Rights group says ‘escalating repression and failed official policy’ root causes of Tibetan protests
An international Chinese rights group working for democratic reforms and social justice in China has said it is deeply concerned about the recent protests and violence in Tibet.
Human Rights in China (HRIC), which has offices in New York and Hong Kong, in a release yesterday said China must address the root causes of the recent spurge in protests in Tibet.
“China must address the root causes of the protests —escalating repression and failed official policy,” Sharon Hom, HRIC Executive Director said.
“What the Tibetan people need are demilitarisation and greater respect for fundamental rights and freedom,” Hom added.
Since March 2011, 16 Tibetans have set themselves ablaze calling for the return of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet.
Following the fiery wave of self-immolations, Tibetans have come out on the streets, expressing solidarity with the self-immolaters and calling for continued activism and a boycott of celebrations during the Tibetan new year ‘Losar’ next month.
At least a dozen Tibetans are feared to have been killed in Chinese police firings on unarmed Tibetan demonstrators in three separate incidents in Serthar, Ngaba and Drongo region of Tibet, this week alone. Scores of Tibetans have suffered serious injuries.
“The time for the Chinese authorities to act responsibly and effectively to bring peace to the region and prevent further bloodshed is now,” HRIC said in its release.
“They need to demonstrate true leadership before it is too late.”
HRIC also urged the Chinese authorities to allow international journalists to visit the region for actual reporting on the ground situation, instead of “waging the official disinformation campaign”.
In a November 2011 live webcast meeting with the press organised by HRIC, Kirti Rinponche, the chief abbot and spiritual leader of Kirti Monastery in Ngaba, eastern Tibet had cited the Chinese government’s “escalating repression” as the main cause of the self-immolations.
The Ngaba region alone has witnessed 13 instances of self-immolations, with monks from the Kirti monastery taking the valiant lead in the protests.
Hundreds of Kirti monks have since been arrested or have simply disappeared with many sentenced to long years in jail on false charges in closed trials.
Kirti Rinpoche had said that his monastery was reeling under “a state of terror” as monastic authorities were being replaced by government officials and monks were divided into 55 groups and subjected to “patriotic re-education” and round-the-clock surveillance and random searches.
Calling for the cessation of official violence, Kirti Rinpoche, who was formerly a member of the Tibetan exile cabinet, had urged for the conflict to be resolved through dialogue.