Tibet-self-immolation is the highest form of non-violent struggle

Warning: Undefined property: stdClass::$fload_fulltext in /usr/www/users/tibetn/thetibetpost/templates/ja_teline_v/html/layouts/joomla/content/image/intro.php on line 23
Views and Analysis
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

tibet-self-immolation-2013Dharamshala: - Every day we wake up and switch on our computers, TVs or radios, to learn the latest tragic news from Tibet- be it another self-immolation protest or the Chinese authorities locking down an entire Tibetan town or monastery, or detaining or imprisoning another Tibetan.

Despite international condemnation, Beijing has imposed new criminal laws to crack down on human rights movements in Tibet with no consideration to international law.  These Chinese laws aim to prevent self-immolation protests by severely punishing self-immolators' families on charges of incitement.

Despite what the communist regime, led by the newly appointed President Xi Jinping, says, the international community has clearly indicated that it knows Tibetans are fighting for peace, justice and freedom and are fully committed to non-violent means.

It has now been confirmed that 114 innocent Tibetans have self immolated since 2009. Unlike the 20th century freedom struggles, in which millions died in wars, the Tibetan martyrs of the 21st century have sacrificed their lives for their country without harming their enemies. China is not only the enemy of freedom of the press, it also the enemy of non-violence and peace.

The modern world must learn that non-violence is an effective way of displaying dedication and motivation without harming others. Tibetan people are respected worldwide as a kind, loving and peaceful people, and China should be held responsible for its violent actions.

The self-immolators have not harmed a single Chinese person, but have simply voiced their protest against the authorities. Clear evidence of this can be found in the messages they have left behind. The international community should take note of this and offer support to the grief-stricken families of those who have died.

Beijing's accusations over the of self-immolations are groundless, with the Chinese authorities providing false grounds for the acts in an attempt to sway the minds of the international community. Beijing is the only the regime which blames His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Tibetans in exile for this crisis.

When we open our eyes to take a wider perspective, we see that Tibet is not the only victim of the Chinese regime. The people of Eastern Turkestan and Inner Mongolia face the same problems, and they also criticise China for committing cultural genocide in their territories.

Beijing continues to rule these regions with an iron fist, claiming they are a part of China, and using economic pressure to force other countries to back down from intervention, on the basis that they should not interfere with 'internal' matters – when morally, the international community should be taking action to address these issues.

The Chinese regime is powerful and armed with every kind of modern weaponry – except for a weapon that can prevent Tibetans from setting themselves on fire, or one that can stop that fire from spreading.

If only China could see that it already has the tools to stop the self-immolations – namely dialogue, the easing of restrictions and the granting of genuine freedom of religion. But the hubris and deep-set habits of that powerful state apparently leave it blind to the answer.

Imagine a world in which China wisely relaxed its repressive grip on Tibet, respected the religious practices of the Tibetan people by withdrawing its cadres from monasteries, and began open negotiations with the exile Central Tibetan Administration. China's leadership was once able to compromise and show respect for the differences between itself and Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. It now needs to approach the Tibet issue in a similar way.

This century has seen the fall of totalitarian regimes across the world. But China's is the cruelest regime on earth. Hundreds of writers, intellectuals and spiritual leaders are imprisoned or 'disappear' every year, and have included the Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo and eleventh Panchen Lama. Under its one-party system, China is unaccountable for the way it implements, or fails to implement, its own rules, laws and systems.

It is time for the Chinese people to wake up, or be woken up, to realise what kind of country they live in. They have every right to know that there are only a few totalitarian states left on this earth, most of which are now turning towards democracy and open society.

Let us fight together for democracy, peace and freedom, using logic and non-violence to change this corrupted world, including the Chinese communist regime, for the better , in the name of bequeathing a peaceful world to our future generations.