Skip to comments.As Self-Immolations Approach 100, Some Tibetans Are Asking if It Is Worth It
Posted on 02/02/2013 5:03:01 PM PST by Brad from Tennessee
NEW DELHI A crowd of Tibetans came here to Indias capital last week, bearing flags and political banners and a bittersweet mixture of hope and despair. A grim countdown was under way: The number of Tibetans who have set themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule in Tibet had reached 99, one short of an anguished milestone.
Yet as that milestone hung over the estimated 5,000 Tibetans who gathered in a small stadium, so did an uncertainty about whether the rest of the world was paying attention at all. In speeches, Tibetan leaders described the self-immolations as the desperate acts of a people left with no other way to draw global attention to Chinese policies in Tibet.
What is forcing these self-immolations? Lobsang Sangay, prime minister of the Tibetan government in exile, asked in an interview. There is no freedom of speech. There is no form of political protest allowed in Tibet.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I curse the Chinese every day over the Tibet takeover. Dam’em.
The Chinese have the option of immolating all the Tibetans.
Too bad they don’t have the same PR firm that the Occupy Wallstreeters had.........our MSM.
Sounds like a burning question.
Tibetans know if it’s worthwhile.
While technically that was part of China all along (for millennia) it was only in modern times that the Chinese government took it upon themselves to exercise brutality in the region. The Tibetans are peaceful people, but they were a pain to the monopoly of power that Communist China wanted to keep.
I didn’t say “some Tibetans.”
Get the pun, son, BURNING question?
Wonder how they feel about the right to keep and bear arms...
The Tibetans are peaceful people (yeah you said that)
People who do NOT live in fear are peaceful. They live FREE.
"some Tibetans" is part of the thread title.
You (seem) to be intelligent. Some Tibetans choose to end their life in protest. A protest that CONSUMES their lives. But no others.
Yeah. "I" would rather live my life under a regime that sucks the life and future of a life from myselves or any progeny before I would rather LIVE FREE.
Me personally? I am going to live free.
So, the monks are pacifists and refuse to fight. But, they set themselves on fire to send a message of.....what exactly?
Seems like they must think the media will somehow spotlight their issues to the world. One problem though. The leftist media (such as the NY Times) is 100% behind the communists and are communists themselves so there is no way they will help get the word out on Tibet. So it really is pointless. They need to figure it out. Passive resistance is no longer an option today.
it’s one of the stupidest things a person can do. nobody cares if you starve yourself. nobody cares if you torch yourself.
“BOY” — is that your signature, son?
I’m saying the Tibetans are not to blame for China’s ham handedness upon them. Cheese whiz.
I guess the NYTs can claim they have covered it now but I don't recall hearing much about this in the very liberal American MSM. I suppose they didn't want to undercut former Sec State Hillbilly Clinton whose first comments as Sec State were, to paraphrase, "we're not going to press human rights issues with China because we owe them so much money."
I’m reminded of the Patton quote about dying for ones country versus “making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.”
You aren’t to blame for any of the horror your President is laying on me...
Utter non sequitur, lad
It is a shame what is happening in Tibet. I look at my grandkids and think about what their future will be. It doesn’t make me want to kill myself but it does set a fire under my ass...
Burning oneself in protest can only get the media’s attention for so long before it is sloughed off as commonplace and a non-story.
That is unless the media is anti-American and gets the story wrong, as the US media did in Vietnam.
However, Tibet is in an iron grip of communist occupation and there is nothing physical that they can do about it.
Waging underground psychological warfare for the longhaul is the only real alternative. Teach new generations about their heritage, language and religion. Maybe someday their children will thrown off Red Chinese oppression, but not today, or next week, or next year, or even in the next couple of decades.
Hasn’t worked in Cuba, No. Korea, Occupied Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, etc.
That is utterly false 20th Century ChiCom propaganda that the western press has dutifully repeated since the '50s.
History of Tibet
The government of Namri Songtsen sent two embassies to China in 608 and 609, marking the appearance of Tibet on the international scene.
Tibetan empire greatest extent 780s-790s CE
The first documented contact between the Tibetans and the Mongols occurred when the missionary Tsang-pa Dung-khur (gTsang-pa Dung-khur-ba) and six disciples met Genghis Khan, probably on the Tangut border where he may have been taken captive, around 12212. He left Mongolia as the Quanzhen sect of Daoism gained the upper hand, but remet Genghis Khan when Mongols conquered Tangut shortly before the Khan's death.
The Mongols invaded Tibet in 1240, with a small campaign led by the Mongol general Doorda Darkhan, that consisted of 30,000 troops resulting in 500 casualties The Mongols withdrew their soldiers from Tibet in 1241, as all the Mongol princes were recalled back to Mongolia in preparation for the appointment of a successor to Ögedei Khan. They returned to the region in 1244, when Köten delivered an ultimatum, summoning the abbot of Sakya (Kun-dga' rGyal-mtshan) to be his personal chaplain, on pains of a larger invasion were he to refuse. Sakya Paṇḍita took almost 3 years to obey the summons and arrive in Kokonor in 1246, and met Prince Köten in Lanzhou the following year. He prevailed on the Mongols to end their extermination of Chinese farmers on the grounds that they were pests ruining good grazing lands. The Mongols had annexed Amdo and Kham to the east, and appointed Sakya Paṇḍita Viceroy of Central Tibet by the Mongol court in 1249.
Tibet was incorporated into the Mongol Empire, retaining nominal power over religious and regional political affairs, while the Mongols managed a structural and administrative rule over the region, reinforced by the rare military intervention. This existed as a "diarchic structure" under the Yuan emperor, with power primarily in favor of the Mongols. In the Mongol Empire, Tibet was managed by the Bureau of Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs, or Xuanzheng Yuan, separate from the main provinces of Song Dynasty China.
(That was as close as the Chinese ever got to any control over Tibet. But it was the Mongols who were really in charge. Other accounts have Tibet being put in charge of some of China's affairs by the Mongols as somewhat of a settlement of a stalemate between the Mongols and Tibetans.)
One of the department's purposes was to select a dpon-chen, usually appointed by the lama and confirmed by the Mongol emperor in Beijing. "The Mongol dominance was most indirect: Sakya lamas remained the sources of authority and legitimacy, while the dpon-chens carried on the administration at Sakya. However there was no doubt as to who had the political clout. When a dispute developed between dpon-chen Kung-dga' bzari-po and one of 'Phags-pa's relatives at Sakya, the Chinese troops were dispatched to execute the dpon-chen." (Dispatched by the Mongols.)
The Phagmodru (Phag mo gru) myriarchy centered at Neudong (Sne'u gdong) was granted as an appanage to Hülegü in 1251. The area had already been associated with the Lang (Rlang) family, and with the waning of Ilkhanate influence it was ruled by this family, within the Mongol-Sakya framework headed by the Mongol appointed Pönchen (Dpon chen) at Sakya. The areas under Lang administration were continually encroached upon during the late 13th and early 14th centuries. Jangchub Gyaltsän (Byang chub rgyal mtshan, 13021364) saw these encroachments as illegal and sought the restoration of Phagmodru lands after his appointment as the Myriarch in 1322. After prolonged legal struggles, the struggle became violent when Phagmodru was attacked by its neighbours in 1346. Jangchub Gyaltsän was arrested and released in 1347. When he later refused to appear for trial, his domains were attacked by the Pönchen in 1348. Janchung Gyaltsän was able to defend Phagmodru, and continued to have military successes, until by 1351 he was the strongest political figure in the country. Military hostilities ended in 1354 with Jangchub Gyaltsän as the unquestioned victor. He continued to rule central Tibet until his death in 1364, although he left all Mongol institutions in place as hollow formalities. Power remained in the hands of the Phagmodru family until 1434. Tibet would be independent from the mid-14th century on, for nearly 400 years.
Maybe it’s this factoid that brings about the confusion:
“Modern man first inhabited the Tibetan Plateau at least twenty one thousand years ago. This population was largely replaced around 3,000 BC by Neolithic immigrants from northern China.”
Of course this is a situation like Britain claiming the American colonies that were largely populated from its own population. Fortunately the colonies were able to repulse this claim. And if Tibet could get independent of China it would be doubtless better off.
China bars most foreign journalists from Tibet. This is understandable in light of 50 years of genocide, ethnic cleansing, religious and political repression and the theft of Tibet's natural resources. The self-immolations may be inspired by the Buddhist protests in Vietnam in the early 1960’s. That publicity helped persuade the Kennedy Administration to back a military coup to depose President Ngo Dinh Diem.
It's even more remote than that. It's more like Norwegians claiming that they used to rule Britain because Vikings had, at one time, a foothold in what eventually became Britain. There was nothing even remotely resembling a single country called China in 3,000 BC and 'northern China' could easily be thought of as Mongol territory (depending upon how 'northern' we're talking about) assuming there was anything resembling a pre-Mongolian culture that far back.
It's a pretty desperate way to send a message in any case. There was an armed resistance for some time but they finally quit precisely because continued resistance was clearly nothing more than suicide. Unfortunately the Chinese can't take full submission for an answer. They have to keep on trying to beat them down even more.
They used to take anything they could get until we chickened out and stopped arming and training them.
From a New Yorker article:
Why? What motivated them? I put the question to any number of historians of self-immolation, but the best answer came from a scholar based in Washington, D.C., Timothy Dickinson. Fire is the most dreaded of all forms of death, he said, so the sight of someone setting themselves on fire is simultaneously an assertion of intolerability and, frankly, of moral superiority. You say I would never have the guts to do that. Its not that hes trying to tell me something, but that hes commanding me. This isnt insanity. Its a terrible act of reason.
No bastard ever won a war by burning for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard burn for his country.
That is interesting. That is possibly the best reasoning for it that I’ve ever heard.
There is no war. The last tiny semblance of resistance was crushed in 1974. There is only oppression, relinquishing ever more control over lands, businesses and thoughts. Resistance in any manner is met by trucks full of Chinese troops with AK-47s who kill the resistor and his/her family if they can find them.
It seems pretty clear here that within the scope of what China calls its history life (6000 years), Northern Chinese didn’t just “get a foothold” in Tibet, they outnumbered any previous inhabitants.
Now when China effectively relinquished Tibet (so much is not said about the independence years, but I assume China just didn’t want to bother), should that count for good? Being a native of a young country I would say yes by the standards I know, but it’s probably more kind of like how China thinks of Taiwan.
The Chinese never held an inch of Tibet before 1950. Not for one minute. The other way around though, Tibet was in control of a great deal of what is now Chinese territory.
So is that report that Northern Chinese peoples went to Tibet and comprised the majority of it in 3000 BC, simply false? That has to be something more than a “foothold.” Unless this exodus was expressly meant to be a departure from China, rather than an act carried out in China’s name. From the way you’re approaching it, I suspect that those ancient Northern Chinese are your ancestors.
The radical left and its liberal enablers care not a wit about the plight of Tibetans, simply because Tibetans are mostly trying to preserve their spiritual practices, culture and language. As such Tibetans are mostly conservative, anti-communist ( the communists invaded them), and morally upright.
The Left in America could therefore care less about Tibetans.They would rather lick the arses of Chinese communists.
That is the sentence that follows the 3000 BC migration cite. What you're missing is that it doesn't say in there that any of those people, pre-historic or contemporary, are closely related to any modern Chinese. Of which there are several strains not just one. Tibetans are genetically a mixture of several different tribes of people including the red-headed white-skinned people who inhabited some parts of today's northwestern Chinese territory. The roots of their language is unrelated to Chinese as well. And there are differences among Tibetans themselves from the general populations of western, eastern and Lhasa Valley Tibetans. None of which are closely related to Han Chinese.
But even having pointed to all of that lack of relation to the Chinese it is still not the point. The claim that Tibet was ever part of China is a nationalistic claim meaning there was some sovereign control of one national group over the other. In 3000 BC neither China nor Tibet existed as distinct tribal units much less nations. From the time either of them did become distinct in culture and language only Tibet ever held control over some of China's territory and governance as a conquering nation.
While technically that was part of China all along (for millennia)>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Wrong. You read revisionist history. At one point China paid tribute to Tibet. Read the true history, not the China version.
China didn't exist for a couple of thousand years in that future.
I suspect that those ancient Northern Chinese are your ancestors.
Mostly Scots, some English, some Irish and some French.
European leftists are just as bad. It was the western press of Europe that carried the water for the Chinese version of events (including the phony history) during the ‘50s invasion of Tibet. As for the history; China never made those territorial claims prior to the 20th century as far as I have been able to find. That was a Mao thing.
On second thought it is possible that my ancestors came from some area that is now China. Those fair-skinned red-headed people of the eastern steppes are thought to have migrated to north western Europe I believe and they may have spawned my Scottish ancestors. muawiyah would be the one to ask about that.
China never made those territorial claims prior to the 20th century as far as I have been able to find. That was a Mao thing.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Exactly correct , my FRiend.
Of course the “fundamentalist” queer regent of the Dalai Lama also helped in the destruction of Tibet. He took funds and resources otherwise dedicated to one of the 5 major Tibetan Clans who rotated their military in and out of the
Gelugpa imposed duty of defending the passes of Tibet against invasion on a five year rotation, and spent it on “art.” Otherwise the Chinese would have had to rely only on air transport of troops, which was impossible in the early years.It only took a few thousand Tibetan men to close those passes, to keep the Communists out.That military presence just were not there because the Dalai Lama’s Regent would not pay them as had been the custom for hundreds of years.
Few know of this history because of the currently redefined version of history of the Dalai Lama’s government in exile.The Chinese communists took full advantage of the weakness of the Dalai Lama’s Regent. The Chinese claim that Tibet was a part of China is a complete and utter fabrication.Tibet and China had diplomatic and religious ties to Tibet. Tibet was never a part of China, nor was it ever a colony of China.The Communist Chinese simply disappeared over 2 million Tibetans and subjugated a free nation while the United Nations sat there and watched , doing nothing.And then the Dalai Lama made a huge mistake. He told Tibetans not to resist in the early days. Many fought on, especially the Khampas in Eastern Tibet and Mustang, but it was not enough to defend the nation. An early uprising would heave seen the throat of every Chinese in the Country slit, but that too was prevented by the Dalai Lama.
I think the Dalai Lama is a wonderful human being, but he was not a very astute politician.He made the mistake of letting compassion principle separate from the protection principle.They two are actually inseparable, and are as one.
AAs a result, the CHICOMS now destroy the Tibetan people.
The Tibetans who self immolate themselves are wasting an opportunity. If Tibetans must die, they should become suicide bombers and just walk into the Cental Chinese Government Offices in Lhasa and touch themselves off.
Self immolation simply makes the Chinese applaud the fact that there is one less Tibetan radical alive.
The fact is that the Chinese should leave Tibet forever.Only force will make them leave, nothing else.
This seems to be related to latitude, and allows more light to penetrate into your body so you can produce more Vitamin D. That allows you to settle even further North.
Red Hair was developed two times that we know of ~ with entirely different genes doing the job. It, too, is probably related to long term climate ~ an area not only in the North, but also with lots of fog! Think of it as 'super light'. A recent discussion I read about it said everybody continues to produce melanin. They do that even if they have these light skin genes. The light skin genes do several things ~ they suppress melanin production, but not entirely, since you need the stuff for other things as well. The European version also converts some of it to a RED/YELLOW chemical in a minority of Europeans (the sacred 300,000,000 red heads).
As these same people age they lose some of the capacity to totally suppress melanin and it will start showing up in their hair ~ which is why you have naturally red and strawberry blond people grow old and develop darker hair. In younger people that process can also be seen as FRECKLES.
Then there are people who naturally produce multi-colored hair ~ which is indicative of competing melanin suppression systems irregularly distributed in your body's cells.
Old timers here remember my complaint about cataract surgery depriving me of my naturally bright green eyes with their golden center. Well, they're back. The bad blue eyes began to produce melanin, and the anti-melanin genes began breaking it down. What that means is most of my eye color was located in two layers ~ the top of my lens and the inside of my cornea ~ so when the lens pocket was vacuumed by the eye surgeon it was all sucked out. Now, as i'm getting older, and producing less and less anti-melanin chemicals, the melanin has been able to use a single surface ~ the inside of my cornea ~ to build back some natural flashing green color.
The European people with the most intense melanin production system, and the red hair gene, are demonstrably derived from the Western European Ice Age Refugia population ~ and they lived in Northern Spain/Southern France in an unglaciated region.
They are the primary source of red hair in this world. They began moving out of the area toward the end of the ice age but before its peak about 24,000 years ago ~ and made it to North Africa, Scandinavia, Africa and North America. They appear to have stopped moving to North America (across the Atlantic ice bridge) by the peak of 20,000 years ago. Then, when the ice began the big meltdown they moved North in Europe to Scandinavia as fast as the ice melted. Light skin and blond hair may have shown up in European derived populations with that particular movement. The ability to drink cows milk as an adult didn't develop universally at that time, which is definitely in line with the thinking that the far north Scandinavian population experienced an extended isolation from the more Southerly populations for several thousandyears ~ an inability to digest milk sugar continues on in the far north even today ~
The answer to the question ~ where did you get Red Headed Chinese ~ is currently addressed by noting that these people's DNA also shows genes typical of East Asians. They are mixed. Some had pronounced European features and others pronounced East Asian features, but they were also mixed culturally, so you find those tartans on some of those East Asian looking mummies as well.
These folks arrived together in that part of the world about 5,000 to 6,000 years ago. The red heads necessarily came from the Far West and North ~ where red heads are still numerous. Many archaeologists are prepared now to say these people are ancestral to the Tocharians ~ who spoke a sort of Gaellic.
We know the Gaellic speaking peoples had a major settlement area in Central/Eastern Anatolia ~still, notice that jump I just made from 18000 years ago to 5000 years ago ~ just moving your camp a couple of times a year could, over that period, enable your tribe to go almost everywhere in Eurasia!
Peeps moved away ~ they came back ~ they went North, they went South, the Sa'ami seem to be genetically ancestral to the first Paleolithic populations in North America, North Africa, parts of West Africa, and various spots in Eastern Europe. They are even ancestral to the Yakuts-Sakha. Before the age of DNA analysis there were those who imagined the Sa'ami came from the far east ~ but lo and behold, they are Western European in origin. At the same time East Asians have a 5% European ancestry, and Europeans, in general, have a 5% East Asian origin.
That's probably from nothing more than random genetic spread that occurs when you tribes trade their daughters to other neighboring tribes, and that, of course, is what human beings do to maintain genetic diversity. Those who don't just kinda' die off and disappear, so we don't know anything about those guys.
The differences between Tibetan people and Chinese people derive from the last 6,000 years of history ~ not from any true genetic difference.
Now there is a gene that popped up in the Tibetan plateau that enables SOME PEOPLE to handle high altitude oxygen levels better than others ~ and this gene is fairly widespread among ALL traditional Western Chinese ethnic groups as well as the Japanese ~ who haven't lived in China for a pretty long time BTW.
That one gene suggests much of China was settled by people coming from the Tibetan plateau, many thousands of years later after having lived in caves in moutains above what is today called Peking.
Back to the Chinese dilemma ~ we can look at their DNA to figure out who they are, but figuring out where they lived is the big question because other than a few hunting camps there don't seem to have been anyone doing anything in the Eastern plains of China until about 10,000 years back. i think that's due to the high density of big cats in the region. The climate anomaly called the Younger Dryass returned that region to hard core ice age desert overnight, and that probably wiped out the cats ~ including several species of Saber Toothed Tigers! The humans in their mountain plateau fastness survived somewhere eh! Actually, a bunch of them could have easily survived the Younger Dryas in the PAC NW, and then migrated back to Asia to repeople Tibet and Siberia, and begin the development of China.
The tribe of the guy that left the copralite in that cave in Oregon might be father to them all!
Of interest to those concerned with how recent some of these movements have been, you find many Japanese ~ particularly in the higher ranked old noble families ~ who look more like Tibetans than they do any other Japanese. That's because, lo and behold, those Tibetans look like the Yakuts Sakha who'd resided in the Eastern regions of India for several hundred years before Buddha ~ and then until about AD200 when the Hindu Revolution drove them back up to Siberia. About 560 AD they invaded Japan but they'd been involved in spreading Zen Buddhism long before then. China is kinda' in between there of course.
Definatly doing it wrong, BUMP
I agree. I think he was just too young and naive. A very realized practitioner but not old enough to be savvy about samsara. In a sense I think he erred on the side of protecting the Dharma instead of the Tibetan people and for that I can't fault him. That goes to show the distinct disadvantage of a leader who is responsible for both the spiritual and secular aspects of a nation.
I understand what you are thinking and feeling about that. Taking some enemy with you has a satisfying ring to it. But taking ten Chinese isn't ten less anything to the Chinese except ten less mouths to feed and ten less males competing for scarce females.
But, as a post earlier on alluded to, there is a psychological hit to the enemy from immolation and by killing some Chinese and introducing the aspect of revenge into the equation that negates the psychological impact. The act of immolation doesn't provoke anger which can be used to motivate counter-revenge. It deprives the Chinese of playing the Victim Card which is a major propaganda tool of socialists, communists and tyrants in general.
The red heads necessarily came from the Far West and North ~ where red heads are still numerous. Many archaeologists are prepared now to say these people are ancestral to the Tocharians ~ who spoke a sort of Gaellic.
So, I had it a little backwards. Some of my Scots ancestors may have wandered off to Asia for a little several thousand year holiday. But my direct ancestors were probably bitter clingers who stuck closely to the Isles. Some might have even come back from their Asian holiday in time to rejoin my tree. Fascinating!
My Mom is one of those sacred freckled red heads though it has mostly turned gray now. I'm one of the multi-colored hair types. Every hair color except jet black. And a red beard now grayed out. When I was younger my hair made quite a display when viewed closely under direct sunlight. From a distance or under dull light it just looks brown.
It sounds like humans in general are wanderers by nature. Thanks again, muawiyah!
That kind of confuses me though. Most basic histories of the Tibetans that I have found cite their linguistic heritage as Tibeto-Burman which I would think would parallel their genetic origins as well.
Real briefly, language and DNA are only broadly connected ~ roughly at the continental landmass level. Tibetans have been moving down hill to China and Mongolia for thousands of years. They are the Chinese!