Tibetan immolations in spotlight at Brics

2013-03-26 14:38
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Cape Town - Civil society groups including the Tibet Society of South Africa are gearing up for a day of protest at the Brics summit in Durban on Wednesday.

The Tibet Society of South Africa will appeal to newly-appointed Chinese Prime Minister Xi Jinping to address human rights abuses currently faced by people in “occupied” Tibet.

According to freetibet.org, more than 100 Tibetans in Tibet have set themselves on fire in protest against Chinese rule in Tibet.

"The protest will use visuals to show 100 faces of the people who have self-immolated and highlight the facts,” Elizabeth Gaywood, chairperson of the society, told News24.

Last resort

Gaywood said that the new Prime Minister would have the opportunity “to sort out the human rights issues and address the continued rejection of the Dalai Lama”.

The extreme form of protest carried out by Tibetans over the last four years has prompted condemnation of China by human rights groups globally.

Migyur Dorjee, representative for the Dalai Lama in South Africa, says Tibetans have no other means to express their feelings.

“They face political oppression, marginalisation, environmental destruction, and their language is not recognised...they have no other way to express themselves,” he told News24.

According to Dorjee, Tibetans are barred from any form of protest and sacrifice their lives as a last resort.

The most recent self-immolation incident involved a 30-year-old mother of four who set herself alight near a monastery in south-western China.

A US broadcaster quoted local sources saying that she did it “to highlight the Chinese policy of violent rule in Tibet and Tibetan populated areas”.

South Africa’s head of Public Diplomacy, Clayson Monyela, was unwilling to comment on South Africa’s stance on the Tibet-China relationship in the run-up to the Brics summit.

The Brics summit in Durban brings together the world’s leading emerging economies; Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
Read more on:    brics  |  clayson ­monyela  |  dalai lama  |  durban  |  protests  |  self-immolations

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