Exile parliament asks China to deliberate on self-immolations

Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile Penpa Tsering

Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile Penpa Tsering, left, speaks during a press conference in Dharamshala, India, on 7 November 2012. Deputy Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel is also seen in the picture. Tibet Sun/Lobsang Wangyal

By Lobsang Wangyal | Tibet Sun

MCLEOD GANJ, India, 7 November 2012

The Tibetan Parliament-in-exile asked China to deliberate on the spate of self-immolations in Tibet as China is set to elect a new central committee for the party.

President Hu Jintao will be replaced by Xi Jinping as party chief in a once-a-decade power transition at the end of 18th Congress of the Communist Party of China, which begins on Thursday and will extend for one week.

Speaker of the exile parliament Penpa Tsering, terming the situation in Tibet as most tragic and critical with an unprecedented wave of self-immolations, urged the upcoming congress to seriously deliberate and conduct a thorough investigation into the underlying causes of the continuing spate of self-immolations in Tibet.

He asked the Chinese leaders to develop corrective policies and measures that meet the aspirations of the Tibetan people.

He further asked the Chinese leadership to immediately stop accusing the Dalai Lama with exaggerated and distorted statements.

“Such statements, coupled with measures to deny displaying of His Holiness’ pictures, causes immense pain in the hearts and minds of the Tibetan people.”

He urged the China government to usher in conducive atmosphere for Tibetans to freely practice and promote their religion, culture and language, and to release all Tibetan political prisoners, to foster a positive policy transformation in Tibet.

According to exile Tibetans 64 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since February 2009. More than 50 have died.

Tsering said that these drastic actions were driven by the wrong policies of the Chinese government, leading to intense resentment and anger by Tibetans.

Exile Tibetans say the Chinese policies are that of assimilation and annihilation of Tibetan identity. Through large-scale systematic demographic aggression, Tibetan culture, religion and language have been completely undermined or destroyed.

The peaceful expressions of Tibetan aspirations have always been met with harsh and inhuman violent repression, imprisonment and torture. Party work teams to monitor monasteries, innumerable check posts to restrict movement of Tibetans, racial discrimination, and contempt for the Tibetan people have contributed to the upsurge of discontent amongst Tibetans.

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