Tibetans deserve freedom: Sangay
Dharamsala: The Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, which is headquartered in Dharamsala, has passed a resolution that highlights the grim situation within Tibet and sought the international community's help to end the ongoing crisis.
Protests by self-immolation are becoming more common in Tibet and in restive, ethnically Tibetan regions of China.
Recently, a father of three in his 40s, set himself ablaze on March 17 near the town centre of Rongwo, in Tongren county, Qinghai province of China. He died on the spot.
Outlining the atrocities faced by the fellowmen, Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile, Lobsang Sangay, said on Friday (March 23) that the resolution highlighted the deteriorating condition of the Tibetans.
"The resolution makes it very clear; the Tibetans are in really critical condition. Thirty Tibetans have self-immolated, of which 22 have died and many are in critical conditions. The reasons are very clear, the self-immolators and the peaceful protestors are showing their resentment against the continuing occupation of Tibet and repressive policies of the Chinese government. What the self immolators and those who have died and those who are imprisoned are demanding or seeking that His holiness the Dalai Lama returns to Tibet and freedom be restored for Tibetans inside Tibet," said Sangay.
The three Tibetans hunger strikers, Dorjee Gyalpo, Shingza Rinpoche and Yeshi Tenzing have been protesting outside the United Nations headquarters in New York for the past 26 days now.
China has tightened security in what it calls the Tibet Autonomous Region and other Tibetan parts of the country following several incidents in which people have set fire to themselves, and protests against Chinese rule, mostly in Sichuan and Gansu provinces.
March is a particularly sensitive time for Tibet, as it marks five years since deadly riots erupted across the region.
Thirty Tibetans have set themselves alight in protest, and at least 22 are believed to have died from their injuries, according to rights groups. Most of them were Buddhist monks.
Calling for a worldwide vigil to protest against the Chinese crackdown in Tibet, Sangay said Tibetans deserve freedom.
"As per appeals, repeated appeals, by the Tibetan Parliament, the Kashag, many NGO's, Tibetans included, have urged the United Nations to send a special rapporteur or an envoy to Tibet to investigate the real conditions inside Tibet. What we hear in response to the three hunger strikers in front of the United Nations after thirty days of major sacrifice on their part, an official from the United Nations visited the three hunger strikers and both verbally and in writing assured that the United Nations will try to send a special rapporteur to investigate the actual conditions in Tibet," said Sangay.
The Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, Penpa Tsering, read out the eight-point resolution passed on March 14. The resolution affirms solidarity with fellowmen inside Tibet, called for the Chinese government to end its wrong policies, and appealed to the international community to send delegations to assess the ground-reality within Tibet.
The Dalai Lama blamed the self-immolations on ''cultural genocide'' by the Chinese.
For China, the self-immolations are a small, but potentially destabilising, challenge to policies towards minority groups and the region. The government has branded the immolators ''terrorists''.
Activists say China violently has stamped out religious freedom and culture in Tibet, the mountainous region of western China that has been under Chinese control since 1950.
China rejects criticism that it is eroding Tibetan culture and faith, saying its rule has ended serfdom and brought development to a backward region.
The Chinese government has repeatedly blamed exiled Tibetans for stoking the protests, including spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who fled to India in 1959 after a failed uprising.
The Dalai Lama still casts a long shadow over policy-making, and many Tibetans worry what shape their struggle for greater autonomy will take once the charismatic leader, with his message of non-violence, dies.