TIBETAN ACTIVISTS MAR CHINESE DEFENCE MINISTER’S ARRIVAL;
TIBET SELF-IMMOLATIONS PASS TRAGIC MILESTONE OF 50
New Delhi – As a part of the pledge to intensify global actions on the on-going wave of self-immolations, Tibetan activists launched the first of its series of planned action by protesting in front of the Chinese Embassy to protest the arrival of China’s Defence Minister Liang Guanglie and Yang Jinshan, commander of the Tibet military district. Charts reading ‘51 Self-immolated: Tibetans are dying for Freedom’ and ‘तिब्बत की आजादी भारत की सुरक्षा’ (Tibet’s Independence, India’s Security) were unfurled followed by burning of China’s national flag.
“Sino-India talk will never be complete without an immediate resolution to the Tibetan issue. China’s illegal occupation of Tibet continues to jeopardize India’s border security, as well as other national issues including water security,” said Thupten, President of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, Dharamsala. “Liang Guanglie’s visit to India comes at a time when Tibet is experiencing one of the most brutal crackdowns where till date we have seen 51 cases of self-immolation. We condemn this visit and ask India to stand up.”
With the on-going crisis in Tibet, the number of self-immolations has now reached 51. Lobsang Kelsang, 18, a monk from Kirti Monastery, and Damchoe, 17 self-immolated on the morning of August 27 in Ngaba, eastern Tibet (Ch: Aba, Sichuan Province). Both have succumbed to their injuries.
Self-immolation as a political act against Chinese rule has emerged as the most direct and drastic form of protest in Tibet. A staggering 49 self-immolations have taken place in the past 12 months; at least seven in August 2012 alone. At least 40 of these protestors have died. Chinese authorities have responded with violent force, sometimes even beating Tibetans while they are still on fire (1) and overseeing a massive security clampdown in areas where the self-immolations have occurred, including in Lhasa, Tibet’s capital.
“We call on India to join like-minded governments to immediately establish strong, public, multilateral mechanisms to hold Beijing accountable for its atrocities in Tibet (2),” said Dorjee Tseten, National Director of Students for a Free Tibet India. “The global community cannot stand by while China commits atrocities in Tibet. We’ve planned series of actions to unwelcome the visit of Liang Guanglie. “
Tibet support Groups in several continents will be joining a Global Day of Action on September 5th to urge Foreign Ministries to take joint action for Tibet during the upcoming United Nations Human Rights Council and General Assembly meetings in September. Calls for more public and visible multi-lateral action on the situation in Tibet received a significant boost in August with a letter from US Congressmen Frank Wolf and James McGovern to the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, suggesting the US government host an international conference on Tibet, hold periodic public meetings such as a “contact group” on Tibet and discuss setting up a group of like-minded governments at the UN General Assembly (3).
Protest Action organized by: Students for a Free Tibet, India & Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, Dharamsala.
- See http://www.savetibet.org/media-center/ict-news-reports/vivid-new-footage-shows-young-tibetan-being-beaten-police-while-fire
- SFT’s demands targeting the People’s Republic of China:
i. Immediately remove security personnel from Tibetan regions and from individual monasteries and suspend the implementation of religious and security policies in Tibet.
ii. Release all those detained in connection to the self-immolations and account for the whereabouts and well-being of all those who have self-immolated since February 2009.
iii. Allow foreign diplomats and independent foreign media unfettered access to all Tibetan areas.
iv. Address the Tibetan peoples’ legitimate grievances and respond to their demands for freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet.
World governments must:
- In partnership with other concerned governments, insist that the People’s Republic of China accede to the above demands, including allowing diplomats and media access to Tibetan areas.
- Urgently establish, with other concerned governments, an appropriate and effective multi-lateral mechanism through which future diplomatic measures concerning Tibet can be agreed upon and implemented.
- Express their concern about the situation in Tibet both publicly and in robust terms directly to Chinese leaders at all opportunities.
3.Read the full letter at: https://www.studentsforafreetibet.org/news/us-congressmen-calls-for-more-action-on-tibet
4. For a comprehensive list of all confirmed self-immolations in Tibet, see www.StandupforTibet.org/learn-more. There have also been five instances of self-immolation among exiled Tibetans