Three generations suffered under Chinese rule in Tibet


March 14, 2012 9:05 am

GENEVA, 13 March: Rinchen Sangpo, a former Buddhist monk from Golok, northeastern Tibet, said three generations of his family suffered under the Chinese rule. He was speaking at a side event on Human Rights of Tibetans at the UN Human Rights Council 19 session in Geneva this afternoon.
 
His grandfather was killed by the Chinese in 1958 and father disabled by the Chinese. He escaped from Tibet in 2009 because his life was in danger for conducting interview of Tibetans about their aspiration and spoken to Tibetan radio advocating freedom for Tibet.
 
“26 Tibetan have self-immolated in the last 12 months but 27 since February 2009,” said. Mr Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s representative in Geneva. “19 of them have died from their injuries. 20 of them have been from Ngaba county. The youngest was a 17-years old monk.”
 
As they burned, they called for “religious freedom in Tibet” and the “return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet”.
 
“These self-immolations are taking place because of China’s repressive policies in Tibet. Tibet is undergoing the second cultural genocide. Tibetans are facing a desperate situation under Chinese rule,” he said.
 
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration have always discouraged such drastic actions, said Mr Chhoekyapa. Fault lies with the hardline Chinese leaders in Beijing. The self-immolations are a rejection of the empty promises of the so-called ‘socialist paradise.’
 
Self-immolation have been non-violent and others have not been involved, said Kate Saunders of International Campaign for Tibet.
 
She spoke about the systematic assault on Tibetan monasteries by the Chinese authorities. Tibetans hope that their protest will outlive the communist Chinese rule. However, the present situation in Tibet today is very grim, she said.
 
The Chinese officials have been rigorously conducting communist ideology classes and forcing monks to denounce His Holiness the Dalai Lama instead of allowing the monks to study Buddhism. Those who refuse are arrested, expelled or force to leave their monasteries.
 
A diplomat from the US Mission said, “US is very concerned about the self-immolations” taking place in Tibet.
 
The Western world woke up to self-immolation protest in the 1960s by a Vietnamese Buddhist monk. Since then there have been over 90 known self-immolation cases in 35 countries including in Europe, USA, South America and Asia. Of these 27 are from Tibet.
 
Reports from Tibet indicates, unless the situation in Tibet improves more Tibetans are willing to self-immolate to protest against the situation in Tibet in coming weeks and months.
 
The Chinese authorities instead of calming the situation, have stepped up massive military presence in the Tibetan areas. The military forces are more evident especially near the large Tibetan monasteries and towns.
 
Video footages secretly recorded by Sky TV shows Ngaba under a virtual lock down and swamped by large Chinese paramilitary police. Huge number of Chinese military and riot gear personnel manning the area speaks the ground reality.
 
“The Tibetan struggle is not against the Chinese people or China as a nation,” said Mr Chhoekyapa. “It is against the PRC government’s policies. China must acknowledge the depth of the problems in Tibet. They cannot solve the Tibetan issue through violence.”
 
Tibetans are not seeking independence or separation from China he said. But seeking a genuine autonomy within China to safe guard Tibetan religion and culture.