Feb 21, 2013

Tibet: Activists Demand International Intervention

As self-immolation toll reaches 102, five Tibetan NGOs based in Dharamsala ask for an immediate intervention by international leaders. 

Below is an article published by Times of India:

Tibetan activists demanded immediate intervention by international leaders after self-immolation protests in Tibet reportedly reached the tragic milestone of 102. In a joint statement issued by five largest Tibetan political NGOs based in Dharamsala, the Tibetan Youth Congress, Gu Chu Sum, Tibetan Women's Association, National Democratic Party of Tibet and Students for a Free Tibet-India, the activists denounced China's 'vicious crackdown'.

"To date we have seen a staggering 102 self-immolations in Tibet alone. At least 86 of these protesters are known to have died. The self-immolators have repeatedly called for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Freedom for Tibet. On February 13 when Tibetans in exile all over the world observed centennial of Proclamation of Tibetan Independence by His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama, a Tibetan named Drugpa Khar, 26, set himself ablaze in Amchok town in Sangchu Region of Kanlho. In a similar case Drupchen Tsering (Druptse) 25 years old monk self immolated in Nepal on the same day. The latest case of self-immolation happened on February 17 in Ambo Labrang Market," said the statement.

The statement has condemned the Chinese government's response to the recent protests and immolations in Tibet, claiming it was "only exacerbating the situation and the suffering of Tibetans."

The activists have demanded a coordinated international response by world leaders to act upon China's "repressive measures" in the affected regions and across Tibet, and to institute multi-lateral mechanisms to advocate for the rights of Tibetan people.

They have also demanded that the Chinese government should reassess their "draconian policies, which have lead to the immolations and protests in Tibet, and engage with respected community and religious leaders in Tibet in an effort to improve the lives of ordinary Tibetans." 

"We demand that UN representatives and media groups should be allowed to travel freely in Tibet to be able to determine the impact of Chinese policies in Tibet and the level of individual freedom," they said.