BURNING DESIRE FOR FREEDOM
After 60 years of Chinese rule, some Tibetan monks have resorted to
self-immolation. Where will there protests lead?
On Aug. 15,
the 29-year-old Tibetan monk,
living in the remote Chinese
outpost of Tawu, emerged from the monastery and walked down the hill to
the centre of town. For a few minutes, he passed out pamphlets
advocating Tibetan independence and celebrating the Dalai Lama.
gulped down kerosene, bathed his
body in the combustible
liquid and struck a match. As he burned
in the center of town, Norbu
shouted for freedom in Tibet
and screamed his love for the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader.
Tibet is burning. Since Norbu's fiery
eight more Tibetan clerics or former
monks have set themselves on fire
to protest China's repressive rule over
Tibetan areas. At least six have died this
year, including Norbu, a pair of teenage
monks and a young nun whose charred
body was seized in late October by Chinese
READ FULL STORY>
TIBETAN LEADER TO EU:
DO NOT BELIEVE MYTH OF CHINESE SUPREMACY
- Tibet's new political leader, Lobsang Sangay, has said EU politicians
should not bow to China in the belief it is becoming the next world
Sangay is touring EU capitals after his election earlier this year
Fresh from a
high-profile trip to Washington, Sangay spoke to EUobserver in Brussels
on his first tour of EU capitals after the Tibetan diaspora in April
voted him prime-minister-in-exile, ending a centuries-old tradition of
theocracy under the Dalai Lamas.
The 43-year-old Harvard
University law scholar, now based in India, said his election heralds a
new wave of secular diplomacy on behalf of Tibetan autonomy: "I am a
Tibetan and a Buddhist. I know my prayers, but I do not pray for hours
each day. I pray from time to time, but I am modern and secular in my
Sangay on Tuesday (29
November) addressed the European Parliament's foreign affairs committtee,
which billed him as the "Prime Minister of the Central Tibetan
Administration" despite grumbling by the Chinese EU mission.
Asked if he is concerned
the EU is going soft on values for the sake of strategic relations,
Sangay said EU politicians should not believe the narrative that China
is becoming an economic superpower.
He pointed to
studies which say
the Indian model of organic growth, next to China's model of
foreign capital and state-run firms, will see India move ahead of China
in the coming years: "As long as a process is democratic and based on
rule of law, rather than top-down, there is more chance of its being
fair and sustainable. Because of censorship, we do not see the damage
[the Chinese government] is doing. We don't understand the ramifications
of the economic and political decisions made by the leadership."
Lack of proper oversight
on dams built on rivers such as the Brahmaputra and the Mekong could
cause environmental chaos in future, he warned.
and mass-scale mineral exploitation in Tibet is also causing "a scar on
the psyche of the people" that could end in upheaval, he added: "I am
not predicting anything, but the Arab Spring also came out of nowhere."
He noted that
statisticians have been caught lying on GDP growth: "The
Chinese economy might seem to be booming. But what is really happening
on the ground is difficult to asses ... Reports say they are spending
$1.4 trillion on an internal stimulus package. But at the same time,
China is also spending more on internal security than on external
Asked what is his
strongest asset against China's diplomatic machine, he answered:
"Really, the truth."
Read full article>