Monks and local Tibetans gather at the Rongwo Monastery in Rebkong, eastern Tibet, to pray for Tibetan self-immolator Jamyang Palden, who passed away on September 29, 2012 after an ordeal that lasted for more than six months.
DHARAMSHALA, October 5: China has refused to grant permission to an official Australian delegation from visiting Tibet, aimed at examining the reasons for the ongoing wave of self-immolations.
The Australia Tibet Council has been told that Canberra’s request to visit Tibet, which continues to see a growing number of self-immolations, had been rejected.
China’s abject dismissal of Australia’s concerns over the self-immolations came even as a Tibetan writer, Gudrup
set himself on fire in Nagchu, central Tibet yesterday, taking the self-immolation toll inside Tibet to 53. Gudrup called for Tibet’s freedom and return of the Dalai Lama from exile - demands common to the rest of Tibetan self-immolators.
In March this year, Australian ambassador Frances Adamson had sought Beijing’s permission to visit Tibet to “examine the reasons” for the ongoing wave of fiery self-immolations in Tibet. Adamson had also requested the Chinese authorities to allow a visit by the Australian parliamentary delegation.
Tibet is currently closed to outside visitors and journalists with many areas reeling under an undeclared martial law.
Chinese security personnel earlier this year detained several foreign journalists attempting to enter Tibetan areas, including reporters from the BBC and CNN.
However, journalists who have been able to slip through the tight security cordon have described areas in Tibet as a “conflict zone” under “stifling lockdown.”
One of the first reporters to gain access to the Ngaba region, where a large majority of the self-immolations have occurred, a Guardian reporter, revealed that Chinese paramilitaries were trying to “snuff out Tibetan resistance to Beijing's rule with spiked batons, semi-automatic weapons and fire extinguishers.”
A new report
released by a global coalition of Tibet groups on Wednesday blamed “decades of China’s failed policies” in Tibet for causing the ongoing wave of fiery protests in Tibet.
The report outlines China’s attempts to maintain its occupation of Tibet through “Three Pillars of Coercive Control: Military Occupation, Colonial Rule, and Fear and Intimidation,” and challenges China’s leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping, to take “immediate steps towards a just and lasting resolution to the occupation of Tibet, or face greater international condemnation and domestic instability.”
Tibet’s elected leader, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay told reporters at the end of a special meeting called to discuss the crisis in Tibet that Tibetans “do not tolerate China’s present policies and the continued occupation of Tibet.”
“We will do whatever we can to support our brothers and sisters in Tibet and we squarely blame the present tragedy in Tibet on the hard-line policies of the Chinese government,” Sikyong Sangay had said.
The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also recently expressed America's concerns over the increasing instances of self-immolations in Tibet and violations of human rights at a meeting with her Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi.
"The Secretary, as she always does, raised human rights concerns – notably in this particular meeting, concerns about Tibet and increasing pace of immolations," a senior US official said after Clinton met Yang on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York.