As Tibetans Burn Themselves to Protest Chinese Rule , Communists in Beijing Stress 'Happiness' in Tibet. -
Tibetan capital Lhasa, we were instructed, has been voted the happiest city in China four times in a five-year period. “Happiness is dynamic, happiness need to be experienced,” enthused Che Dalha, the Communist Party secretary for Lhasa. “Today’s Lhasa is just like what they sing in the song: The sky in Lhasa is the most blue; the clouds in Lhasa are the most white; the water in Lhasa is the clearest; the air in Lhasa is the freshest; the sunshine in Lhasa is the brightest; and the people in Lhasa are the happiest.”
The word “happy” was a mantra during the meeting, perhaps only rivaled in usage by Hu’s concept of scientific development. (Conveniently, scientific development is what helps make Tibetans feel particularly happy.) Nowhere was it mentioned that many Tibetans feel as though they have not profited equally from the region’s economic expansion, as an influx of Han migrants flood the region and snap up some of the best jobs. No cadre at the Great Hall of the People admitted that many of the new roads are designed to truck out Tibet’s bountiful and largely untapped natural resources.
Tibetan Protests Erupt in Western China
Reports from China’s western Qinghai Province say hundreds or even thousands of Tibetans marched on government offices Friday. The protests come amid attempts by China’s government to maintain social stability during a political transition.
Tibetans marched on government offices in Rebkong, a region of eastern Tibet, after a series of self-immolations that drew international attention. Estimates ranged from hundreds to thousands of protesters who began gathering on the streets at 5:00 a.m. Many said they were speaking out against China’s education system.
“Our sources have confirmed that many of the students have been calling for freedom of language and for the return of his Holiness,” said Stephanie Brigden, executive director of rights group Free Tibet.
Sixth Tibetan sets self on fire in China
A Tibetan man set himself on fire in China as the country’s leaders gathered to begin a pivotal leadership transition, the sixth person to do so in 48 hours, the Tibetan exile government said.
“It is confirmed that this is the sixth, that he has immolated, but we don’t have details about his age or name,” spokesman Lobsang Choedak told AFP from the Indian town of Dharamshala, the home of the exile government.
Individual self-immolations to protest Chinese rule in Tibet have occurred regularly since March 2011, but this is the first time such a large number of burnings have happened on the same day.
Three teenaged monks set themselves ablaze in a Tibetan-inhabited area of Aba County in Sichuan province, the focus of previous protests. One of them died on the spot, the press department for the exile government said.
“The self-immolations in Tibet are an appeal to the international community, to the Chinese government and to the Chinese people as human beings to hear their cry for help,” Dicki Chhoyang, information secretary for the government, said.
In addition to the three burnings in Sichuan, a fourth occurred in Huangnan prefecture in Qinghai province where a 23-year-old woman self-immolated and a fifth happened in the Tibet Autonomous Region, the exile government said.
Two protesters are confirmed dead and the whereabouts of the others are unknown.
“These protests are aimed at sending the next generation of China’s unelected regime a clear signal that Tibetans will continue to fight for their freedom despite China’s efforts to suppress and intimidate them,” Stephanie Brigden, director of the Free Tibet campaign group said in a statement.
A total of 68 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in the protest, of which 54 have died, according to figures from the government in exile, which has been based in India since Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959.
China blames what it calls the “Dalai clique” for fomenting unrest in Tibet and orchestrating the self-immolations.
Last week, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay urged China to address Tibetans’ grievances saying: “I recognise Tibetans’ intense sense of frustration and despair which has led them to resort to such extreme means”.
Pillay said she was disturbed by “continuing allegations of violence against Tibetans seeking to exercise their fundamental human rights of freedom of expression, association and religion”.
China rebuffed the criticism and expressed “strong dissatisfaction”.
The Tibetan government in exile, which is not recognised by any foreign state, is looking for cause for optimism from the new Chinese leadership under Xi, the 59-year-old son of a Communist revolutionary.
Xi’s father, Xi Zhongxun, met and came to know the Dalai Lama in Beijing in the early 1950s, before the Tibetan spiritual leader fled after a failed uprising.
Xi senior, a party official at the time, later became a liberal vice premier known to be sympathetic towards minorities, and Tibetan exiles and analysts raise the possibility that such thinking may have passed down a generation.
Xi junior’s true political leanings are largely unknown, though he has expressed the government’s routine disdain for the Dalai Lama and also vowed to “smash” any attempt to destroy stability in Tibet.
“We hope that the new leadership will demonstrate greater wisdom by understanding that addressing the issue of Tibet is in China’s long-term interest,” said Chhoyang.
“We are ready at any time, any location to resume dialogue,” she added.
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Huffington Post: Tibet Self-Immolation Wave Among History's Biggest -
Dozens of Tibetans have set themselves on fire over the past year to protest Chinese rule, sometimes drinking kerosene to make the flames explode from within, in one of the biggest waves of political self-immolations in recent history.
But the stunning protests are going largely unnoticed in the wider world – due in part to a smothering Chinese security crackdown in the region that prevents journalists from covering them.
While a single fruit seller in Tunisia who lit himself on fire in December 2010 is credited with igniting the Arab Spring democracy movement, the Tibetan self-immolations have so far failed to prompt the changes the protesters demand: an end to government interference in their religion and a return of the exiled Dalai Lama.
Still, experts describe self-immolations as, historically, a powerful form of protest, and the ones in Tibet might yet lead to some broader uprising or stir greater international pressure on Beijing.
The Tibetan protesters have burned themselves in market places, main streets, military camps and other symbols of government authority in western China, mostly in a single remote county. Most of the protesters have been members of the Buddhist clergy. The latest were two monks, aged 21 and 22, on Friday.
“In scale, this is one of the biggest waves of self-immolation in the last six decades,” said Oxford University sociologist Michael Biggs, who studies politically driven suicides. “Particularly that it’s in one small area of China and in one small ethnic group, definitely, in terms of the intensity compared to the population, it seems to be much greater.”
The pace of 32 self-immolations in little more than a year is more rapid than the suicide-by-fire protests that punctuated the Vietnam War and the pro-democracy movement in South Korea, experts say. It is surpassed only by the more than 100 students in India who burned themselves to protest a caste-based affirmative action proposal in 1990, Biggs said.
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A child wipes tears from her mother’s face during the funeral for Jamphel Yeshi
In Death, Jamphel Yeshi Has Become the Face of Tibetan Dissent
Jamphel Yeshi, a Tibetan exile who set himself on fire to protest Chinese rule, died from his burns in New Delhi on Wednesday — and has now become the symbol and a martyr for Tibetan suffering. ”In the early evening, more than 200 people walked through the town center waving Tibetan flags and carrying banners that proclaimed Jamphel Yeshi, who died on Wednesday, a martyr,” reports The New York Times’ Edward Wong in Dharamasala, India.
Yeshi set himself on fire in New Delhi on Monday, making a statement right before Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to the BRIC summit. His death on Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reports, came just hours before Hu landed in the city. As both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal confirm, Yeshi isn’t the first Tibetan exile to set himself on fire in India — The Wall Street Journal reports that at least 30 have taken place in China’s Tibetan regions. What makes Yeshi’s different, as The New York Times details, is that Chinese forces strangled coverage of these immolations — with only a few showing up as grainy video or cell phone images. Yeshi’s self-immolation was caught by international photographers. (WARNING: Very graphic.)
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
Tibetan in Delhi Sets Self Alight to Protest Chinese Leader’s Visit
A protest march in the capital took a fiery turn when a Tibetan exile self-immolated Monday afternoon.
“From head to toe, he was full of fire,” said Dorjee Tseten, the national director of Students for a Free Tibet, who witnessed the act.
The exile, Jampa Yeshi, who is believed to be 26 years old, set himself on fire at Jantar Mantar, the site of frequent protests, at 12:25 p.m., shortly after a Tibetan rally made its way back from Ramlila Maidan, another popular ground for political demonstrations in New Delhi. The protesters were agitating against the India visit of Hu Jintao, the Chinese president, for the BRICS Summit, an economic meeting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, later this week.
A Tibetan exile, Jamphel Yeshi, 27, runs after setting himself on fire during a protest against the upcoming visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to India in New Delhi March 26, 2012. Hu is scheduled to attend the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit in India on March 29. Yeshi escaped from Tibet in 2006 and has been living in New Delhi for two years.
Australia says its ambassador to China is requesting permission to visit Tibet to investigate why protesters are setting themselves on fire. -
Foreign Minister Bob Carr told the Senate on Monday that Ambassador Frances Adamson “will be seeking today to travel to Tibet to see for herself the grievances which have given rise to the self-immolations.”
She will also request separate permission for Australian lawmakers to visit the Himalayan region.
About 30 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since last year to protest suppression of their Buddhist culture and call for the return the Dalai Lama, their spiritual leader who fled during a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule.
Beijing accuses the Dalai Lama’s supporters of encouraging the self-immolations.
(Source: , via dongdey)
Tibet action in Times Square yesterday.
Photo by Ian MacKenzie
#Chinese #Trojans used to attack pro-Tibet organisations -
By John E Dunn, 14 March 2012
A malware campaign targeting activists at pro-Tibet organisations could be the work of the same Chinese group behind a major attack on the chemical industry last year, researchers from AlienVault have suggested.
The new attack uses a malicious Word attachment sent by email to organisations including the Central Tibet Administration and International Campaign for Tibet using English-language subject lines promoting a Tibetan religious festival.
This attachment attempts to exploit a relatively old Microsoft vulnerability (CVE-2010-3333), to launch GhostNet’s Gh0st RAT Trojan, normally designed to steal data or even record sound files via a PC’s microphone. It is also capable of performing realtime surveillance on an infected machine.
AlienVault notes a number of similarities to the Nitro campaign between July and September 2011, a large-scale attack on the chemical and defence industry against up to 48 different companies.
The malware used in the Nitro attacks was Poison Ivy, a Chinese-developed Trojan related to Gh0st RAT, using a VeriSign digital certificate issued to a Chinese company before being revoked on 12 December; embedded within the code calling the Trojan is the string ‘ByShe’, identical to that used by Nitro.
The modus operandi of attacking political organisations is also consistent with Nitro, believed to have started life with a concerted campaign against human rights groups in early 2011.
“It is no surprise that Tibetan organisations are being targeted – they have been for years – and we continue to see Chinese actors breaking into numerous organisations with impunity,” said Alien Vault’s Jaime Blasco.
“Unfortunately, in this particular case, these attacks may have a direct impact on the abuse of human rights in these regions.”
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