Self-immolation is the practice of setting oneself on fire, often as the last and drastic measure of protest. Over the past year over two dozen monks and nuns have underwent this practice in order to protest China’s repressive actions against culture and religion in Tibet.
Many of these acts of self-immolation have taken place in the Sichuan province of China. The Tibetans that are forced to live in this region have little, if any, democratic
outlets for people to protest and the desperate act of lighting one’s body on fire seems to make the greatest statement. With the Tibetan New Year just around the corner (February 22nd) many fear violent clashes and self-immolators will increase. Already, Chinese military forces have flooded into Tibetan cities and are ready to combat any actions of protest.
So far, the past year has been the bloodiest in term of Tibetans rioting and protesting since 2008, when Chinese troops implemented a deadly crackdown upon Tibet’s capital, Lhasa.
Although China tries to blame the “violence” and spike in self-immolation on the Dalai Lama, claiming the religious leader as forcing monks and nuns to burn themselves, of course these is no evidence that the peace loving Dalai Lama would requires such action. In any case the unique thing about those who self-immolate is that fact that they typically are acting on their own volition. Self-immolation is not considered a terrorist act because it’s not a group or organized effort but solely one individual’s will.
One thing is certain, the sheer rise of self-immolators in Tibet is a scream to western nations that China is abusive and continues to repress these people.
If you want to help those fighting for their freedom in Tibet and feel that the Dalai Lama should be able to return and lead his people sign the Stand up for Tibet Pledge.