For Immediate Release
30 March 2012
The Central Tibetan Administration is deeply saddened to learn of report of self-immolation of a young Tibetan in Ngaba in northeastern Tibet on 28 March 2012.
Sherab, a 20-year-old monk from Kirti Monastery, set himself on fire in the main street of Cha town in Ngaba protesting against the Chinese government’s repressive policies. He died on the spot. Sherab joined the local Ganden Tenpeling monastery in Raruwa at the age of nine. In October last year, he got admission to Kirti monastery for higher studies, but returned home on 26 March.
The area is currently under undeclared martial law, with over 300 Chinese government officials still deployed at Kirti monastery. The Central Tibetan Administration is extremely concerned that current military occupation of Ngaba and Kirti monastery in particular will result in more unfortunate incidents.
Amnesty International, in its statement to the recently-held UNHRC meeting in Geneva, has urged the Chinese government to redress violations of the freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and cultural rights which have fuelled resentment among Tibetans. “These self-immolations are protest against these restrictions, and the heavy presence of security forces since 2008 when protests swept across the region,” it said.
Similarly, Human Rights Watch, in its report on 16 March, said that the Chinese government’s new regulation of imposing direct rule on the Tibetan monasteries, coupled with the increasing presence of government workers within monasteries, will surely exacerbate tensions in the region. “If the Chinese government is committed to reducing tensions in Tibetan areas, it should repeal these policies immediately” it said.
Furthermore, the US Senate Committee passed a resolution on 27 March deploring the Chinese government repressive policies targeting Tibetans. It calls on the Chinese government to suspend implementation of religious control regulations, reassess religious and security policies implemented since 2008 in Tibet, and resume a dialogue with Tibetan Buddhist leaders, including the Dalai Lama or his representatives, to resolve underlying grievances.
“We urge the Chinese leadership to heed the recommendations of the international community on its counter-productive policies and address the problem of Tibet through dialogue,” said Kalon Dicki Chhoyang of the Department of Information & International Relations of the Central Tibetan Administration.
Since 2009, 31 Tibetans have so far set themselves on fire calling for freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to his homeland.
Tashi, Secretary for Information
Lobsang Choedak, Press Officer
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