At Least Seven Reasons Why Beijing is Responsible for the Self-Immolations in Tibet
1. Continuing occupation of Tibet
2. Political repression
3. Patriotic re-education and demonization of H.H. the Dalai Lama
4. Shooting and killing of peaceful Tibetan protesters
5. Economic marginalization and making of Tibetans as second-class citizens in their homeland
6. Cultural assimilation and denial of Tibetan as a medium of instruction
7. Environmental destruction
The Central Tibetan Administration categorically rejects allegations that H.H. the Dalai Lama is “encouraging self-immolations in Tibet and advocating expulsion of Han Chinese from Tibet”. It deplores the usual blame tactics utilized by the Chinese government, instead of accepting responsibility for the increasing number of self-immolations in Tibet and addressing the grievances leading to such actions.
H.H. the Dalai Lama has always discouraged drastic actions and the Kashag has made repeated appeals to refrain from extreme measures through international media and official statements on January 26 and March 10 of this year. Despite H.H. the Dalai Lama’s long-standing view concerning such actions and the Central Tibetan Administration’s appeals, Tibetans continue to self-immolate because of China’s continued occupation and harsh measures against Tibetans.
Since 2009, over 30 Tibetans in Tibet have committed self-immolation to protest Beijing’s repressive policies in Tibet and demand that H.H. the Dalai Lama be allowed to return to his homeland. The Chinese government’s reaction to these incidents so far, has been one of further repressive measures and heavy deployment of military and police forces in Tibetan areas. Responsibility for the present tense situation lies entirely with Beijing, and so does the solution.
H.H. the Dalai Lama has always promoted harmony between the Chinese and Tibetan communities. He has repeatedly stated that the Tibetan struggle is not against Chinese people or China as a nation. Furthermore, he has openly expressed his admiration for Chinese civilization and praised Chinese work ethics.
‘As much as the Chinese government would like the international community to believe otherwise, the current tense situation in Tibet is not about H.H.the Dalai Lama or Tibetans wanting to secede from China. It is about the aspirations of a people for basic freedom and the return of H.H. the Dalai Lama to his rightful place, the Potala Palace, in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet’ stated Kalon Tripa Lobsang Sangay, the democratically-elected head of the Central Tibetan Administration and political leader of the Tibetan people.
Over the past 50 years, H.H. the Dalai Lama has steadfastly made tremendous efforts to democratize the Tibetan community and its governance structure in exile. Last March, he made the historical unprecedented decision to transfer all his political authority to the elected leadership of the Central Tibetan Administration composed of an executive branch, the Kashag, and a legislative branch consisting of a 44-member parliament. The Administration is currently headed by elected leader, Dr. Lobsang Sangay, a young Harvard-educated layperson.
In 2008, based on the Chinese constitution, a Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for Tibet, and a Note on the Memorandum (2010) were presented by H.H. the Dalai Lama, to the Central Chinese government in order to find a resolution to the Tibetan question through dialogue (Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People) and (Note on the Memorandum).
The proposal in the Memorandum advocates that Tibetan areas remain a part of China within the framework of the Chinese Constitution. This position is referred to as the Middle Way Policy and remains the foundation of the Central Tibetan Administration’s ongoing Chinese outreach efforts. In the last few years, despite repeated Tibetan attempts to engage with the Central Chinese government, the Sino-Tibetan dialogue process has come to a halt due to a lack of response from Beijing,
‘H.H. the Dalai Lama is an internationally-recognized statesman for non-violence and peace who is also the most revered leader of the Tibetan people. He is part of the solution to the current impasse in Tibet and not the problem. The sooner Beijing finds the wisdom to recognize this, the quicker it can address the tragedy in Tibet thus serving the mutual interests of both Chinese and Tibetan people,’ said Kalon Tripa Lobsang Sangay.
Lobsang Choedak, Press Officer
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