws and better serve the country and its people.

“I hope you can make good use of the sound learning conditions that the institute provides to learn the essence of Buddhism and safeguard our country and serve its people, so as to be true Buddhists,” he said.

In his meeting with local leader on 24 July, the Lama said it is both the “basics” and responsibility for a religious person to help people do good deeds, and promote harmony and social development by religious preaching.

“And religious people should abide by the laws and religious code of conduct themselves,” he said, apparently referring to the recurring suicides which the Chinese government assert goes against the basic tenets of Buddhism and criticises the Dalai Lama for not condemning them.

His comments were made in the back drop of 44 self immolations by monks and other Tibetans in different parts of Tibet but mostly in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) county in Sichuan province.

The suicides were stated to be aimed at protesting high security as well as to demand the return of the Dalai Lama from exile.

Ensapa

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #41 on: July 31, 2012, 03:45:22 PM »
I feel bad for the self immolation victim and his beliefs. They are disturbing because it shows us how....deluded they are.

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Ngawang Norphel passes away in a Chinese hospital
Phayul[Monday, July 30, 2012 23:55]
By Tendar Tsering


Ngawang Norphel carrying serious burns after his self-immolation protest against China's continued occupation of Tibet on June 20, 2012 in Keygudo, Kham, eastern Tibet.
DAHRAMSHALA, July 30: More than a month after his self-immolation protest, Ngawang Norphel, a young Tibetan passed away in a Chinese hospital in the Tsongon region of eastern Tibet today.

According to his uncle, Tenzin Phegyel, a resident of Dharamshala, Ngawang Norphel’s father was in the hospital at the time of his death.

“Ngawang Norphel died today at around 3:30 pm in a Chinese hospital in Tsongon, Amdo,” Phegyel told Phayul. “His cremation will be carried out soon.”

Ngawang Norphel, 21 and Tenzin Khedup, 24, had set themselves on fire in Zatoe town of Keygudo, Kham on June 20, protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet. Both of them were carrying Tibetan national flags in their hands at the time of their self-immolation protest.

Tenzin Khedup sucummbed to his injuries shortly after his protest while Ngawang Norphel was taken to a hospital in a critical condition.

Following China’s heavy clampdown on the flow of information from Tibet, earlier reports had indicated that Ngawang Norphel was a resident of Ngaba. However, according to his uncle, the entire family of the deceased hails from Nyalam region in Shigatse, western Tibet.

“Ngawang Norphel’s father, Lhakpa Dhondup came to know about his son’s self-immolation protest almost a month later, only when he actually saw his son in the hospital,” Phegyel said. “Someone had called from Amdo to tell him that his son was sick and hospitalised. Nothing more.”

Ngawang Norphel had left his home in 2008 and since, settled with a job in Keygudo.

According to Phegyel, the deceased had suffered sever burn injuries all over his body and his health was rapidly deteriorating over the past few days,

“Whenever he tried to utter a few words, Chinese officials at once came to interrogate him and ask questions,” Phegyle said. “Then he gradually stopped talking.”

In a video footage immediately shot after their self-immolation protest, Ngawang Norphel, severely burned, could be seen shouting, “What has happened to my Land of Snow?” and also enquiring for his “sworn brother” Tenzin Khedup.

Although under immense visible pain, Ngawang Norphel says that their sacrifice is for the sake of Tibet.

“We two “sworn brothers”, we won’t fail next time. [This is] for the sake of Tibet. We are in the land of snow. If we don’t have our freedom, cultural traditions and language, it would be extremely embarrassing for us,” Ngawang Norphel says.

In a note left behind by the two young Tibetans before taking their drastic action, they urged all Tibetans to be united in the fight for Tibet’s freedom and the return of the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama from exile.

“People like us are unable to contribute anything toward Tibetan religion and culture, or contribute economically to help Tibetans,” Ngawang Norphel and Tenzin Khedup wrote. They said their actions "show love to the Tibetan people and loyalty to His Holiness the Dalai Lama."


But they could have been teachers of their culture! They could have been successful businessmen and then use their money and influence to benefit the Tibetans! Self immolation dosent benefit the Tibetans, except become yet another entry on Phayul. I feel really sad for this kind of thinking, and immense unhappiness to people who promote this sort of thinking to them.

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #42 on: July 31, 2012, 05:17:51 PM »
Here's another interesting news that is not linked to the self immolations, but on a protest that happened and the contradictory statement that is contained within. It is interesting how either the people on phayul.com would like to believe or the tibetans would want to believe in general. Not to say that they are wrong or anything, but the way they interpret incidents and the perspective that they see things from is rather....interesting.

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Lone protester raises Tibetan flag against visiting Chinese official
Phayul[Monday, July 30, 2012 16:47]

DHARAMSHALA July 30: A Tibetan man staged a solitary protest against a visiting Chinese dignitary in Kham Gonjo region of Tibet.

Ngawang, carrying the banned Tibetan national flag, marched on the main street of Gonjo, raising slogans for the long life of the Dalai Lama and an end to China’s brutality.

The Dharamshala based Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, in a release today said Ngawang carried out his lone protest on July 22, coinciding with the visit of a senior Chinese official from nearby Chamdo.

“Ngawang marched in the middle of the main road in Gonjo, waving the Tibetan national flag and throwing prayer scrolls (lungta) in the air,” the release said. “He raised slogans for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and demanded an end to Chinese brutality in Tibet.”

Calling for unity and peace amongst the Tibetan people, he urged his fellow countrymen to join the fight against the Chinese government.

Following his protest, Chinese police arrested Ngawang. The Tibetan Parliament said his whereabouts and well being is not known yet.

“Sources say Ngawang’s case will be handled by officials in either Lhasa or Chamdo but as of now, his whereabouts are unclear,” the release said.

Since the 2008 pan-Tibet uprisings, the entire region has witnessed repeated protests against the Chinese rule. Major peaceful protests this year have resulted in the death, injury and arrest of scores of Tibetans.

The ongoing wave of self-immolations has already witnessed an alarming number of 45 Tibetans setting themselves on fire demanding freedom in Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama from exile.

The elected head of the Tibetan people, Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay has called the self-immolations “political action” and blamed China’s failed policies in Tibet - founded on “political oppression, social marginalisation, cultural assimilation and environmental destruction” - as root causes of the protests.

“To understand these acts, it is crucial to know that within China, there is no room for freedom of speech and conventional forms of protest. A participant in a simple demonstration runs a high risk of arrest, torture and even death,” Dr Sangay wrote for the Washington Post this month.

Oh and, what is the penalty for treason again in Tibet before the invasion? What happened to Demo Rinpoche and Reting Rinpoche? are those humane? is that what you call freedom? And even in recent times, those who worship Dorje Shugden are subjected to numerous hardships. What freedom is that? freedom to be ostracised? So what is so different between you and China when it comes to this aspect, so why speak out against it in the first place?Beware of the pot calling the kettle black, Lobsang Sanggay.

“Were the Chinese government to offer to resolve the issue of Tibet peacefully through dialogue, the self-immolations would end immediately.”

Yes and we can all resolve things peacefully by making nasty accusations against the party that we would want to make peace with. What kind of logic is that? Chinese spies, Chinese murdering the Dalai Lama with Tibetan women, what else? Even if it was true, should these information be publicly exposed? Would it not jeopardise any relations between China and CTA if they made it out in the open? Sigh.

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #43 on: July 31, 2012, 05:45:34 PM »
..and another interesting opinion piece on self immolations of Tibet. This is how the westerners think and respond to the self immolations that are happening. It may not have much to do with Dorje Shugden, but it does show us the mentality of the Tibetans and also what is really going on with the self immolations. Opinion pieces are interesting because it can show us how it affects people, or Buddhists, in general

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Tibet's Self Murder: Tragedy or Transformation?
Posted: 07/09/2012 11:26 am

By John Halpern and Maria Sliwa

The charred, bodily remains of many self-immolators have been unceremoniously disposed of by local Chinese police, according to reports. Scores of Tibetans have reportedly committed self-immolation in protest against what they say are increasing atrocities committed by China.

What was in the minds of these Tibetans that caused them to set themselves on fire? Were these the final acts of frustration, despair and defiance, as Tibetans say? Or, were they treasonous acts of political perpetrators, as China's officials claim?

If these self-immolations are intended as the ultimate rejection of Chinese control, a cry for independence and a declaration of human rights, what does this imply to the outside world? And what can this mean to us?

At least 41 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since Feb. 27, 2009, and 31 have died, according to the International Campaign for Tibet, an advocacy group in Washington. If these acts were born of extreme desperation, having exhausted all other means of prayer, petition or protest, what else can our response be other than immense sadness and pity?

Passing the Baton

In a previous article, published in The Huffington Post, John Halpern examined the motivations in the hearts and minds of the resolute Hunger Strikers at the United Nations and the impact the self-immolation phenomenon is having toward a desired "Buddhist Spring in Tibet." The strike ended after promises were made by the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva (OHCHR).

Halpern's article also traced the edges where religion becomes politics and where a nation's policies transfer to the greater domain of international humanitarian initiatives, intervention and action.

At the core of these world developments and of this story, is the blossoming of a "culture of activism," a rarely addressed but vital subject. This non-governmental force, independently initiated by communities, internationally and functioning within legal boundaries (or not) challenges the frontiers of freedoms of expression, assembly, demonstration, civil liberty and civil rights.

Most importantly, the legacies of the Tibetan self-immolators leave behind some mysterious and delicate questions about religion and its relation to activism:
What, if at all, is the religious component of suicide, given the circumstances?

Is the act one of blasphemy?

When one's religious freedom is terminated and the last of one's acts is suicide, if the mind of the victim is of an altruistic, compassionate nature (albeit desperate and defiant), can self-immolation be considered a spiritual act?

The Tibetan suicides, whether motivated religiously, spiritually, politically or some hybrid of the three, occur after 60 years of Chinese occupation. They also occur at a time in history when instant activism and international communication are possible wherever a cell phone is in range.
Yet despite modern technology, history reveals that war, invasions and crusades often result in the vanquishing of an entire culture, regardless of the contributions and gifts that culture had made for a greater, human civilization. For Tibetans, the suicides of their nuns, monks and fellow compatriots are not in vain. They are a rallying cry, literally and symbolically, for independence, freedom and cultural survival. In contrast, if Mao Tse Tung's Cultural Revolution implicitly intended to extinguish Tibet's religion, and the source of its identity and culture, then the self-immolations could mean that Tibet, as we know it, is dying.

Encouraging self-immolation for political purposes would be seen as nihilistic, from a Tibetan Buddhist standpoint. But to honor the sacrifices and politicize them is a passing of the baton, spiritually and morally, through invoking their memory and lives: and pragmatically, by casting the self-immolations into the activist and humanitarian arena.

At this point in time, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, whose credo, "My religion is kindness," achieved billboard status following his acceptance speech for the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize, refuses comment. He no longer considers himself a spokesperson for Tibet, since his March 16, 2011 resignation from political office.

U.S. Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin applauded his decision. "At a time when despots cling to power, as their people yearn for democracy, the Dalai Lama's willful ceding of power is a tribute to his vision to fulfill the aspirations of the Tibetan people and should inspire others around the world," Baldwin said.

As a result, Tibetans are now speaking for themselves. While the Dalai Lama has passed them the baton, is there a correlation between his self-absolving his post and the self-immolations? The connection is tangible. After six decades of Chinese occupation, criticism, speculation and rejection of the Tibetan Government in Exile's policies, within the Tibetan community, has been erupting in many forms. Nevertheless, as Tibetans deliberate and debate these topics within their community, worldwide activism for the Tibetan cause has mobilized millions, Tibetan and non-Tibetan.

"We are raising our voices in support of the fundamental rights of Tibetan people at this critical time. The Chinese Government must immediately and unconditionally release all Tibetan political prisoners," said Laima Andrikiene, a long-serving member of the European Parliament's Subcommittee on Human Rights. "The persecution of Tibetans for their legitimate demands of freedom of religion and their fundamental rights is not only in contradiction with the principles of humanity, but is a clear infringement of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."

Activism and Transformation

It doesn't hurt this movement to have had the Dalai Lama, a favored personality of Hollywood celebrities and a pop-culture icon, champion its cause for 60 years until his strategic resignation in March 2011.

Further, it is a little known fact that the entire Tibetan Diaspora, outside China's borders, numbers only 200,000. Let's think about that. Only 200,000 have managed to mount a formidable, international campaign for their culture's survival against the Chinese leading superpower.

From Feb. 21 to March 22 of this year, four Tibetans (three lay people and one lama) sat in vigil outside the United Nations and were fasting until death against the atrocities. Six thousand of the 8,000 local Tibetan New York region residents joined there for a rally on March 10 to mark the 1959 Lhasa Uprising in Tibet. Numerous "political theater" type demonstrations occurred in India, across the United States, Canada and elsewhere, transforming tactics right out of the Greenpeace, Occupy Wall Street activists' handbooks into a new Post China Oppressed Tibetan lexicon of dramatic protest. Letters and calls flooded news rooms and the U.N. Office for Human Rights at both New York and Geneva branches. Celebrity and activist Richard Gere paid the strikers a visit. Media slowly raised its head and reported. The hunger strikers officially ended their strike following Kofi Annan's public statements and the direct intervention of the OHCHR, with an official visit to the strikers by two representatives bearing a personal letter from Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay. A bottle of orange juice and the promise to investigate the atrocities in Tibet was offered to the strikers at that time. All these activities seemed to occur in a concerted, focused way. Never before had the Tibetan cause achieved such depth at the United Nations. Was history in the making?

When asked about the progress made with China since Pillay's letter, Christine Chung, program officer for the OHCHR sent the following response in an e-mail on June 6:
Special Procedures are mechanisms established by the Human Rights Council to investigate human rights issues. The mandates of the special procedures are established and defined by the resolution creating them. Mandate-holders of the special procedures serve in their personal capacity. The independent status of the mandate-holders is crucial in order to be able to fulfill their functions in all impartiality. They make requests for invitations to visit countries, and it is up to the countries to issue these invitations. The High Commissioner remains very concerned about developments in Tibetan areas of China.

Intervention in Switzerland
An intervention for Tibet occurred during the annual U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, Switzerland on July 3rd, before Special Rapporteur Mutuma Ruteere. To initiate a formal investigation inside a country like China, Darfur, Sudan, Bosnia, etc., where reputed human rights violations, atrocities, genocide and torture are reported, official steps called "mechanisms" must be taken both outside, by petitioning the U.N. and officially inside the U.N. Every protest or demonstration, every petitioning phone call, news report, personal letter or other declaration of a violation is recorded and is instrumental to mobilize action by the High Commissioner for an investigation. Finally, it is up to the country in question to allow access by a rapporteur like Mr. Ruteere. The country in question, in this case, is China. According to their letter and our follow up inquiry, the OHCHR has requested China's cooperation. What will China do?

Happy Birthday Dalai Lama

It has been 51 years since the Dalai Lama left Tibet's border, along with 2,000 of his followers. He has never been back. This month he is celebrating his 77th birthday. Whether retired or not, as the Dalai Lama becomes older and his generation begins to die, the plight of his people and their culture weighs heavily in the balance.

Admitting that (pre-1959) Tibet's policies and conditions towards its people were "feudalistic" and "change was needed," the Dalai Lama sights some benefits Tibetan Buddhism and culture have brought to the outside world. "So, the negative, unfortunate events bring benefit to these people. Now, actually not as a religion, but as a philosophy, it seems nowadays some scientists, especially in the field of the brain or human psychology, scientists working in the field of human emotions. It seems in that field, Tibetan Buddhism has some potential to help them. And we also can learn the results of their research, experiments and explanations," says the Dalai Lama in the film "Talking With the Dalai Lama."

But as he enters his 78th year, China is building a series of massive dams, diverting three major rivers from Tibet that feed India, Bangladesh and billions in other South Asian lands, to supply water and hydropower to China's major cities. In addition to the devastation to the high Himalayan plateau and its already rapidly melting glaciers, the consequences to Tibetan nomadic life and its wildlife are deadly.

Will 21st century activists and their technology succeed to supplant human rights and environmental violations in China?

When Politics Become Meditation

Mixing politics with religion, as Tibetan Buddhism instructs, is considered an obstacle to a path of liberation and detachment from worldly matters. However, an advanced Tibetan meditation called Tonglen (exchange) points out that others' suffering (our relatives in former lives) is none other than our own suffering. The target of this meditation is the relationship all living creatures have and the compassionate exchange of others' pain with our cherished joy. How does Tonglen figure in the case of Tibet's self-immolators?

What is the tipping point where empathy transfers to politics and activism, and meditation becomes action?

Would Buddhists consider it sacrilegious to take actions that obstruct human rights violations and ecological destruction in Tibet?

Whether we feel that self-immolation is a bad or a good idea; whether we believe it to be a spiritual or profane thing, the conditions and policies where it is flourishing in China are inhumane and intrepid.

The future of Tibet, its people and culture, are on the chopping block.

John Halpern is a New York based documentary filmmaker and artist. His films "Refuge" and "Talking With The Dalai Lama" explore the cultural journeys of East and West and the evolution of Buddhism in popular, western culture.

Ensapa

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Re: Self-immolation, again, now in Lhasa
« Reply #44 on: August 01, 2012, 05:09:05 PM »
It is interesting that the US would speak up about the self immolations, but would not speak up on the discrimination against the Dorje Shugden practitioners more or less because it does not affect China or make China look bad. The self immolation issue is being used as a political tool against China, and it seems, the Tibetans allow themselves to be used in that manner in the name of getting back their homeland...kinda desperate...?

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US blames China for Tibet self-immolations
Phayul[Tuesday, July 31, 2012 23:52]
By Tendar Tsering


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the Carnegie Foundation in Washington after the release of the State Department's 2011 International Religious Freedom Report, July 30, 2012. (Photo/AFP)
DHARAMSHALA, July 31: The United States on Monday blamed the Chinese government for the fiery wave of self-immolations in Tibet in an annual report on religious freedom.

“Official interference in the practice of these religious traditions exacerbated grievances and contributed to at least 12 self-immolations by Tibetans in 2011," the US State Department said in its annual International Religious Freedom Report.

The report noted that in China "there was a marked deterioration during 2011 in the government's respect for and protection of religious freedom.”

This included "increased restrictions on religious practice, especially in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and nunneries."

“Government and CCP control over religious practice and the day-to-day management of monasteries and other religious institutions tightened, particularly at Kirti Monastery, which saw the highest concentration of self-immolations.”

China and North Korea, where the report noted that religious freedom does not exist in any form, along with Myanmar are among eight nations designated as "countries of particular concern" for failing to accept religious rights.

“More than a billion people live under governments that systematically suppress religious freedom,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said at the release of the report.

“New technologies have given repressive governments additional tools for cracking down on religious expression,” Clinton said. “Members of faith communities that have long been under pressure report that the pressure is rising.”

However, Beijing immediately hit back saying that the US report was “full of prejudice, arrogance and ignorance.”

According to the Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration, 45 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since 2009, demanding freedom in Tibet and the return of the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.

Speaking on the self-immolations, Jamyang Norbu, a Tibetan writer and independence activist told Phayul that the fiery sacrifices were a protest against the Chinese colonial rule over Tibet.

“If the Tibetan monks in Tibet are burning themselves alive for religious freedom, then they can come to India and have religious freedom. But they are lighting themselves on fire in protest against the Chinese colonial occupation of Tibet,” Norbu said in a recent interview with Phayul.