By Tendar Tsering
Kalon Dicki Chhoyang addressing the press in Dharamshala and all over the world via internet at the DIIR Lhakpa Tsering Hall on February 6, 2012. (Phayul photo)
DHARAMSHALA, February 6: Days after three more Tibetans set their bodies on fire in Tibet, the Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) said it was “deeply concerned and alarmed” over the unending wave of self-immolations and feared of further bloodshed if the situation wasn’t redressed according to the grievances of the Tibetan people.
20 Tibetans have set themselves ablaze demanding the return of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet. Many parts of Tibet remain cut off from outside world with a prevailing situation of undeclared martial law following mass protests in which at least a dozen Tibetans are being feared killed in police firings.
"Drastic actions, such as the self-immolations indicate to us that the Chinese policies in Tibet have reached new levels of repression," said Kalon Dicki Chhoyang, minister of the Department of Information and International Relations, CTA earlier today at a press conference. Chhoyang corroborated: “these actions convey a message which cannot be ignored”.
Speaking to the press in Dharamshala and all over the world through the internet, the Minister said these “acts of protest” were representative of “an emphatic rejection of the continued occupation of Tibet and repressive policies of the Chinese government.”
“They stand firm for the freedom of the Tibetan people,” Chhoyang added.
Addressing reports of build-up of security forces in and around Lhasa and its key monasteries, Ganden, Sera, and Drepung, Kalon Chhoyang noted that China’s “draconian measures” leading up to the Tibetan new year on February 22 and the March 10th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan national uprising could further aggravate the tense situation in Tibet and cause more “bloodshed and loss of lives”.
Releasing a short video compilation
of Chinese police brutality in Tibet and photos and clips of self-immolations in Tibet, the Minister urged the international community to “directly and immediately engage the Central Chinese leadership to assert its control over local authorities and forbid police violence and shooting of unarmed citizens”.
“The international community must let leaders in Beijing know unequivocally that the world is concerned and closely watching events inside Tibet,” Kalon Chhoyang said.
“We call on the Chinese government to address the underlying grievances of the Tibetan people. Only then, will there be a lasting solution to the escalating tensions in the region and the longstanding dispute between Tibetans and the Chinese government,” the Minister added.
While acknowledging world leaders and Tibetan supporters all over the world for raising the issue of Tibet in the last few weeks, Kalon Chhoyang invited the international community to participate in the upcoming Wednesday worldwide vigil for Tibet to “show solidarity and to raise its voice in support of the fundamental rights of the Tibetan people”.
In Dharamshala, the CTA will be holding a prayer service at 3 pm at the Tsug-la Khang, the Main Temple.
Following a press release on January 28 by the Tibetan Parliament, announcing visits by a parliamentary delegation to various Diplomatic Missions and the United Nations in the Indian capital, the Chinese Embassy had issued a letter urging the UN and the embassies to stay away from the Tibetan delegation.
However, China’s muscle flexing not only went largely ignored, as a host of Ambassadors and representatives of Diplomatic Missions in New Delhi met with the Tibetan parliamentarians, but interestingly, the Tibetan delegation also procurred a copy of the Chinese embassy’s confidential letter
, a copy of which is with Phayul.