Suicides in Tibet off limits to Australian diplomats

Exile Tibetans and supporters participate in a candlelight vigil

Exile Tibetans and supporters participate in a candlelight vigil to stand in solidarity with a Tibeatn youth from eastern Tibet who on Saturday set himself on fire in protest against Chinese rule, in McLeod Ganj, India, on 30 September 2012. Twenty-seven-year-old Yungdung became the 52nd Tibetan self-immolator since February 2009. File photo/Tibet Sun/Lobsang Wangyal

By Michael Sainsbury | The Australian

ON THE WEB, 4 October 2012

The Australian government has been refused access to areas of Tibet that have been plagued with horrific self-immolation in protest against Chinese rule.

The knockback has come as Tibetan groups warned in a new report that failure by Beijing to change its policies on the region could see a greater crisis emerge.

Australian ambassador Frances Adamson made the request several months ago amid rising international concern about the mounting suicide toll in Tibetan China during protests against the rule by Beijing.

The Australia Tibet Council was told that a request to visit the areas affected had been rejected.

The International Tibet Network, an umbrella organisation covering 150 organisations, yesterday released a report titled

“Xi Jingping’s Tibet Challenge”, aimed at the man who will be installed as China’s new leader next month.

Tibetans are moving beyond fear of China’s violent regime, the report said. In recent months increasingly large numbers of Tibetans have joined anti-China protests.

Last Thursday, a Tibetan man dressed in full traditional attire set himself ablaze and shouted slogans against Chinese rule in Dzatoe (Ch: Zaduo) county in China’s Qinghai province Autonomous Prefecture, Tibetan groups said.

His death was the 52nd from self immolation since February 2009.

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