Causes of Self immolation in Tibet

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Causes of Self immolation in Tibet

  1. 1. Causes of Self-Immolations in Tibet and Reaction of Chinese Netizens Thubten Samphel, Director, Tibet Policy Institute
  2. 2. Sources: 2000 China Census; China Data Center at the University of Michigan 2
  3. 3. 10th Panchen Lama, •1962: He submitted 70,000 character petition to Mao Zedong •Mao called him “our class enemy” and denounced the petition as a “poisoned arrow” •1964: He was subjected to a struggle session followed by imprisonment and solitary confinement for many years •1989: he stated that Tibet had lost more than it gained under Chinese communist rule. 3
  4. 4. Arjia Rinpoche Former abbot of Kumbum Monastery in Tibet A ‘Tale of Three Fish’ Taiwan is still swimming in the ocean. No one has caught that fish- at least not yet. Hong Kong is alive but in display in a Chinese aquarium. Tibet, the third fish, is broiled and on the table, already half devoured: its language, its religion, its culture and its native people are disappearing faster than its glacial ice. “ ” 4
  5. 5. Ngapo Ngawang Jigme Former Chairman of “TAR” The dearest wish of all old Tibetans was to see the Dalai Lama before their death. This would fulfill all their fondest hopes. “ ” 5
  6. 6. With Ngabo Ngawang Jigme, 1985 6
  7. 7. Bawa Phuntsok Wangyal Founder of the Tibetan Communist Party Therefore, most people in Kham, in [Central] Tibet and Amdo miss their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, from the bottom of their hearts. They trust and rely on him and ask him to grant favours to them and pray for them. “ ” 7
  8. 8. Panchen Lama and Baba Phuntsok Wangyal 8
  9. 9. Chinese Communist Rule in Tibet 1. 1950-60 We lost our country 2. 1960-70 We lost political power 3. 1970-80 We lost our culture 4. 1980-90 We lost our economy 9
  10. 10. Six Main Features of Chinese Rule in Tibet • Constant assault on Tibet’s Buddhist civilization, language and identity • Interference in their spiritual life • Demonization of the Dalai Lama and forcing monks to denounce Him. • Influx of Chinese settlers taking away jobs, land and future of Tibetans • Forced removal of Tibetan nomads (drogpas)& settling them on permanent housing systems • Exploitation of natural resources 10
  11. 11. CPC: There cannot be two Suns in the same sky His Holiness the Dalai Lama Communist Party of China 11
  12. 12. Is this capacity and willingness to destroy another people’s culture something innate in the character of the Chinese People? NO 12
  13. 13. Xuanzang (Hsüan-tsang) 7th Century Chinese Traveller Buddha established his doctrine so that it might be diffused to all lands. Who would wish to enjoy it alone and forget those who are not yet enlightened? “ ” 13
  14. 14. Attitude of Chinese to the burnings in Tibet 14
  15. 15. Tibetan people are burning themselves to death. Already over 40 of them in the past two years, and nobody’s talking about it […] I think to respect [the Tibetans] is not to touch them, to leave them alone “ ” Ai Weiwei Chinese artist Ai Weiwei Chinese artist
  16. 16. The communists really destroyed religion. They don’t understand it at all. Look at Tibet. I told the guobao (state security agents) that, ‘you guys have gone too far. You don’t allow them to hang pictures of the Dalai Lama. You don’t have faith so you don’t understand. So the Tibetans get very angry and depressed […] No wonder they set themselves on fire’ “ ” Ran Yunfei China’s Public Intellectual Ran Yunfei China’s Public Intellectual
  17. 17. The Gongmeng report cited China’s policy failure as a major cause. The report recommended that Beijing in future base its Tibet policy on the aspirations of the Tibetan People. (Gongmeng, a law firm in Beijing investigated the causes of Tibetan discontent and published a detailed report on Tibet in 2009) Xu Zhiyong Lawyer, Civil Rights Activist and co-founder of Open Constitution Initiative (Gongmeng) Xu Zhiyong Lawyer, Civil Rights Activist and co-founder of Open Constitution Initiative (Gongmeng) “ ”
  18. 18. He along with more than 340 others urged the Chinese authorities to hold direct dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama to resolve the issue. (Twelve suggestions for dealing with the Tibetan Situation) Liu Xiaobo Imprisoned Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo Imprisoned Nobel Laureate “ ”
  19. 19. The scale of the dialogue is not that big, just several thousand [participants]. However, I believe its influence and impact are getting bigger and bigger. One day it will defeat all distorted propaganda on the Dalai Lama and truth in Tibet “ ”(Commenting on an event in 2010 when His Holiness the Dalai Lama responded to the final 10 questions picked out of 326 by 12,771 Chinese netizens) Yu Jie Writer and Democracy Activist Yu Jie Writer and Democracy Activist
  20. 20. Source: Fuchs, Andreas, and Nils-Hendrik Klann. "Paying a visit: The Dalai Lama Effect on international trade." Journal of International Economics (2013).
  21. 21. Export to China Depending on Meeting with Political Leader (1991-2008) Source: Fuchs, Andreas, and Nils-Hendrik Klann. "Paying a visit: The Dalai Lama Effect on international trade." Journal of International Economics (2013).
  22. 22. Thank You! www.tibet.net

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