Tibetan Protests Against Chinese Rule in New Phase

Christopher Bodeen, Associated Press, November 28, 2012

Two dozen Tibetans have set themselves on fire in western China this month in a dramatic acceleration of the protests against authoritarian Chinese rule, activist groups say.

The surge in self-immolations, along with an increase in large demonstrations, marks a new phase in the Tibetan protests.

At least 86 people have set themselves on fire since the immolations began in 2009. In a change in recent months, most self-immolators now are lay people—some of them acting together—rather than Buddhist monks and nuns who live in tightly monitored monasteries and thus can be more closely watched by authorities.

The protests have also sought to avoid direct attacks on authorities and government property, acts which in the past were used to label them as riots or terrorism, providing an excuse for greater oppression. Despite the altered approach, observers see little short-term possibility of Beijing changing its repressive policies.

{snip}

In the latest immolation, 24-year-old Kalsang Kyab doused himself with kerosene and set himself alight Tuesday in front of local government offices in Kyangtsa in Aba prefecture, a hotbed of unrest, according to London-based Free Tibet and other groups.

{snip}.

On Monday, about 1,000 students at a Tsolho Medical Institute staged a bold protest about 900 kilometers (550 miles) to the north in Hainan prefecture in Qinghai province. Riot police fired shots into the air and released tear gas and beat the students with rifle butts, sending 20 students to the hospital, some with serious injuries, Free Tibet reported. {snip}

Tibetan and surrounding ethnically Tibetan regions have been closed off to most outsiders, and firsthand information from the area is extremely difficult to obtain. Authorities have not commented on the protest. Calls to the medical school rang unanswered Wednesday.

Driving the students to protest was a booklet distributed by authorities that derided the Tibetan language as irrelevant, attacked the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama, and condemned the immolation protests by Tibetans as “acts of stupidity.”

The booklet is the latest in a series of perceived slights and intrusive measures by Chinese authorities that have left Tibetans feeling that the culture, language and Buddhist religion that are at the core of their identity are under threat. The feelings have also driven the immolations.

{snip}

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  • JackKrak

    Still waiting on liberals to explain to me why it’s imperative to recognize that Tibet and Tibetans are distinct from China & the Chinese and therefore must have their own nation, culture, etc. but my parents should be grateful and happy that when they go to the mall they feel like they’re in San Juan or Lagos.

    • Puggg

      I love all the hypocrite libs that run around with “Free Tibet” bumper stickers on their car.

      It begs some rhetorical questions:

      1. Free Tibet from who?

      2. How?

      3. What about Free Dixie from America?

      Really, are we supposed to start a nuclear war with China over leftist obsession over some brown hippie on a mountain, when we finance a big part of our debt in Beijing and half the Democrats and their relatives have business dealings with China?

      • i am

        I love all the hypocrite libs that run around with “Free Tibet” bumper stickers on their car.

        And how much of that car has parts made in China?

  • David Ashton

    Come on, John Engelman, resident Sinologist, what do you think?

    • The__Bobster

      He only studies the ones in his bedroom.

  • Nicholai Hel

    When the Buddhist monks start immolating it’s a sure sign that the only solution for China is a heaping helping of “Hearts & Minds.” And don’t forget to bring along some hotdogs and marshmallows.

  • C_C_Conrad

    “The booklet is the latest in a series of perceived slights and intrusive
    measures by Chinese authorities that have left Tibetans feeling that
    the culture, language and Buddhist religion that are at the core of
    their identity are under threat.”

    Hasn’t anyone told them, Buddhism, culture, language is just a “social construct”? Or maybe.
    The booklet is the latest in a series of perceived slights and intrusive
    measures by the America authorities that have left whites feeling that
    the culture, language and religion that are at the core of
    their identity are under threat. Oh but of course whites are just – naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.
    ………….
    Jack’s War

  • jay11

    I thought diversity was a strength.
    The leftists say whites have no right to exist in their own spaces and must learn to love all races and cultures, then they turn around and support tibetan exclusivity and the preservation of their culture. You can’t have it both ways. Either we are all destined to lose our cultures to some fuzzy super culture based on Wal Mart-style material crassness, or we can have distinct cultures nurtured in exclusive cultural zones. Take your pick.

    • IstvanIN

      The “liberal” con-men have a two faced policy: destruction for us while respect for other cultures. Personally I believe the Tibetans should be free and independent to live life as they choose. And so should we.

    • Sloppo

      People who ascribe to the liberal philosophy are not swayed by the fact that their belief system is based upon pure dishonesty because their beliefs are religious. Theirs is the Church of Political Correctness. It’s a false religion, but it is a religion nevertheless. And it is one which requires a great deal of blind faith. Many easily verified facts must be ignored in order to accept the tenets of that belief system. If you want to have some fun with enthusiastic politically correct adherents, you can refer to them as “religious zealots” of the Religion of Political Correctness. It’s easy to prove and it tends to bother them a great deal because they tend to look down on religious people.

    • fsagas

      1) “White” isn’t a culture.

      2) Liberals are hypocrites not only because of preservation of culture (which they either deny or deny on the basis that there was “always” multiculturalism thereby no preservation needed) but the ethnic group of Tibetans.

      3) You could argue that culture and ethnicity are intertwined (which for the most part I agree) but that doesn’t mean you should compound the two to being exactly the same.

  • Smedley Butler

    The world would rather watch Tibetans engaging the reds in Kung Fu and posting to youtube.

    Self-immolation defeats its purpose.

    • i ma

      Whites in the US are not using gasoline or flammable liquids, but they are in a sense immolating their own DNA

      • Smedley Butler

        What does that have to do with Tibet?

  • U.S.S.A.

    “The booklet is the latest in a series of perceived slights and intrusive measures by Chinese authorities that have left Tibetans feeling that the culture, language and Buddhist religion that are at the core of their identity are under threat. The feelings have also driven the immolations.”

    While I wouldn’t want anyone to burn themselves to death, AT LEAST THE TIBETANS HAVE FEELINGS ABOUT THEIR IDENTITY AND CULTURE BEING ATTACKED AND INSULTED! Too many white Americans passively tolerate such subtle and non-subtle slights to their identity in television shows, Hollywood movies, news media, and mandatory (intrusive) left-wing, “anti-racist” education courses. When I had to take such a mandatory course at a college years ago, I was disgusted to find myself THE ONLY ONE, in a class of mostly white students, who would fight back and challenge the teacher. The other white students were brainless, gutless, soulless, castrated plastic shop window mannequins. The (white) lesbian feminist professor promoted white guilt, radical minority critiques of American society, and lesbianism.

    As John Derbyshire said in Taki’s Magazine, “White People Are Pussies.”

    • i m

      “As John Derbyshire said in Taki’s Magazine, “White People Are Pussies.””

      I have always said that white Americans are toughest cowards you will ever meet.

      • fsagas

        Yes. White people are pathetic. No backbone. Just fear. Tired of the group think from the “right.” Tired of the self hate from the “left.”

        I’m ashamed to be part of this era.

        Our ancestors would despise us. I wouldn’t blame them. I would side with them.

        No matter. A strong group will rise from the ashes or not. It is in the hands of Fate.

        History crushes the Weak and embraces the Strong.

  • EW

    The hypocrites wit stickers “Free Tibet” are for Tibetans mainly because they see Han Chinese as being too entrepreneurial, technocratic, and aiming for consumerist – in a way like Europeans once have been.

    • Skippy

      Exactly. It’s about “acting White.” That which is dysfunctional, chaotic, and incompetent, relatively speaking, is a vibrant expression of fascinating native culture, while that which is functional, structured, and competent is crass inhibited boring Whiteness with heavy pedophilic Nazi-mongering overtones. This same principle is why liberals glorify Palestinian terrorists while despising Israelis, why Blacks can do no wrong, and so on and so forth. We have merely inverted traditional concepts of “good” and “bad”, a simple and thoroughly cynical process which liberals believe is the progressive, groovy apex of generations of careful work carried out on the basis of revolutionary social theory, when the entire “new” dogma is really just the predictable artifact of an endless game of pseudomoral one-upmanship.

      • Skippy

        Liberals have been forced to invert traditional standards of good and bad due to the fact that groups they believe to have greater moral authenticity (Blacks, American Indians, doughty Central American leftist guerilla fighters, etc.) invariably fail – to the exact extent that liberals glorify said groups – to measure up to traditional standards of objective good like stability, income, law-abidingness and so on as Whites do. Therefore, since Liberals believe that these marginal groups are morally superior to middle-class Whites, the problem must lie with the standards themselves, never the Blacks, American Indians, or doughty Central American leftist guerrillas. Good becomes bad as the prejudiced standard of the patriarchal White power structure, and bad becomes good as the standard of the oppressed out-groups. It’s all complete nonsense and mental masturbation, of course. Good and bad are the same as they ever, buy liberals’ entire philosophical worldview becomes meaningless unless they are somehow able to push away the fact that their ideas are consistently disproven by reality. Therefore, in their eyes, reality, reason, and logic themselves must be rejected, not the nonsensical and false ideas of the liberals.