Radio Free Asia has posted video that reportedly shows a protest in Aba Prefecture, Sichuan, where large-scale demonstrations erupted last week, resulting in the shooting of one or more protesters by security officials. Read more about the protests on CDT.
Tensions have been high in Tibet and Tibetan regions of Sichuan with numerous self-immolations by Tibetans protesting Beijing’s policies and an ongoing crackdown by security forces. Students for a Free Tibet have obtained an audio file that is reportedly a final statement by Lama Soepa, a spiritual teacher and community leader from Golok in the Kham region of Tibet, who died after setting himself on fire on January 8. Listen to the recording here. From SFFT’s translation:
This is the twenty-first century, and this is the year in which so many Tibetan heroes have died. I am sacrificing my body both to stand in solidarity with them in flesh and blood, and to seek repentance through this highest tantric honor of offering one’s body. This is not to seek personal fame or glory.
I am giving away my body as an offering of light to chase away the darkness, to free all beings from suffering, and to lead them – each of whom has been our mother in the past and yet has been led by ignorance to commit immoral acts – to the Amitabha, the Buddha of infinite light. My offering of light is for all living beings, even as insignificant as lice and nits, to dispel their pain and to guide them to the state of enlightenment. I offer this sacrifice as a token of long-life offering to our root guru His Holiness the Dalai Lama and all other spiritual teachers and lamas.
Meanwhile the official Global Times has said in an editorial that there is “no need to sweat over minor unrest” while other official media reports have condemned Western media for “distorting” recent incidents. China Media Project reports that officials have undertaken a “thankfulness education campaign” in Tibet during which local households are provided posters of Communist Party leaders.