Disappointment As Tibetan Immolations Are Ignored


Lobsang Sangay, the political leader of Tibetan exiles said on Monday that he was disappointed that the self-immolations by dozens of Tibetans had not received the same global attention as that of the similar suicide that sparked the Arab spring.

Sangay said that the immolations were drastic actions that people now had to take because other forms of protest against China’s rule over Tibet had been prevented. To date, approximately 50 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in the past two years.

While Beijing has accused the Tibetan leaders of encouraging the suicides, Sangay denies that is what they are doing. Instead he says while they themselves condemn the incidents, these protesters are dying for a reason and he needs to highlight why. He called on other countries to start paying attention to the actions of his people and their plight.

“Ignoring us or not supporting us might send a message to other marginalised groups around the world that perhaps it is not worth investing in democracy and non-violence,” he said.

Sangay became the head of Tibet’s exile administration last year when the Dalai Lama stepped down. While he gave up his political leadership however, the Dalai Lama remains the Tibetan spiritual leader.

Since he has taken over the reins of leadership, Sangay remains committed to a dialogue with China and achieving a peaceful autonomy for Tibet within the framework of the Chinese constitution. Past talks between the two parties have made very little progress.

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