MyNews24 is a user-generated section of The stories here come from users.

Comments: 13
Article views: 164
Latest Badges:

View all FullFrontalCortex's badges.

A call to the Dalai Lama to ask Tibetans to stop self-immolations

29 November 2012, 13:41

Over dinner one evening last year I discovered that  friend of mine had been to Tibet. He ended up in Lhasa, through strange serendipity. He and his girlfriend were given 24 hours to leave China and the only transport they could find and afford was a large blue truck travelling across the border, they initially thought that it was going in to Nepal. The convoy was headed to Tibet, luck indeed. In Lhasa while  on a tour of the Potala palace a monk furtively pressed into his hand a small gift wrapped in a piece of saffron silk, he tried to open it but the monk became fearful and indicated that he should wait to unwrap the object.  When he was outside and opened the gift It was a photo of the Dalai Lama. This was a risky act, If caught with this photo the monk would face severe punishment, yet his devotion to his holiness was greater than his fear. I have an irrational jealousy about this story and  the stamp in his passport, I nurse a deep desire to travel to Tibet and experience her at first hand. Regretfully the Tibet of today is not the land of romanticised serenity that the early 20th century  writers so vividly describe, the place that Alexandra David Neel, Walter Evan Wentz or Charles Bell visited no longer exists in fact never did at least for the general population. The Tibet that existed before the 1959 invasion was a Feudal theocracy  dominated by medieval potentates, the lay classes obliged to pay tithe to the great monasteries, and the denizens of the monasteries exercising unequal demand on them most of the time.

The Tibet of today is uneasy, oppressed again, the increasing influx of Han Chinese out numbering the native population, human rights violation a daily occurrence. Paul Armstrong adequately address the questions regarding China's reprehensible treatment of Tibet and her people in his article for CNN 23rd November.  The system of  theocratic feudalism that was present before the Chinese invasion was anachronistic and rife with corruption, it needed to be redressed.  The systematic destruction of Tibetan culture by the Chinese since 1959 is intentional genocide. The increasing number and youth of Tibetans setting themselves alight has raised world attention to their situation. Since 2009 at least 80 Tibetans have self immolated in protest over the oppressive and illegal occupation of Tibet by China, many calling for long life for the 14th Dalai lama and his return to Tibet.

I have been deeply saddened by the self immolation's and puzzled that there has been no direct call by the 14th Dalai Lama for Tibetans to stop the practice. His holiness has remained silent. Armstrong  makes the point that it was the self immolation of a street vendor that ignited the Arab spring, yet 25 immolation in November has not changed a thing in Tibet.

The head of the largest  sect Karma Kagyu, the 17th Karmapa has directly called for Tibetans to stop the practice of self immolation( 2011-11-10). I have looked to see if I can find the same direct call for Tibetans to stop the practice from the 14th Dalia lama but all I find is silence on the matter.  Dalai lama means “ocean of compassion”  I want to believe that this man is able to see that the self immolation of young Tibetans is not acceptable, and expect that he directly call for Tibetans to stop doing it. My fear is that he is, trapped in his 9th century world view and the feudal privilege that comes with his position, I have found this to be a prevalent position among the few exiled high lamas I've met. Will he call for an end to the self immolation's, it affords his cause political gain so we wait and watch, but at what cost?  I hope that I am incorrect and have missed the statement, nothing will make me happier than to be proved wrong.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Keltria Orton
The problem with interviews and n...

What happened to paying people what they are worth? Read more...

0 comments 273 views
Submitted by
Trudy Mhluli
The ANC is obsessed with self int...

It would be a grave mistake if the ANC allowed this week’s meeting to be engulfed by debates on the leadership race. Read more...

0 comments 59 views
Submitted by
Denis Dendrinos
Sandton and EcoMobility

Everyone is whining and complaining about the current road closures for the roadworks and about the temporary closures for the EcoMobility month in October. Read more...

0 comments 3198 views
Submitted by
Thulane Che Trosky637
The ANC's Parliament

There are signs that the ANC is losing its grip on Parliament. Read more...

0 comments 1390 views
Submitted by
Thomas Hill Jr.
RWC 2015

My Completely Unqualified Opinion on Upsets and 'Supporter Hypocrisy' Read more...

0 comments 513 views
Submitted by
Andrew Nowell753
The fallacy of leave

While leave might be regarded as a luxury, it is actually a necessity for the wellbeing of any worker. Read more...

0 comments 2911 views


E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

Interactive Advertising Bureau
© 2015 All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.