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Five suicides due to draconian Covid measures in Lhasa, says TCHRD

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Location of the suicides indicated by red dots (Map/TCHRD)

By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, Sept. 30: The Dharamshala-based research group Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) said that five known deaths by means of suicide have taken place primarily due to the draconian measures adopted by the Chinese government under the Zero-Covid policy, which has been widely criticized both inside Tibet and abroad. The report claimed that five Tibetans committed suicide in a span of three days from September 23 to 25 in the capital city of Lhasa.

A widely circulated video clip of an unidentified person jumping from a building which shocked netizens and highlighted the extend of the situation in Tibet, is said to be from Gakyiling neighbourhood in Lhasa city according to information published on platforms such as Weibo and Wechat which are popular social media sites in China. The report gave four estimated locations of where those five people took their own lives, “Five people who died of suicide on 23, 24 and 25 September were from Lhasa Comprehensive Protective Tariff Zone no. 2 (West Lhasa), the Bayi community (southwest Norbulingka), Lanting apartment (near Tibet University), and Gakyiling neighbourhood 3 (east of Lhasa).”

A post from a user on Weibo dated September 24 alongside a picture of an apartment building in Gakyiling neighbourhood read, “It rained today in Lhasa as if to mourn the person who died. Only the dead can reach heaven. The human realm is hell. Only those living in Lhasa can understand the situation of the epidemic in Lhasa. I request everyone to look after us. I request the authorities to stop deceiving the masses. The masses have suffered too much.”

One of the posts that TCHRD found online had a picture of a dead person on a flight of stairs with an alarming message that read, “What does Covid prevention and control mean to us? Despair, desperation. No one speaks up. Even when someone speaks, [his voice] cannot go beyond the Dangla Mountains [central Tibet]. These lives must be happy in heaven because they have escaped this hell realm.” Chinese censors have already removed these posts critical of the government measures and persecuted users who post any other narratives besides theirs. One of the comments on such posts read, “Extreme repression has cost the lives of four persons. This cannot be tolerated further. But [one] should not have protested by giving away one’s life.”

A rare apology made by Lhasa officials admitting failure in their management this month and instead punitive measures have been ramped up. Information through TCHRD sources in Lhasa revealed that “all those who had spoken out after the issuance of the formal apology had been detained”. The news of detention from several affected places continue to be reported; rights group Tibet Watch on Monday said that a Tibetan teacher was arrested in Chongchi County on August 14 merely for posting about the lockdown in Lhasa. His current whereabouts remain unknown for over one and half months since his arrest.

One Response

  1. It’s a terrible tragedy that five fellow Tibetans have lost their lives! The CCP is totally inhuman! It doesn’t care for the people at all. The footage coming from Shanghai said it all. Be it those who were protesting against the banks who stole all their life saving or the people in quarantine, they were treated with extreme cruelty! In order to deal with protestors, they brought white shirted thugs who were probably Triad criminal gangs hired by the CCP to support the police. The police did little while the white shirted thugs beat people viciously and kicked on their heads. In some cases the medics were themselves beating people viciously and throwing them on the ground. These were very fit men dressed as medics but they were said to be PLA thugs! I don’t think there is such violence in any other country perpetrated on innocent civilians. The way the CCP treats its citizens is more like a crocodile mauling its prey than another human being treating a fellow human being!
    The cries of the poor incarcerated Tibetans without being fed for days was shocking beyond belief! It was gut wrenching! How could they starve people in the name of zero covet. In East Turkistan 23 died of hunger! Even when they fed them in Tibet, the food was mouldy, rotten and piggery food? Some brave Tibetans were heartbroken and spoke for the unfortunate fellow compatriots despite the high risk of imprisonment, torture and death! They pleaded the authorities to feed them at least with tsampa!
    On the one hand the CCP peddles, “Lhasa is the happiest city” but the reality is it’s hell on earth. If they are unable feed people, why on earth did they take them from their homes in the first place? By taking people from their homes and putting them all together, the CCP looks like deliberately infecting the population rather than isolate them! Being lobbed into congested buses and then thrown into dingy rooms where there are no windows, no bed and no bedding, what on earth were the CCP officials trying to achieve? You have to wonder, if they are not gripped by insanity! In China people were taken from their homes in buses and the bus over turned killing some two scores of innocent people for nothing! It’s hard to believe how totally out of touch the CCP is!!!
    The Tibetan Government in exile must not remain reticent about such inhumanity inflicted on fellow Tibetans and act like a responsible Government for the Tibetan people in distress and not be in cahoots with the most vile regime on earth. If it believes it represents the six million Tibetans in Tibet, it’s high time, it wakes up to the horror of the CCP regime and stand up for the Tibetan people and be counted. It’s in such times, it should act to drum up support for Tibet from the international community and also give hope to the desperate people of Tibet that their Government in exile is not sleeping at the wheels. The CTA spokesperson and others are using words like རྒྱ་ནག་ལ་ཞུས་པ་ཡིན་ It’s a shame that they are treating themselves subservient to the CCP regime. Tibet and China were two nations on equal footing. Tibet was illegally occupied exactly like Putin’s Russia is occupying and incorporating four Ukrainian provinces with Russia as this goes to press. Tibet and China are historically two nations with equal status and power but today it’s under illegal occupation by the most dastardly regime! Don’t betray the history of Tibet!

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