By Lobsang Wangyal
MCLEOD GANJ, India, 13 November 2012
Tibetans in Tibet have resorted to self-immolation to show their defiance of Chinese rule in Tibet. As of composing this piece 72 people have set themselves on fire, and many have died.
Instead of helping the Tibetans, or investigating the root cause for their desperate acts, China has accused the Dalai Lama and his supporters of instigating the fiery protests. But the Chinese rulers could think for themselves: Would any Chinese person listen to them and die in such a manner for the cause of communism?
There is zero evidence that there has been any call by the Dalai Lama for Tibetans to set fire to themselves. Their inspiration is much more likely to be the Tunisian Mohamed Bouazazi, who committed suicide as a protest against the brutal dictatorship of Ben Ali.
These acts of self-immolation are directly challenging the leaders in Beijing, telling them that Tibetans would rather die than live under such intolerable circumstances, where their very survival is under threat. The self-immolators have taken the most extreme way, showing that the Chinese policies are worse than the horrible pain of burning.
With this backdrop, a Special International Tibet Support Groups meeting will be held in Dharamshala from 16-18 November. Around 200 members from Tibet Support Groups, from 43 different countries around the world, will attend the three-day meeting to work on methods to strengthen support of the international community to press the Chinese government to end its repressive policies.
What decisions would you like to see from this meeting?