I spent 10 months in Great Britain and also had to go to school there. My English Language coursework took me a lot of time but I'm quite satisfied with the result.
Tibet’s lost voice: Self-immolations to protest against Chinese suppression
The media should report more about Tibetans self-immolations – and more people should be involved in Tibet’s struggle for independence
Jamphei Yeshi set himself on fire to protest against the visit to India of Wen Jiabo. Just one example of many self-immolations for Tibet
“The fact that Tibetan people are setting themselves on fire in this 21st century is to let the world know about their suffering, and to tell the world about the denial of basic human rights” wrote Jamphei Yeshi in his final letter before he set himself on fire at the 26 March 2012. He was a 27-years old Tibetan in exile in India, who sacrificed his life to protest against the visit to India of Wen Jiabo. Since February 2009, there were reports from 98 self-immolations of Tibetans and many experts speculate that there have been even more. Many of these "protest burns" aiming to get the World’s attention are hardly worthy of the World News. Because of the increasing number of self-immolations and the resulting repetitive nature of them, the media is not really interested in Tibet’s independence struggle and do not report about it, therefore many people do not know about Tibet’s current situation.
When Tibet was occupied by China in 1949, political and religious freedom was suppressed greatly. Almost all Tibetans are Buddhists and therefore absolutely non-violent. They just wish to practice their religion and traditions but instead they get oppressed. By end of 2007 to about 119 political opponents were in prison - sent to jail for peaceful actions such as, waving the Tibetan flag, distributing leaflets or sending information abroad about events in Tibet. Many Tibetans are imprisoned on unclear or unspecified charges, their families not informed of their whereabouts. Released prisoners reported of having been subjected to beatings, electric shocks and being deprived of food and drink. A 2008 UN report found out that the use of torture in Tibet was “widespread” and “routine”.
In 2007, Angela Merkel met the Dalai Lama which angers China and therefore they cancelled talks with the German justice minister. After that Merkel apologised herself which is just one of several examples where world leader are more interested in China’s cooperation and support than Tibet’s struggle for independence. That’s why the Free Tibet campaign is calling on world leaders to “break the silence” and claiming “they continue to refrain from publicly speak out for Tibet”. But the current Dalai Lama is no longer calling for independence. He has spoken in many international venues including the United State Congress and European Parliament. In 1987, he started campaigning for peaceful resolution to the issue of status of Tibet. Since then he advocated that Tibet should be given autonomy within the People’s Republic of China. It seems like the Dalai Lama is given up because of China’s power and influences in the World, therefore the most Tibetans do not like the “Middle Way”.
Some will ask why and how they never heard about the crisis and self-immolations in Tibet; the answer is that the media is not interested in reporting about repetitive self-immolations because it seems “normal” and “not exciting enough”. Of course, foreign journalists are rarely allowed entry into Tibet, and when they are, they have closely chaperoned by Chinese official – which is still not really an excuse. Tibetans risk their lives daily by filming, reporting or writing about self-immolations or strikes in Tibet. But also Tibetans in exile try their best to get media attention. The hunger strike from February 22 till March 23, 2012 outside the United Nations in New York by three Tibetans wring an assurance the UN special rapporteurs would investigate the situation in Tibet and also called the World’s attention. It is shocking that almost all the self-immolations in the last year were not reported in the media, but a hunger strike got the world attentions. Moreover, there are still many people who are not informed at all about the crisis in Tibet and the self-immolations.
I believe that it was the right decision of the Dalai Lama to advocate that Tibet should be given autonomy because whole independence is impossible with China’s current policy and attitude. But still the independence struggle of the Tibetans is still not finished yet and the media should report more about the current issue to call the people’s attention. Also celebrities as Paris Hilton or Richard Gere, who are supporting the Free Tibet movement should be mention the issue or help to campaign as the British comedian Russell Howard. He mentioned his support for the Free Tibet movement ion his BBC 2 Radio Show. Almost all Tibetans are Buddhists and just wished to practice their religion and traditions. More people have to put pressure on world leaders and their government by joining demonstration or a pressure group, so that China has to react. “People of the world, stand up for Tibet. Tibet belongs to Tibetans. Victory to Tibet!” were the last sentences of Jamphei Yeshi’s final letter. His and other Tibetans’ self-immolations should not have been for nothing, should they?
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P.S.: I know that I wrote a lot about Tibet but it's just because that topic is really important to me. I will write about other political topics as well :)