Self-Immolation of Tibetan MonksHow does Western Media Portray the Chinese-Tibetan Conflict?
Overview As an overall theme in the articlesthat I looked at on this topic, there were twomajor topics that came up in all of thearticles. One topic was the conflict betweenTibet and China and what side the articlewas taking, and the second topic was arethese self-immolations religiously orpolitically driven.
Tibet vs. China Pro-Tibet This topic came up in very single oneof the articles I looked at. For the mostpart, most of the articles sides with theTibetans and their struggle against theChinese. The articles siding with theTibetans always eluded to the stricter rulesand regulations regarding their religion.Most articles stated that the Tibetans thatare doing the self-immolations are givingthemselves a voice in a country where therevoice is normally not heard.
Tibet vs. China Pro-China There was one article that I cameacross that seemed to be on China’s side inthis argument. They bashed the Tibetansfor just trying to get some pity fromwesterners and trying to get publicity fortheir people. The article said that they weretrying to get money from westerners so thatthey could do something physically againstthe Chinese government.
As seen in the picture, anelderly women is hanging This shows the severity of the a poster of monks that Chinese government’s actions. have self-immolated Tibet wants nothing to do with themselves along side a China.sing that states, “TIBET is not part of CHINA.”
Religion vs. Politics In all the articles that I read, I couldn’tfind a clear argument on this topic. Almost all ofthe articles said something along the lines ofthat immolating one self is the best sacrifice onecan give, but then in another paragraph, theywould say something to the effect of, theTibetans want their religious and politicalofficials back from exile and they want theirrights back. No article made it clear as towhether the reason behind these self-immolations was religious or political.
Dalai Lama A couple of articles brought the DalaiLama into the picture. The articles thatreferenced him used his views of the Chinesegovernment to help the Tibetans. The DalaiLama thinks the Chinese government is toostrict and should let him back into his owncountry, but he knows that won’t happen unlessthere is a big change in the government. Hesees the big change in the government comingwithin the next 20 years. The Dalai Lama hasno hard feelings towards the Chinesegovernment, he just wants all the violence tostop, but to do it in a peaceful manner.
Conclusion In Western media, the conflict be Tibetand China has been widely covered by multiplesources, and these sources tend to side withTibet and their struggle to free themselves fromthe persecution of the Chinese government.Western media does not know the reasoningbehind the self-immolations, but they try to keeptheir interpretations pretty vague when it comesto eh question of why? Western media hashelped bring this issue into the lives of everydaypeople and is giving good information in avariety of ways. Western media is helping thisconflict by reporting what they know.