Ac. Krtashivananda – Latest report 2012                                                              


The high-altitude Himalayan plateau associated in popular memory with meditation and Buddhist serenity, has been the scene of periodic strife ever since it was seized militarily by China in 1951.

China’s government regards Tibet as an integral part of China and is sensitive to expressions of support from Tibet’s former ruler, the Dalai Lama, who fled into exile in 1959, after a failed uprising against Chinese rule. He has accused China of stifling Tibetan culture. The Chinese consider the Dalai Lama a subversive advocate of Tibetan independence, although he has said he only wants greater autonomy for Tibet.

In March 2011, the Dalai Lama announced what he called his retirement, as he prepared to relinquish political power. The next month, Tibet’s government announced the election of a Harvard legal scholar, Lobsang Sangay, as its new prime minister, a choice signaling a generational shift within the Tibetan movement.

Analysts said the Dalai Lama would continue to be recognized as the leader of the Tibetan cause since he alone can unify and mobilize Tibetans inside and outside of China. But by formally giving up political power, the Dalai Lama was trying to deepen the authority of the movement’s democratic government, according to analysts.

The Dalai Lama and many older Tibetan exiles were born inside Tibet and fled in 1959. But Mr. Sangay is part of the younger generation born outside Tibet, many of whom are eager for a more confrontational approach with China.

An Exile’s Self-Immolation Galvanizes a Movement

Jamphel Yeshi - 2012

Nearly 50 Tibetans have set fire to themselves since 2009 in what appear to be protests against Chinese rule. In the first three weeks of March 2012 alone, seven Tibetans chose an agonizing, self-annihilating protest.

But  on March 26, 2012 when Jamphel Yeshi, a Tibetan exile in New Delhi, India, set himself alight in front of hundreds of people during a protest before a visit by President Hu Jintao of China, who was scheduled to attend an economic summit meeting in New Delhi. Mr. Yeshi was taken to a hospital with burns over 98 percent of his body, and died two days later. The shocking images of Mr. Yeshi’s self-immolation provided the Tibetan exile movement with a rallying point. Within hours, the pictures had been posted on blogs and social-networking Web sites.

Read More…In August 2012, a Tibetan woman, Dolkar Kyi, 26, killed herself through self-immolation at a monastery in a Tibetan area of China, according to Free Tibet, an advocacy group based in London. Also, a Tibetan monk from Kirti Monastery self-immolated in the town of Ngaba, according to reports by Free Tibet and Radio Free Asia, which is financed by the United States government.

The monk appeared to be alive and badly burned when he was taken away by security forces after the self-immolation, the reports said. Radio Free Asia gave his name as Lobsang Trinlay, while Free Tibet identified him as Lobsang Tsultrim. Many self-immolations have taken place in Ngaba, called Aba in Chinese, where there is a market street now known as “Martyrs Road” because of the number of self-immolations that have taken place there.

2008: Uprising Across Tibet

Rioting in 2008 convulsed Tibetan areas of China, and rights groups said scores of artists, intellectuals, students and businesspeople were detained and sentenced to prison on charges of subverting state power or seeking to “split” Tibet from China.

A report on the 2008 riots by Human Rights Watch, released in July 2010, said Chinese security forces violated international law in suppressing the protest by indiscriminately beating, detaining and fatally shooting civilians in towns across the vast Tibetan plateau in western China. Disturbances broke out on March 10, 2008, the anniversary of the failed uprising against Chinese rule. The protests turned violent and were described as the largest since 1989, which ended in a bloody clash with Chinese security forces and the imposition of martial law.

The 2008 disturbances were a public relations nightmare for the ruling Communist Party, which held its annual meeting of the National People’s Congress in Beijing in March of that year. Harried by pro-Tibet demonstrations around the world, China was hard pressed to present a harmonious image to the world when it played host to the Olympic Games in August 2008.

2009: Words From the Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama

In 2009, the Dalai Lama delivered one of his harshest attacks on the Chinese government in recent times, saying the Chinese Communist Party had transformed Tibet into a “hell on earth” and that the Chinese authorities regarded Tibetans as “criminals deserving to be put to death.” The Dalai Lama advocates genuine autonomy for Tibet and not secession, while more radical Tibetans are urging him to support outright independence.

Imposing More Control Over Clergy

Communist Party leaders have also introduced a “monastic management” plan to more directly control religious life. As part of the plan, 21,000 party officials have been sent to Tibetan communities with the goal of “befriending” monks — and creating dossiers on each of them. Compliant clergy are rewarded with health care benefits, pensions and television sets; the recalcitrant are sometimes expelled from their monasteries.

At some temples, monks and nuns have been forced to publicly denounce the Dalai Lama, whose name is often invoked by self-immolators. The freedom of movement that allowed monks to study at distant monasteries across Tibet and four adjacent provinces has been curtailed.

Senior officials have trumpeted the new approach, which includes the distribution of one million national flags and portraits of Mao Zedong and other party leaders. But such measures may be having the opposite intended effect.

But Tibetan scholars and exiles say the current resistance campaign is unlike anything seen before. The tactic — public, fiery suicides that do not harm bystanders or property — has profoundly moved ordinary Tibetans and bedeviled Chinese officials. Just as significant, they note, is that the protesters are mostly young.

Note: Freedom loving people of the world are waiting to see the Sun rise in Tibet


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