81st Tibetan Self-Immolation Reported

According to the Dharamshala-based Central Tibetan Administration, an 81st self-immolation protest took place on Friday evening. Xinhua has confirmed the incident.

Tadin Dorjee, 29, set fire to himself at the entrance of Dokarmo town office in Tsekhog around 6:30 pm (local time) on Friday. He then chanted prayers for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama with folded hands. He died on the spot.

Thousands of local Tibetans offered prayers and attended his funeral that night.

The Chinese authorities have cut off Internet and phone lines following the incident

RFA has published further details of new measures reportedly introduced to deter the protests:

The India-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) quoted a source as saying that the notification, issued both in Tibetan and Chinese, was shown on the Malho Prefectural TV channel.

It said government aid to family members of self-immolators will be cut for three years while development funds for villages where self-immolations took place—even if projects had been approved earlier—will be cancelled for a similar period, TCHRD said in a statement.

Officials, monks and monasteries sympathetic to the self-immolators will also face action, according to the circular.

At the BBC, Martin Patience examined the prospects for change under the incoming fifth generation Chinese leadership.

But even if Xi Jinping wanted to change direction he would have to tackle a vast security and government apparatus that has been geared up to deal with the Tibet issue, says Bi Yantao, a professor at Hainan University.

[…] But he believes that both sides need to show more flexibility, describing the current situation as “deadlock.”

Robert Barnett says there are suggestions that Xi Jinping has set an internal team to review Tibet policy and believes the possibility of a change in policy cannot be ruled out.

“It will take great courage, Xi Jinping will have to overcome heavy internal resistance,” he says. “Any change is likely to seem small from an outsider’s perspective.

“But in the current situation, even a slight change would have a significant effect among at least some of the Tibetan community in Tibet.”

See more on Tibet and the wave of self-immolations at CDT, including news of the 80th and 79th cases, discussion of the challenges involved in verifying reports from the region, and the last words of several of the self-immolators.


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