By Lobsang Wangyal | Tibet Sun
MCLEOD GANJ, India, 25 September 2012
The Central Tibetan Administration on Monday launched a documentary film about the self-immolations in Tibet.
The 30-minute English-language film titled: “The burning question: Why are Tibetans turning to self-immolation?” discussed various reasons why Tibetans in Tibet burn themselves in protest against Chinese rule.
Launching the film, Secretary of Department of Information and International Relations Tashi Phuntsok said that as many as 51 Tibetans have set fire to themselves since February 2009, and 41 of them are believed to have succumbed to their injuries.
Phuntsok said the immolators have called for greater freedom in Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama.
The film was compiled with footage taken at the site of the immolations and smuggled out of Tibet. The film highlights the pressing problems faced by Tibetans under what the Tibetans call “wrong and repressive” Chinese policies. Tibetans complain of cultural assimilation by overwhelming Chinese population influx in Tibet, restrictions on practicing their religious beliefs, making Chinese as the medium to teach ethnic Tibetans, forced settling of nomads, and uncontrolled environmental destruction activities.
The political head of the Central Tibetan Administration, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, recently said he was disappointed at the lack of attention Tibet has received from the international community even as the number of self-immolations continues to climb.
Information Secretary Tashi said that the video is intended to educate people about the real situation in Tibet. A Chinese-language version of the film will also be produced to distribute among the Chinese people.
The video is available for viewing and download at YouTube: YouTube.com/watch?v=1HhKF4_-9g8