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    Nobel Peace Laureates Call For Respect for Tibetans

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    Twelve Nobel Peace Prize laureates have written to Chinese Communist Party leader Hu Jintao to express their concern over the recent increase in self-immolations in Tibet. Each incident has been followed by stronger suppression of the Tibetan people by the Chinese Communist Party, and the situation in Tibet is getting worse.

    Archbishop Desmond Tutu and 11 other Nobel Peace Prize winners sent a letter to Chinese Communist Party leader Hu Jintao on Tuesday, urging Hu to "respect the dignity of Tibetan people" and open "meaningful dialogue" with the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan leaders.

    The letter is in response to the recent increase in self immolations in Tibet.

    Twenty monks have set themselves on fire in Tibet this year, bringing the total number of self immolations to more than 30.

    Last Friday, two monks from Caodeng Temple in Aba County, Sichuan Province, set themselves on fire.

    The response from the Chinese Communist Party has been to crack down on both Buddhist monks and other protestors.

    A few days ago, 17 teachers and students from Qinghai in Gangcha County were arrested and sentenced for protesting.

    Radio Free Asia reported that the principal of the Ethnic Middle School was dismissed for taking part in the protests. Three students were sentenced to three years in prison, five were expelled, and about eight are under investigation.

    Kunga Tashi is a Tibetan analyst and the Dalai Lama’s representative to the United States. He says concern from the international community over the situation in Tibet is worrying the Chinese Communist Party.

    [...]

    So far, the Chinese Communist Party’s response to the self-immolations in Tibet has been an increased military presence and further limits on the religious freedom of Buddhist monks.