The New York Times reserved its editorial space last Friday, November 29, to lament the deteriorating human rights conditions for Tibetans under Communist Chinese rule in their homeland, and repressive Chinese policies that have led to 123 self-immolation protests by Tibetans since 2008.
Specifically, the editors said, “These policies include replacing the Tibetan language with Chinese as the language of instruction in schools; sending some 21,000 Chinese party officials into Tibetan monasteries to keep an eye on monks; forcing monks to denounce the Dalai Lama; banning the display of the Dalai Lama’s photograph; having a heavy armed police presence in Tibetan towns, villages and around monasteries; closing monasteries; and clamping down on demonstrators with arrests and shootings by police officers.”
They called on China to roll back these restrictive measures and to re-engage with the Dalai Lama as the only meaningful way for the Tibetan regions “to participate fully in China’s economic development.”
UPDATE: The BBC today offers this firsthand observation of Tibet and the roots of immolation protests by Buddhist monastics and others, from China correspondent Damian Grammaticas. Having surreptitiously entered Tibet under the Chinese security radar, he finds a people who are frustrated and cowed. Includes three-minute video.