Tibetan self-immolations spark China tension

Restive region commemorates anniversary of 1959 uprising as number of fiery suicide bids surges past 100 incidents.
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2013 13:15

A widely circulated poem and note in Tibetan script on the hand of Sangay Dolma, who self-immolated on November 25, 2012, demand "Independence for Tibet" 

Browse the map and timeline above to learn about the acceleration in self-immolations in the past two years. Hover for more info on each incident, including name and location.

On March 10, Tibetans around the world mark Tibetan Uprising Day, the anniversary of the 1959 revolt against Chinese rule in Lhasa, the Tibet Autonomous Region's capital. 

In March 2011, a new wave of protests began in the area ethnically/culturally identified as Tibet, which is one-quarter the size of China.

To protest against Chinese government policies, at least 105 Tibetans in historic Tibet have set themselves on fire in the last two years - the vast majority of whom have died.

Facing an intense security crackdown in Tibetan-populated areas of Sichuan and Qinghai, self-immolators have cited a range of grievances: occupation, restrictions on religious freedom and re-settlement of nomads in block housing.

They also highlight alleged land grabs, the Dalai Lama's exile in India and restrictions on the use of the Tibetan language. Meanwhile, talks between Beijing and the Tibetan spiritual leader's representatives have been frozen since 2010.

Some activists seek full independence, while others would accept increased sovereignty.

China continues to invest heavily in infrastructure upgrades around Tibet, as Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang prepare to take the reins of power on March 17.

On Sunday, local police in Dharamsala, India, arrested Dawa Dhondup after he attemped to set himself alight on the 54th anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising.


Al Jazeera, Halftone, International Campaign For Tibet, Radio Free Asia
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