China’s harsh policies in Tibet, restricting freedoms and basic human rights, have intensified Tibetan grievances and exacerbated the resentment felt across Tibet. Thousands of Chinese troops are currently stationed in Tibet and monks and nuns have been subjected to harsh ‘patriotic re-education’ programmes. Tibetan students have been sentenced to harsh prison terms for advocating for the right to use their language, and the friends and families of Tibetans who have self-immolated have been detained and interrogated.
So far 136 self-immolation protests by Tibetans living under Chinese rule have taken place since 2009; over 85 in 2012, with 28 in the month of November 2012 alone. More than 100 of these protesters are known to have died. Those who have self-immolated called for freedom for Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama. Most of the self immolator left note calls for Tibetan unity and the return of the Dalai Lama to his homeland. All of them have expressed the same refrain: freedom for Tibet and return of the Dalai Lama.
As the world watches in horror these acts of fiery protest, Tibet experts have huddled into conferences to examine the causes of why Tibet is burning. The causes range from increasing alienation in a rapidly changing society to Chinese migrant workers swamping Tibetan population in the cities and towns on the plateau. Forced resettlement of nomads and rampant mining and the accompanying poisoning of river waters are another source of the bubbling discontent on the roof of the world.
The Chinese authorities are doing everything else except address these deep-seated Tibetan concerns. The authorities accuse the “Dalai clique” thousands of miles on the other side of the Himalayas of inciting self-immolation. They put Tibet under tighter restriction and greater surveillance and bar international media from reporting from the plateau and prevent information of the grim situation from flowing out of Tibet.
Certainly, China’s tacit encouragement of unemployed Chinese in neighbouring provinces to migrate to Tibet is an overwhelming fear amongst Tibetans who are increasingly marginalized from the economic boom in their homeland. The main beneficiaries are the migrant Chinese workers. Rampant mining and the damage done to the environment have driven several Tibetans to register their protest by setting themselves ablaze. The Chinese authorities’ unrelenting attitude to all these Tibetan concerns also feed Tibetan discontent.
But these miss a critical issue that drives Tibetans to set themselves on fire. The Tibetan people now realize that their hope of seeing the Dalai Lama in their lifetime is receding. The envoys of the Dalai Lama based their discussions with their Chinese counterparts on their demand for genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people under a single administration within the scope of the constitution of the People’s Republic of China.
At a press conference organised by the State Council and broadcast live by CCTV on Nov. 10, 2008, China announced its response. Zhu Weiqun, the key Chinese
Representative at the talks, vigorously and comprehensively rejected the Tibetan demand, pointing to it as Tibetan independence in “disguise.”
All this brings us to the irony of Chinese rule in Tibet. After more than 60 years of its rule in Tibet, China has failed to win over Tibetan hearts and minds. The Tibetan people’s devotion to the Dalai Lama remains unshakeable.
We the Team of ‘Tenzin Project’ Tibet Photo Exhibition would like to invite all of you to kindly visit at GOROD Russian culture centre for our Tibet photo exhibition which will begin from 4th of May to 22nd of May 2015.
Lastly but not the least we would like to thanks the entire supporter for the cause of Tibet. Our special thankful to GOROD Russian culture centre, Munich for accepting our project to be held in their centre and to Tibet initiative, Munich for their kind support and recognition of our project.
With warm regards
Last modified: 27. Februar 2018