8 November 2012
I am sorry to write again so soon but it is impossible not to share with you the deeply distressing news that in the last 24 hours at least five, probably six, Tibetans have self-immolated in Tibet. Confirmed reports say that on 7 November a 23-year old nomad mother Tamdin Tso (right) set light to herself and died in Rebkong, Amdo, whilst in Ngaba three teenage monks did the same; 15-year old Dorjee died and the fate of two 16-year olds, Samdup and Dorjee Kyabone remains uncertain. There are further reports that a Tibetan man staged a self-immolation protest in Driru, Central Tibet, yesterday but no details are available. And just this morning there was another such protest and death, again in Rebkong, by a young man named Kalsang Jinpa.
It's clear that this overwhelming surge in self-immolation protests is directly linked to the opening of China's Communist Party Congress today, at the end of which Xi Jinping and his fellow Politburo Standing Committee members will be named. Hard on the heels of the US Presidential election, this is a very different political process. As Willy Lam, noted academic and China commentator wrote in Foreign Policy, "Sorry, folks: The votes are in, and the ballots have already been counted."
Let's make no mistake, the only people to blame for this self-immolation crisis are China's leaders, who have been responsible for imposing decades of failed policies in Tibet, and creating a situation where ever-increasing numbers of Tibetans feel they have no other recourse than to take such drastic action in protest. China's leadership could stop this crisis if it was to genuinely address Tibetan grievances; and our governments could be doing much, much more to focus the attention of China's government on the severity of the situation in Tibet.
How you can help:
Share the Pledge to Stand up For Tibet: In the last few days you have helped us increase the numbers signing, so we are not far from 60,000. Can you help us build it up even further? If every pledge signatory found one more person to sign, we would double the support for Tibet.
Join the Xi Jinping Tibet Challenge Thunderclap: Xi Jinping and his fellow Politburo Standing Committee members will emerge to face the world in less than one week. As they step on to the world stage we want to create a Xi Jinping Tibet Challenge Thunderclap, to highlight what lies ahead if he refuses to resolve the growing crisis in Tibet.
Donate to support the Tibet movement through the coordinating efforts of the International Tibet Network. Huge thanks to the many of you who have donated already.
Many thanks for your continuing support,
Executive Director, International Tibet Network Secretariat
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