news Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute| January 21, 2015| 

In the last week of December 2014, three Tibetans reportedly immolated themselves as a protest against China’s 56-year-long occupation of Tibet. Information from Tibet confirmed the three horrifying incidents, states a recent report by The Daily Beast.

In what The Daily Beast calls 'the most concentrated burst of self-immolations in almost two years', three people including a teen and a monk burnt themselves alive in the last week of the year.

On December 16, Sanghe Khar, who hailed from a remote, nomadic area, immolated himself on the occasion of a Tibetan holiday. The second was a nineteen-year-old girl named Tseypey and the exact motive behind her action is not known yet. A Tibetan monk named Kalsang Yeshe was the third person to immolate himself. Yeshe self-immolated in front of a new police station near his monastery, 'long a site of confrontation between Tibetans and Chinese forces', mentions the report.

It was the third immolation that prompted protests and violence. Though the details regarding what exactly triggered the tension is unclear, some reports mentioned that the crowd, which had gathered at the site of Yeshe's self-immolation, tried to stop the police from taking his body. The police allegedly fired into the crowd and took away his body, and did not allow a traditional funeral.

According to the Free Tibet website, 'Since March 2011, more than 130 people are known to have set themselves on fire inside Tibet in protest against the repressive Chinese occupation of Tibet.' Around 90 reportedly succumbed to their injuries and the well-being and whereabouts of the 18 confirmed survivors are unknown'.

The website also states that though nuns and monks have immolated themselves, the majority 'self-immolation protesters were not from religious institutions. They include teachers, students and herdsmen.'

Equating the Tibetan protests to the Arab Spring, the website states that their protests go under reported because the region is out of bounds for journalists.

For several Tibetans self-immolation, an extreme form of protest, has reportedly been their last and only recourse, highlighting their desperation. A 2013 BBC report states, 'Acts of desperation they may be, but China says the immolators are incited, even paid by the Dalai Lama.'

Following the three self-immolations in the last week of December, Tsering Woeser, a prominent Tibetan writer, put a post on Facebook on December 26 regarding Yeshe's immolation along with a link to the video. Facebook deleted the entire post, and put out a statement that the video was too graphic, stated the Daily Beast report.

However, protestors blamed Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, for getting close to the Chinese regime. Woser put up the same post once again and this time it has not been deleted. The Daily Beast points out whether Facebook did not find the post graphic anymore.

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