Monday, May 28, 2012

Self-immolations continue in Tibet (video)

() A rash of self-immolations by Tibetans. Chinese troops streaming into the eastern part of the Tibetan Plateau. Host Yul Kwon speaks with Prof. Robert Barnett of Colombia Univ. about unrest in Tibet and China's provocation and reaction.
  • Image: A monk reacts as he participates in a debate as part of Tibetan New Year celebrations at a temple in Langmusixiangm (Reuters/Carlos Barria).
(Global Post, May 28, 2012) Two Tibetan Buddhist monks have set themselves on fire in Lhasa [Tibet's capital], the first reported self-immolations in the capital of China's Tibet Autonomous Region.
US-based broadcaster Radio Free Asia said in a statement that the monks set themselves on fire on Sunday outside the Jokhang temple, a renowned center for Buddhist pilgrimage in Lhasa.
  • Jampa Yeshi runs engulfed in flames to protest Pres. Hu Jintao in New Delhi March 26, 2012 (STR/AFP/Getty Images)
The temple has been under heavy security since deadly riots broke out in 2008. The self-immolators were believed to be among Tibetan youths gathered to protest against Chinese rule outside the temple.
They were taken away by authorities within minutes of setting themselves on fire, according to RFA, and had reportedly died. "The security forces arrived immediately and put out the fire and all the tourists in the area were cordoned off from the site," a witness told the broadcaster.
"Within 15 minutes, the area was cleaned and not a trace of the incident was left." Radio Free Asia quoted a source as saying the situation in Lhasa was now "very tense" and the city was filled with police and paramilitary forces. More

() Tibet, a three-part documentary series charting the long overland
journey from Shanghai, China through Lhasa, Tibet to Kathmandu, Nepal.
 What are the Tibetans complaining about?
(, Dec. 2011)
What could be so bad that self-immolation starts looking like a good idea? Purportedly this is leaked footage of a crackdown by Chinese "security" forces in Tibet. It indicates that the level of repression against ethnic Tibetans is much more serious than generally acknowledged by the international community.
Video posted on the exile Tibetan Web site showed a raid by a Chinese SWAT team comprised of about 100 People's Armed Police (PAP) officers on what is believed to be Unit 2 of Dode Village, near Sera Monastery northeast of Lhasa.
The quality footage, which is believed to have been shot in 2008, displays an unprecedented show of force by Chinese authorities using special weapons and tactics (SWAT) teams, accompanied by trained dogs and an armored vehicle. They assume an attack formation and aim assault rifles at sleeping villagers. In all, four confused-looking men and one elderly woman are taken away. Each is forced to stare into the camera and provide details to the cameraman, who is presumably a PAP.
Unlike previous unrest, such as the 1989 riots in Lhasa or the March 2008 incident, during which nervous and sometimes vengeful PAP officers were confronted with an emergency, the troops in this video are not responding to any immediate threat.
This video was taken offline and has since emerged on YouTube. The material follows the release on the citizens' journalism Boxun Web site of eight photographs showing Tibetan prisoners being paraded by a large contingent of armed police in China's Sichuan Province, from 2008 or later.
The two releases have led analysts to conclude that someone in China, perhaps within the security apparatus, is leaking information to show the true scale of the repression in Tibet and neighboring areas in China.
Reacting to the video, Dawa Tsering, chairman of the Tibet Religious Foundation of the Dalai Lama -- the de facto representative of the exiled government in Taiwan -- said that the way Chinese treat Tibetans shows them to be a conquered and colonized people.
"Any Tibetan with a heart will never forget this humiliation. We will not forget how arrogant the Chinese are and the humiliation we went through," he said. "We will remember this for generations to come, and this memory will constantly remind us of what we should do."
Former Regional Tibetan Youth Congress Taiwan President Tashi Tsering said he was not surprised by what Chinese police officers did to Tibetans. "That's how the Chinese Communist Party has always treated Tibetans," Tashi said via telephone. 
"The Chinese always claim they respect human rights, but what they do is different from what they say. Taiwanese should know this and be very careful when dealing with China." He called on the international community to launch a probe into human rights violations by China in Tibet.

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