Author Topic: 45th Self-immolation in Protest of China's Policies: Witnesses Arrested  (Read 11430 times)

Galen

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http://www.thetibetpost.com/en/news/tibet/2691-45th-self-immolation-in-protest-of-chinas-policies-witnesses-arrested

Dharamshala: On July 7, 22-year-old Tsewang Dorjee set himself on fire in the main market of Damshung County, (Chinese: Dangxiong) about 160 kms from the capital, Lhasa in central Tibet. This tragic event in Tibet becomes the largest in the history of the self-immolation protests, said analysts.
 

The incident occurred at around 2pm (Tibetan Time). Tsewang managed to walk about 100 meters and shouted out slogans in support of Tibet. A Tibet Post International (TPI) source said he also called for the return of His Holiness from exile, before he fell to the ground.

A statement by 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 (Dhamshung County Hospital)." However, the hospital was not equipped to treat him and so he was rushed to the Military Hospital in Lhasa city. TPI's source said that 90% of his body was burnt.

The Tibetan Parliament-in-exile's statement expressed a fear over his probable death. "No one was allowed to meet him after his protest. Reports suggest that Tsewang Dorjee passed away later that night."

The parliament noted that the entire Dhamshung region is currently reeling under a heavy lockdown and people who witnessed Tsewang Dorjee's self-immolation have since been arrested. The Chinese authorities have also passed strict orders barring anyone from speaking about the protest.

Lhasa city was cut off from all communication. Phone lines were not working and people in Lhasa could not reach contacts in Damshung County. Due to the intensified security measures and the ban on spreading of information, reports have only now confirmed that Tsewang passed away.

Ngawang Woebar, former President of the Tibetan Gu Chu Sum movement gave TPI details of the incident, saying Tsewang was from Dham Chu Kha village in U-Tsang region, that the names of his parents and siblings remain unknown and that he is survived by his elderly mother.

This is the longest string of self-immolations to occur in history. Tibetans have set themselves ablaze to protest against China's repressive policies, demand freedom in Tibet and call for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.

Since 27 February 2009, there have been confirmed reports of 45 self-immolations in all three traditional provinces of Tibet. Of these, 37 have been carried out by men and eight by women. 33 of the 45 are known to have died following their protests. 25 were from Ngaba, eastern Tibet, seven were monks at Kirti monastery in Ngaba, four were nuns, three were mothers and one was a schoolgirl. 44 of the self-immolations have occurred since 16 March 2011.
_______________

There has been so many self-immolations since a year ago as Tibetans are unhappy with the Chinese rule in their region, But do you think there is a better way to voice their displeasure rather that burning themselves. They do this to prove a point and be heroes. But does this also constitute committing suicide which means reincarnating into the lower realms?

You can also read that China is heavily guarding Tibet as their guards can be on site in 3 minutes. China is always on stand by so that there is no disharmony in their country.

45 and will there be more?

Ensapa

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There are very few cases of genuine self immolation cases. For example, there is the case of the lady who immolated herself when the Chinese took her land by force. Notice that all the other cases of self immolation do not have a concrete story to back them up as to why triggered them to self immolate. Of all the many cases, it is only this one that does.

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Tibetan Woman Sets Herself Alight

2012-07-02
She is believed to have been protesting Chinese land confiscation policies.

AFP
A Tibetan man sits in the rubble of quake-destroyed homes in Yulshul (in Chinese, Yushu), April 22, 2010.
A Tibetan woman set herself ablaze last week in western China’s Qinghai province in protest against what she said were unjust Chinese land confiscation policies, according to local sources.

The woman, whose name and age are unknown, is a resident of Qinghai’s Yulshul (in Chinese, Yushu) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and self-immolated on June 27 in the township of Jyekundo, also called Gyegu, residents told RFA’s Tibetan Kham service.

“The woman is the daughter of a local man named Petse,” said a Jyekundo resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“She moved to the area a couple of years ago and the self-immolation was in protest against the confiscation of her residence,” the man said.

He said authorities had spared homes in the neighborhood of those who maintained good relations with local authorities, but had singled out her residence for demolition.

“The woman’s protest was against this Chinese injustice,” he said.

Ngawang Topden, a source from Jyekundo who currently lives in southern India, said that the woman had set herself on fire in an area near the Jyekun monastery sometime between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m.

He said that after the woman self-immolated, authorities extinguished the flames and rushed her to a local hospital. Her present condition is unknown, although she was thought to be “seriously” injured.

“Some in the area believe that she protested against the Chinese land policy and the unfair allocation of land after the tragic earthquake in the Yulshul area,” he said, referring to the April 2010 quake which leveled the town, killing an estimated 3,000 people there and in surrounding areas.

He said it was unclear what slogans the woman had shouted before setting herself alight as authorities had moved to shut down the flow of information from the area.

Police cordoned off the site of the self-immolation after the woman was brought to the hospital and have since forbidden meetings between Tibetan residents, Ngawang Topden said. He said that many people from the area had witnessed the incident.

He said the woman’s family had tried to visit her in the hospital, but had been prevented from doing so by authorities.

Tibetan poet and writer Woeser, currently based in Beijing, also confirmed the self-immolation in a blog post on June 29.

Land dispute

Chinese security forces in April last year broke up a mass protest by Tibetans in Yulshul over the seizure of their land for redevelopment after the area was devastated by the 2010 earthquake.

About 300 Tibetans—unhappy at the government takeover of their land—sat down in protest at the town’s main intersection.

Many of the protesters were wounded and several detained in the bloody crackdown by up to 500 armed police, according to sources.

Reporting on the causes of the protest, the website of the India-based Tibetan government-in-exile pointed to “unfair distribution of accommodations, construction on land owned by the Tibetans, possession of land by the government for building roads, and selling Tibetan land under the excuse of not being able to locate the rightful owners.”

The Yulshul woman’s protest brings to 42 the number of Tibetans who have set fire to themselves in protest against Chinese rule since the current wave of burnings began in February 2009.

Nearly all of the self-immolations have taken place in Tibetan-populated provinces in western China as Tibetans challenge Chinese policies which they say have robbed them of their rights.

The first self-immolation protest in Tibet’s capital Lhasa was reported in May when two young Tibetan men set themselves ablaze in a central square in the heavily guarded city.

Reported by Guru Choegyi for RFA’s Tibetan Kham service. Translated by Tseten Namgyal. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.

Compare this report to the rest. This one has a back story. The rest only focuses on people burning themselves. Weird, huh?

yontenjamyang

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Sorry. I think the self immolations certainly does not serve the cause of Tibet. These are desperate acts for self cherishing and perceived greater cause. It does not work on the Chinese more then giving some negative news/perception which will be forgotten very soon due to the fact that China is literally the King of the world right now. To keep this up, more self immolations need to happen and what can be achieved? Needless death. I dedicate my prayers to these 45 people. But I am really sorry that these act doesn't work.

Why not do Dharma practice well. Renounce. Study up the Dharma all the way to being a Geshe. Spread the Dharma. That is the best contribution Tibet has been to the world and will be for a long time to come. And it is the greatest ever gift to mankind in the history of the world.

Ensapa

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Sorry. I think the self immolations certainly does not serve the cause of Tibet. These are desperate acts for self cherishing and perceived greater cause. It does not work on the Chinese more then giving some negative news/perception which will be forgotten very soon due to the fact that China is literally the King of the world right now. To keep this up, more self immolations need to happen and what can be achieved? Needless death. I dedicate my prayers to these 45 people. But I am really sorry that these act doesn't work.

Why not do Dharma practice well. Renounce. Study up the Dharma all the way to being a Geshe. Spread the Dharma. That is the best contribution Tibet has been to the world and will be for a long time to come. And it is the greatest ever gift to mankind in the history of the world.

I agree. By now, CTA should be more than aware that the self immolations do not help with anything except create more and more suffering for the people of Tibet. In fact, CTA is still oblivious to that fact and even accuses chinese pilgrims in Dharamsala of being spies to the Chinese when in fact, Tibetan Buddhism has a following with the chinese people in Taiwan and Singapore. that is being rather cruel and unfair, right? And to top that off, they have been making a lot of nasty comments and lies about China..and then talk to them and negotiate? oh please!  And who could forget the talk about how CTA thinks China may be training female assassins to poison the Dalai Lama via the offering of khatas? China has more advanced technology that that and if they choose to, they can nuke Dharamsala out of the map. Why are they not doing that? because they are not as bad as CTA tries to portray them to be, and CTA just wants to gain sympathy and pity instead of doing something concrete for Tibet's independence.

If they were serious about negotiations with China, they could have prove it by lifting the ban and telling China that they can take care of their people. Why? China will believe and trust in action more than just empty words. They want results that they can see as opposed to empty promises. Lifting the ban is perfect because it is the easiest thing that CTA can do for now to prove their credibility and authority as a government.

Ensapa

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I just found a first hand account of the self immolation by a Taiwanese tourist at that area. Somehow, I do echo with his comment that China should be more transparent to discourage self immolations. China does not seem to care about its citizens either, but CTA certainly does not mind if more Tibetans die from self immolation. LS has not made any strong urges for people to stop either :( bad, bad sign and example :(

Quote


First Hand Account of Self-immolations in Lhasa by Taiwanese National
Thursday, 12 July 2012 10:13    Mark kanan, The Tibet Post Intertational. 
Dharamshala: This article is based on an actual reporting of a recent self-immolation in Lhasa, Tibet.
On the 27th of May, 2012, Kevin Chang, A Taiwanese national visiting Lhasa on vacation, witnessed first-hand the self-immolation of two young Tibetan men, 19 year old Dorjee Tseten who died from his injuries, and another man named, 25 year old Dargye, who, according to media sources, is thought to have survived.

Mr Chang was buying souvenirs in the city near Jokhang temple when he said he heard screams coming from a busy side street in the heart of the city named Pargor Street.  Many people were running away in the opposition direction towards the main plaza in the city centre, he reported, away from the self-immolations.

His friend actually took a photograph on his mobile phone of the incident showing armed police using fire extinguishers to put out the fires on the two men. When they saw the military coming they got rid of the picture, due to their fear of what might happen to them.

Chang also said that the police went to internet cafes and immediately began monitoring emails. He believes that his mobile phone was also being monitored when he got back to his hotel with his friend.

He has also reported that up to 600 hundred people hwere caught and arrested in the three following days. Lhasa was swamped with military and police personnel, many in civilian clothes too. This state of affairs made himself and his friend very nervous, understandably.

According to news he heard while in Lhasa, the Chinese communist authorities blamed His Holiness the Dalai Lama for 'instigating' the current self-immolations, from his home in exile in Dharamshala, India.

In Mr Chang's opinion, the real situation in Tibet is not known by the outside world, or indeed even in China itself. Everyone has the right to know, he says, and China should let the world know.

samayakeeper

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I opine self-immolation is a waste of precious human life regardless of the motivation and I do not think the Chinese government gives a hoot. It is always better to have dialogues and agreements between two parties even though it may be long and hard. I also opine that Tibet is better off being governed by China with so many inroads made for modernization and better living conditions for the people there. I do not think the CTA is able to govern and provide for Tibetans living there. CTA may not have the financial resources or the time since they are busy in enforcing the ban for the practice of Dorje Shugden. Or maybe if CTA governs Tibet then they may so busy they have no time to keep enforcing the ban?

DharmaDefender

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Speaking of immolations, one of CNNs bloggers just wrote this opinion piece:

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/12/my-take-dalai-lama-should-condemn-tibetan-self-immolations/

Quote
My Take: Dalai Lama should condemn Tibetan self-immolations
By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

When the Vietnamese monk Thich Quang Duc immolated himself in Saigon in 1963 to protest the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government of Ngo Dinh Diem, the world took notice. Malcolm Browne’s photograph of the monk becoming a martyr won the Pulitzer Prize, and Diem's Roman Catholic regime fell before the year’s end.

Today, Tibet is witnessing an epidemic of self-immolations. In fact, since March 16, 2011, more than 40 Tibetans have followed Thich Quang Duc’s lead, setting themselves on fire to protest the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

Westerners react with revulsion to sati, the Hindu practice of widow-burning outlawed by the British in 1829, and of course to Islamist suicide bombers. The New Atheists are right to protest all this killing in the name of God (or the Buddha) – the way believers both prompt violence and justify it in the name of some higher good.

So where are the protests against these Tibetan protesters?

When asked about the recent spate of self-immolations in Tibet, the Dalai Lama has offered the response of no response. In a July 9 interview, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people said he wanted “to remain neutral,” telling The Hindu:

Quote
This is a very, very delicate political issue. Now, the reality is that if I say something positive, then the Chinese immediately blame me. If I say something negative, then the family members of those people feel very sad. They sacrificed their own life. It is not easy. So I do not want to create some kind of impression that this is wrong. So the best thing is to remain neutral.


I know it is impolitic to criticize the Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who is revered as a bodhisattva by many Buddhists.  But he deserves criticism in this case. Why not "create some kind of impression" that killing is wrong? Why not use his vast storehouse of moral and spiritual capital to denounce this ritual of human sacrifice?

If the Dalai Lama were to speak out unequivocally against these deaths, they would surely stop. So in a very real sense, their blood is on his hands. But the bad karma the Dalai Lama is accruing here extends far beyond Tibet and these particular protesters.

In an important article on suicide in the Boston Globe, Jennifer Michael Hecht has noted that suicides beget suicides. “One of the best predictors of suicide is knowing a suicide,” she writes. “That means that every suicide may be a delayed homicide.”

And so it goes with self-immolations. The suicide by fire of Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi is widely seen as a key catalyst of the Tunisian revolution and the wider Arab Spring. Less well known is the fact that over a hundred Tunisians later set themselves on fire in copycat incidents.

I understand that there is a tradition of self-immolation in Buddhism dating back at least to the fourth century. But there is also a strong ethic of compassion. So where is the compassion here?


The Dalai Lama isn’t just a Nobel Peace Prize winner. He is also a man of peace. It is time in this crisis that he started to act like one.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.


I dont particularly agree with everything Stephen has said which I guess affirms what hes written about how its impolitic to criticise the Dalai Lama. Then again, I have to say I agree on the point about compassion... but then the protestors also need to have compassion for themselves. If the Buddhist tenets say its wrong to kill, how is it right to kill yourself, no matter your motivation or the cause (especially if its for something as mundane and samsaric as politics)??

Ensapa

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Nice, and this is my opinion on his opinion :P

Speaking of immolations, one of CNNs bloggers just wrote this opinion piece:

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/12/my-take-dalai-lama-should-condemn-tibetan-self-immolations/

Quote
My Take: Dalai Lama should condemn Tibetan self-immolations
By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

When the Vietnamese monk Thich Quang Duc immolated himself in Saigon in 1963 to protest the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government of Ngo Dinh Diem, the world took notice. Malcolm Browne’s photograph of the monk becoming a martyr won the Pulitzer Prize, and Diem's Roman Catholic regime fell before the year’s end.
Thats what the CTA hopes to achieve with all the self immolations, but what worked in 1960 and for Vietnam might not work for China.

Today, Tibet is witnessing an epidemic of self-immolations. In fact, since March 16, 2011, more than 40 Tibetans have followed Thich Quang Duc’s lead, setting themselves on fire to protest the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

Westerners react with revulsion to sati, the Hindu practice of widow-burning outlawed by the British in 1829, and of course to Islamist suicide bombers. The New Atheists are right to protest all this killing in the name of God (or the Buddha) – the way believers both prompt violence and justify it in the name of some higher good.

So where are the protests against these Tibetan protesters?
Yay! Can we say spiritual hypocrisy? why is it okay for Tibetans to kill themselves in the name of religion but not others? Why the double standard? is it due to all the propaganda done by the americans and the CTA? and lets not forget that everyone wants to be a part of the Dalai Lama's group, so the ban against Dorje Shugden and the harming of Dorje Shugden practitioners by the CTA, as well as old, frail monks who did nothing but gave their youth and life away to the monastery being booted out of the monasteries is morally justified due to the ban. How so?

When asked about the recent spate of self-immolations in Tibet, the Dalai Lama has offered the response of no response. In a July 9 interview, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people said he wanted “to remain neutral,” telling The Hindu:

Quote
This is a very, very delicate political issue. Now, the reality is that if I say something positive, then the Chinese immediately blame me. If I say something negative, then the family members of those people feel very sad. They sacrificed their own life. It is not easy. So I do not want to create some kind of impression that this is wrong. So the best thing is to remain neutral.


I know it is impolitic to criticize the Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who is revered as a bodhisattva by many Buddhists.  But he deserves criticism in this case. Why not "create some kind of impression" that killing is wrong? Why not use his vast storehouse of moral and spiritual capital to denounce this ritual of human sacrifice?

On this page, that is the reason why the Dalai Lama resigned from being the political leader of Tibet. Technically it is not his job anymore to advise the Tibetans or the CTA on what to do on secular affairs. Besides, China will not let go of this opportunity to create more situations for HHDL and the CTA. If anyone should speak up, it is Lobsang Sanggay.

If the Dalai Lama were to speak out unequivocally against these deaths, they would surely stop. So in a very real sense, their blood is on his hands. But the bad karma the Dalai Lama is accruing here extends far beyond Tibet and these particular protesters.
And dont forget that the ban against Dorje Shugden is dividing Buddhists all over. That must be a lot of bad karma there as well.

In an important article on suicide in the Boston Globe, Jennifer Michael Hecht has noted that suicides beget suicides. “One of the best predictors of suicide is knowing a suicide,” she writes. “That means that every suicide may be a delayed homicide.”

And so it goes with self-immolations. The suicide by fire of Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi is widely seen as a key catalyst of the Tunisian revolution and the wider Arab Spring. Less well known is the fact that over a hundred Tunisians later set themselves on fire in copycat incidents.

Maybe that is what the CTA intends to have? But its clear that the whole thing is not effective at all.

I understand that there is a tradition of self-immolation in Buddhism dating back at least to the fourth century. But there is also a strong ethic of compassion. So where is the compassion here?


The Dalai Lama isn’t just a Nobel Peace Prize winner. He is also a man of peace. It is time in this crisis that he started to act like one.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.


I dont particularly agree with everything Stephen has said which I guess affirms what hes written about how its impolitic to criticise the Dalai Lama. Then again, I have to say I agree on the point about compassion... but then the protestors also need to have compassion for themselves. If the Buddhist tenets say its wrong to kill, how is it right to kill yourself, no matter your motivation or the cause (especially if its for something as mundane and samsaric as politics)??

From its history, it is evident that the CTA were never Buddhist. They did many things that contradicted the Dharma in many ways. How can that still be Buddhist? How can the banning of high lamas and certain Buddhist schools that challenge the power of the land be banned? Mind you, none of the banned lamas were trying to start a rebellion, they were only more well known and rich compared to the government and that is apparently a crime in Tibet.



As such, it is getting clearer and clearer that more and more people is starting to question the Dalai Lama's policy. People are no longer as blind as they used to be. Eventually, the ban will get the attention of the media and people will really question the Dalai Lama on this and perhaps then, he will lift the ban. Perhaps, that is what the Dalai Lama wants: for people to respect him not because of his authority but because they find his teachings invaluable and applicable.

WisdomBeing

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Although this article is obviously pro-China in sentiment, I do agree with the point that HH the Dalai Lama should speak out against the self-immolations from the Buddhist point of view. As far as I know, there is no justification for suicide, and that the karmic ramifications are the immediate rebirth in the three lower realms.

If this is the case, how can the Dalai Lama say that he cannot discourage it in consideration of the families’ feelings? What about the horrific rebirths of the monks who are committing suicide because they believe that the Dalai Lama is giving his silent endorsement by not condemning it.

What about the precious human rebirth that we have – is it not more beneficial for the monks to do something positive with their lives for the community rather than trying to make a statement, which is not working anyway. Something just doesn’t seem right about this but this is just my humble opinion.


Dalai Lama's way out requires compassion
http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90785/7880475.html
By Cheng Yunjie (Xinhua)
08:16, July 19, 2012   
BEIJING, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Describing self-immolation as "very, very delicate political issue," the 14th Dalai Lama has said he will "remain neutral" on the topic in order to avoid offending the relatives of the self-immolators.

The remark demonstrates that politics remains a vital factor in the Buddhist's decision-making process, despite the fact that he has claimed to have relinquished his political and administrative role in the so-called "Tibetan government-in-exile.".

If he has devoted his mind to religion, he would explain why he hasn't explicitly forbidden self-immolation based on Buddhist doctrine. Questions like "is it right or wrong to commit suicide for Buddhism?" should not be avoided.

"If I say something negative, then the family members of those people will 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," he was quoted as saying by the Hindu, an Indian English-language newspaper.

This inner struggle revealed by the Dalai Lama might be able to dampen some discontent over his dodging of core questions. But it is sad to see that his justification is below where it should be.

It might be better if he could temporarily put aside his worries about the deepening sorrow of those family members to concentrate on the simple questions: what benefits do the self-immolators receive? If they've done something wrong, nobody else can suffer for their faults during their endless life cycle. If there are some merits in their self-destruction, are these merits worthy?

The Dalai Lama does have reason to care about the grieving family members. The fear of deepening their sorrow is not as meaningful as helping them to cope with their sadness and turn misfortune into advantage.

After a series of self-immolations took place in China' s Tibetan-populated regions, several copycat suicides by teenagers and depressed people have been reported. Psychologists warn that clergy immolations are demonstrating to the public that it is permissible to give up hope and their lives so long as they follow suit.

Tibetans who have been taught not to observe other people's errors, as specified in Buddhist scripture, are reluctant to comment on the self-immolations by clergy and lay people, but that doesn't mean they agree with it or support it.

According to reports, the Dalai Lama has prayed for those who died after committing self-immolation in public and refused to call for an end of a practice that violates a basic Buddhism doctrine -- not to kill.

In the Buddhists' eyes, the Dalai Lama is their spiritual leader, if he reminds the followers of the doctrine, the self-immolation tragedy will definitely end.

It is immoral and inhumane to sacrifice other people's lives for one's own political agenda.

While overseas splittists brand self-immolations as a "protest of Chinese repression" and "cultural genocide," local Tibetans have found themselves gaining easier and broader access to education, traveling more conveniently, living in better houses and continuing to maintain Buddhist tradition.

Anyone who visits Tibet can see for themselves the progress China has made in facilitating local democracy, as well as social and economic development.

Like any other country, China has its own imperfections. The situations in Tibetan-populated regions are no worse than elsewhere across China. From a Buddhist perspective, aren't these imperfections a healthy reminder for people to renunciate that which binds them to suffering and to nourish the compassion to do more good for the world?

Playing up problems for the purpose of sowing discord and hatred are detrimental to freedom in Buddhism and world peace. According to the teachings of Padmasambhava, the root guru of Tibetan Buddhism, a Mahayana Buddhist must abandon the discrimination of abodes, nations, geographies, social ranks, enemies and friends to equally benefit all beings.

Many people remember Dalai Lama's comment "violence, even violence on the self, creates more violence" when Thubten Ngodup set himself on fire after a hunger strike by Tibetan refugees in New Delhi in 1998. What's chilling is that some die-hard anti-China forces are advocating the Dalai Lama's silence, presuming the Chinese government is seeking the man's help to diffuse a "domestic crisis". But they have miscalculated the situation.

If the Dalai Lama's top concern is Buddhism, the solution to his dilemma is not in politicking, but inspiring people within his influence to exercise more compassion and avoid more self-immolations.
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

Ensapa

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Although this article is obviously pro-China in sentiment, I do agree with the point that HH the Dalai Lama should speak out against the self-immolations from the Buddhist point of view. As far as I know, there is no justification for suicide, and that the karmic ramifications are the immediate rebirth in the three lower realms.
But as you can read from the Tibetans, they believe that self immolation is a selfless act and it was done for the sake of others, without harming anyone else other than the self. So when people get raided and arrested and tortured for the crime of being in close proximity with the self immolation victim, nobody gets hurt? i love tibetan layman logic sometimes.

If this is the case, how can the Dalai Lama say that he cannot discourage it in consideration of the families’ feelings? What about the horrific rebirths of the monks who are committing suicide because they believe that the Dalai Lama is giving his silent endorsement by not condemning it.
Unless of course, the CTA is really behind it and if Dalai Lama speaks out against it, it would be hurting more Tibetans in many ways as they would feel very lost and they dont know who to believe in anymore. HHDL has hinted that he is not happy with the self immolations, but the Katri reacted otherwise and even held prayer sessions for the victims.

What about the precious human rebirth that we have – is it not more beneficial for the monks to do something positive with their lives for the community rather than trying to make a statement, which is not working anyway. Something just doesn’t seem right about this but this is just my humble opinion.
To harm others or ourselves to get something can never be considered as right in any way, because the intention itself is not a good one already.

Dalai Lama's way out requires compassion
http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90785/7880475.html
By Cheng Yunjie (Xinhua)
08:16, July 19, 2012   
BEIJING, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Describing self-immolation as "very, very delicate political issue," the 14th Dalai Lama has said he will "remain neutral" on the topic in order to avoid offending the relatives of the self-immolators.

The remark demonstrates that politics remains a vital factor in the Buddhist's decision-making process, despite the fact that he has claimed to have relinquished his political and administrative role in the so-called "Tibetan government-in-exile.".
He really does not want to get involved in anything political or to work together with CTA anymore, because statements such as these are normally made by the prime minister or kalon tripa as opposed to the religious leader. The reasons for the self immolations are of a political nature and as such, the Dalai Lama does not wish to get involved with that.

If he has devoted his mind to religion, he would explain why he hasn't explicitly forbidden self-immolation based on Buddhist doctrine. Questions like "is it right or wrong to commit suicide for Buddhism?" should not be avoided.
That is what the self immolators would have thought of but somehow they came up with another conclusion, that they are doing everyone else a favor. In other words, they were misguided into doing what they did and someone planted those ideas in their mind.

"If I say something negative, then the family members of those people will 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," he was quoted as saying by the Hindu, an Indian English-language newspaper.
It would  break the hearts of the families of the victims, who are already heartbroken at their loss. It would be like kicking someone who has already fallen down.

This inner struggle revealed by the Dalai Lama might be able to dampen some discontent over his dodging of core questions. But it is sad to see that his justification is below where it should be.

It might be better if he could temporarily put aside his worries about the deepening sorrow of those family members to concentrate on the simple questions: what benefits do the self-immolators receive? If they've done something wrong, nobody else can suffer for their faults during their endless life cycle. If there are some merits in their self-destruction, are these merits worthy?
That is, the responsibility of his followers to think for themselves, and not the Dalai Lama's responsibility. I think it sounds silly to expect the Dalai Lama to command people that is in Tibet when China has cut off all contact. If China would allow HHDL to visit again, I am sure HHDL will tell them to stop self immolating.

The Dalai Lama does have reason to care about the grieving family members. The fear of deepening their sorrow is not as meaningful as helping them to cope with their sadness and turn misfortune into advantage.

After a series of self-immolations took place in China' s Tibetan-populated regions, several copycat suicides by teenagers and depressed people have been reported. Psychologists warn that clergy immolations are demonstrating to the public that it is permissible to give up hope and their lives so long as they follow suit.
Self immolators should have known that in their act of harming themselves, they encourage others to do so. Perhaps China could highlight this to the people of that area?

Tibetans who have been taught not to observe other people's errors, as specified in Buddhist scripture, are reluctant to comment on the self-immolations by clergy and lay people, but that doesn't mean they agree with it or support it.
I like how a mind training quote here is misinterpreted and taken out of context, but it is very hard for Tibetans to comment on this issue, so why force them?

According to reports, the Dalai Lama has prayed for those who died after committing self-immolation in public and refused to call for an end of a practice that violates a basic Buddhism doctrine -- not to kill.

In the Buddhists' eyes, the Dalai Lama is their spiritual leader, if he reminds the followers of the doctrine, the self-immolation tragedy will definitely end.
He does that all the time, just that people want to be selective.

It is immoral and inhumane to sacrifice other people's lives for one's own political agenda.
I think you've mixed up CTA for HHDL and see them as the same when they are different.

While overseas splittists brand self-immolations as a "protest of Chinese repression" and "cultural genocide," local Tibetans have found themselves gaining easier and broader access to education, traveling more conveniently, living in better houses and continuing to maintain Buddhist tradition.

Anyone who visits Tibet can see for themselves the progress China has made in facilitating local democracy, as well as social and economic development.
China should prove that statement wrong by being even more open about Tibet and showing more people that Tibet is not being suppressed and temples are thriving instead of clenching up further and raising more suspicions.

Like any other country, China has its own imperfections. The situations in Tibetan-populated regions are no worse than elsewhere across China. From a Buddhist perspective, aren't these imperfections a healthy reminder for people to renunciate that which binds them to suffering and to nourish the compassion to do more good for the world?
Oh jeez. Another misinterpretation.

Playing up problems for the purpose of sowing discord and hatred are detrimental to freedom in Buddhism and world peace. According to the teachings of Padmasambhava, the root guru of Tibetan Buddhism, a Mahayana Buddhist must abandon the discrimination of abodes, nations, geographies, social ranks, enemies and friends to equally benefit all beings.
Arent you doing the same with this article?

Many people remember Dalai Lama's comment "violence, even violence on the self, creates more violence" when Thubten Ngodup set himself on fire after a hunger strike by Tibetan refugees in New Delhi in 1998. What's chilling is that some die-hard anti-China forces are advocating the Dalai Lama's silence, presuming the Chinese government is seeking the man's help to diffuse a "domestic crisis". But they have miscalculated the situation.

If the Dalai Lama's top concern is Buddhism, the solution to his dilemma is not in politicking, but inspiring people within his influence to exercise more compassion and avoid more self-immolations.
That is what he is doing now but even if he speaks up against the self immolations, how can China guarantee that his speech will reach the Tibetans in Tibet? China has its own fair share of faults in being too paranoid and overprotective of itself and lack of transparency has caused people to lose faith in them. So why would Dalai Lama want to increase their negative qualities by endorsing their stand?


The article is interesting as it gives us a different perspective, but at the same time, it does contain a lot of misinterpretations of the teachings and the most hilarious thing is that it was obviously written to angle something, that the Dalai Lama is not doing enough to stop or discourage the self immolations. However, the author fails to understand that CTA and the Dalai Lama are separate, and their actions can be mutually exclusive. the nice thing about this article is that it no longer criticizes the Dalai Lama as directly and as intensely as China used to do in their articles and materials, so there is an improvement there.

vajratruth

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Re: 45th Self-immolation in Protest of China's Policies: Witnesses Arrested
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2012, 03:25:11 PM »
Sorry. I think the self immolations certainly does not serve the cause of Tibet. These are desperate acts for self cherishing and perceived greater cause. It does not work on the Chinese more then giving some negative news/perception which will be forgotten very soon due to the fact that China is literally the King of the world right now. To keep this up, more self immolations need to happen and what can be achieved? Needless death. I dedicate my prayers to these 45 people. But I am really sorry that these act doesn't work.

Why not do Dharma practice well. Renounce. Study up the Dharma all the way to being a Geshe. Spread the Dharma. That is the best contribution Tibet has been to the world and will be for a long time to come. And it is the greatest ever gift to mankind in the history of the world.


Personally I do not agree with Self-immolations as an instrument of protest against Chinese rule and the bulk of the brave people who have sacrificed themselves are younger Tibetans. However, I recently came across news od a high incarnate lama, Tulku Sonam Wangyal who have also sacrificed his life by self immolation.

This is what Tulku Sonam said before setting himself on fire:

"...I am giving away my body as an offering of light to chase away the darkness, to fee all beings from suffering...I am sacrificing my body with a firm conviction and a pure heart just as the Buddha bravely gave his body to a hungry tigress[to stop her from eating her cubs]..."

To Tulku Sonam Wangyal, his act of self immolation is Dharma and he likened it to the sacrifice of the Lord Buddha himself. I see the Buddha's sacrifice as a compassionate means to stop the tigress from killing and incurring bad karma. Although I do not for a moment doubt Tulku Sonam's intention and wisdom I personally cannot see the similarity between the 2 situations.

What are your thoughts? Did Tulku Sonam's self sacrifice help sentient beings in a manner as he intended in his recording?

The segment about Tulku Sonam Wangyal starts at 13.20 in the following video which gives good insight into the light of theTibetans that have driven so many to suicide. It is quite a sad and bleak story.

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Tenzin Malgyur

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Re: 45th Self-immolation in Protest of China's Policies: Witnesses Arrested
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2012, 08:19:57 AM »
I am on the same opinion with most people here that self-immolation as a protest against China rule is not going to bring about any positive change to the Tibetans' causes. Neither is it going to bring HHDL back to Lhasa. It may be seen as a heroic act but deep down, it is not going to get them an independent Tibet. I hope many more Tibetans who are planning such acts in the future will think about not wasting their precious human life and put their efforts to their spiritual work. The Chinese government were very kind to allow them to continue with their religious practice.

Big Uncle

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Re: 45th Self-immolation in Protest of China's Policies: Witnesses Arrested
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2012, 07:40:02 PM »
I think the self-immolation of Tibetans living in China is embarrassing for the Chinese and this will affect the next generation of policymakers in Beijing. However, I think whats affected is the use of diplomacy by the Chinese to restart fresh talks regarding self-autonomy. If Tibet were to achieve self-autonomy then the promotion of Dorje Shugden would slow down in China because the local government might start to enforce this ban on Dorje Shguden.

icy

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Re: 45th Self-immolation in Protest of China's Policies: Witnesses Arrested
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2012, 06:29:58 PM »

The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012 9:28AM EDT
BEIJING -- A Tibetan farmer has died after setting himself on fire in remote northwest China, in the second self-immolation death near the Labrang Monastery in two days and the latest of dozens of such anti-China protests by Tibetans.

The monastery in Gansu province's Xiahe county is one of the most important outside of Tibet, and was the site of numerous protests by monks following deadly ethnic violence in Tibet in 2008 that was the most sustained Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule in decades.

The Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet said in an email that Dorje Rinchen, a farmer in his late 50s, set himself on fire Tuesday on the main street in Xiahe and died later. China's official Xinhua News Agency also reported that a 58-year-old man died after self-immolating Tuesday afternoon in Xiahe near the Labrang Monastery, but did not provide his name.

Dozens of Tibetans have set themselves on fire since March 2011 in ethnic Tibetan areas of China to protest what activists say is Beijing's heavy-handed rule in the region. Many have called for the return of the Dalai Lama, their exiled spiritual leader. The government has confirmed only some of the self-immolations.

China's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday reiterated its claim that supporters of the Dalai Lama have been inciting the immolations.
"In order to achieve their separatist goal, the Dalai clique has showed no hesitation in inciting self-immolations," ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular press briefing. "This is despicable and deserves people's condemnation."

The Dalai Lama and representatives of the self-declared Tibetan government-in-exile in India say they oppose all violence.
Chinese authorities routinely deny Tibetan claims of repression and have accused supporters of the Dalai Lama of encouraging the self-immolations.
Following Tuesday's incident, International Campaign for Tibet sent a photo allegedly showing Dorje wrapped in blankets after the immolation, his neck and head badly charred and swollen. It was not clear whether he was still alive when the blurry, poorly lit picture was taken.
Two other photos obtained by the London-based Free Tibet group that appeared to be taken by someone on the sidewalk in front of Dorje show his body engulfed in flames. One shows him mid-sprint, his entire frame covered in flames except for one leg. The other shows him still in flames but lying face down on the paved street.

Free Tibet said the self-immolation occurred in front of the Xiahe Public Security Bureau. A woman who answered the phone at the bureau refused to answer questions about the self-immolation and the phone of the local Communist Party propaganda office rang unanswered Wednesday. The number for the Labrang Monastery appeared to not be in service.
On Monday, a Tibetan herdsman died after setting himself on fire near the monastery.


Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/another-tibetan-dies-after-setting-himself-on-fire-in-western-china-1.1008514#ixzz2AWc0ZSCo

icy

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Re: 45th Self-immolation in Protest of China's Policies: Witnesses Arrested
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2012, 11:21:14 AM »
" Tibetan burnings reach new level "

An analysis by Parameswaran Ponnudurai

The wave of Tibetan self-immolation protests against Chinese rule may have entered a new phase following a record number of burnings last week.

The failure to contain the fiery protests, experts say, poses a major challenge to Beijing, which has tried a combination of strategies to douse the Tibetan campaign - from offering cash rewards to Tibetans to tip off potential burnings to tightening security clampdowns on monasteries.

There were seven self-immolations from October 20 to Saturday, making it the deadliest week of burnings since the fiery protests intensified in March last year against Beijing's rule in the Tibet Autonomous Region and Tibetan-populated areas in Chinese provinces.

Two burnings per day were reported twice in the previous week - another record - as the number of self-immolations which began in February 2009 rose to 62.

The protests are continuing despite calls to end them by a special meeting of Tibetan exile groups convened on the advice of Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in India's hill town of Dharamsala, where he lives in exile.

"This is a very serious development, suggesting that Tibetans believe that this rising number of self-immolations will make a substantive difference to their political situation, and it could lead to more people burning themselves," Robert Barnett, a scholar of Tibet at Columbia University, told RFA.

He thinks the self-immolation protests that have been questioning Beijing's rule and calling for the return of the Dalai Lama have entered a new phase.

In photo:-Photo courtesy of an RFA listener.
Chinese security forces close in on the body of a Tibetan after he self-immolated in front of a police station in Gansu province, Oct. 23, 2012.)