Self-immolation toll reaches 124, Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile exhorts the international community to act on Tibet crisis
DHARAMSHALA: As the number Tibetans setting themselves on fire in protest against China’s repressive rule in Tibet rises to 124, the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile today said the crisis in Tibet warrants urgent international intervention to press the Chinese government to end repression and address the grievances of Tibetans.
The statement from the Tibetan Parliament came as one more Tibetan set himself on fire and another tortured to death in police custody.
“The hardline and ultra-leftist policies of the Chinese government in Tibet are the sole reasons which have led to self-immolation protest by 124 Tibetans. But instead of listening to their aspirations and change its repressive policies in Tibet, the Chinese government levelled baseless criminal charges against the family members and relatives of the self-immolators,” the Tibetan Parliament in Exile said in a statement.
Tsultrim Gyatso, 44, a well-respected monk of Achok monastery in Sangchu county in Kanlho prefecture (incorporated into China’s Gansu Province), burned himself to death on Thursday to protest against the Chinese government’s repressive policies. He left a written note, saying that he is setting himself on fire due to the repressive policies of the Chinese government. He called for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet, the release of Panchen Lama from prison and the well-being of the six million of Tibetans.
“The Chinese authorities especially target the Tibetan monks who work for the preservation of Tibetan culture and environment. They are immediately arrested and tortured to death,” the Tibetan Parliament said in its statement.
Geshe Ngawang Jamyang, a senior Buddhist master and scholar at Tarmoe monastery in Driru county in Nagchu prefecture, died in police custody. The Chinese authorities handed over his body to his family members on Tuesday (17 December) and warned that those who reveal information to the outside world would face death. His body was cremated at the crematorium of Sera Monastery in Lhasa. The whereabouts of two other monks who were arrested along with him remain unknown.
“One can clearly see that Tibetans are driven to commit self-immolation due to such atrocities perpetrated against them by the Chinese government across Tibet,” the Tibetan Parliament said.
It called on the Chinese government to address the grievances of Tibetans and respect their lives instead of lying and misleading the international community about the real situation in Tibet.
The Chinese authorities should immediately end arrest and torture of innocent family members and relatives of the Tibetan self-immolators and unfair sentence meted out to them, it said.
“We strongly urge the governments, parliaments and other international bodies who respect human rights, freedom and lives of Tibetans to protect human rights in Tibet and press the Chinese government to end its hardline policies in Tibet,” the Tibetan Parliament said.
French deputies urge China to end repression in Tibet
“It is now urgent that France intervene with the Chinese government to end the repressive policy towards the Tibetan minority and reaffirm its support for Tibetans in the name respect for human rights and freedom of expression that are the foundation of its foreign policy,’’ said Deputies Jean-Patrick Gille and Noel Mamere said in a motion presented in the National Assembly on 7 December. The two deputies are co-chairs of the Study Group in the French National Assembly.
The motion called for the resumption of dialogue between the Chinese government and envoys of the Dalai Lama to promote autonomy for Tibet within the People’s Republic of China.
The motion was presented on the same day when the National Assembly received a Chinese parliamentary delegation led by Mr Wu Yingjie, Vice Governor and Deputy Party Secretary of the Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party of the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region.