martes, 8 de noviembre de 2011

Palden Choetso, la monja que se inmoló por la libertad de su pueblo / Tibet's cry for help

Palden Choetso in an undated file photo. The 35-year-old Buddhist nun burned herself to death last week in protest against Chinese rule in Tibet. She was the 11th Tibetan monk, nun or former monk to self-immolate in Tibet in recent months.File photo/Photographer unknown
Emma Ruby-Sachs - <> 7 de noviembre de 2011 20:28:
Dear friends,Days ago, Palden Choetso set herself alight and died. In the past month, nine Buddhist monks and nuns have self-immolated to protest a growing Chinese crackdown in Tibet. These tragic acts are a desperate cry for help -- and we can answer their call. China restricts access to the region, but if we can persuade six key governments with close ties to China to send diplomats to the area, it will expose this escalating repression, and save lives. Sign the urgent petition now!Days ago, Palden Choetso walked out of her nunnery, covered herself in petrol and set herself on fire while pleading for a 'free Tibet'. Minutes later she died. In the past month, nine monks and nuns have self-immolated to protest a growing Chinese crackdown on the peaceful Tibetan people. These tragic acts are a desperate cry for help. Machine gun-toting Chinese security forces are beating and disappearing monks, laying siege to monasteries, and even killing elderly people defending them -- all in an effort to suppress Tibetan rights. China severely restricts access to the region. But if we can get key governments to send diplomats in and expose this growing brutality, we could save lives.We have to act fast -- this horrific situation is spiraling out of control behind a censorship curtain. Over and over we have seen that when diplomats themselves bear witness to atrocities, they are motivated to act, and increase political pressure. Let’s answer Palden's tragic cry and build a massive petition to the six world leaders with the most influence in Beijing to send a mission to Tibet and speak out against the repression. Sign the urgent petition: 

Tibetans are suffocating under China’s stranglehold. They are unable to practice their religion freely -- just downloading a photograph of the Dalai Lama can land a Tibetan in prison. And it is getting worse as columns of Chinese troops have blockaded the largest monasteries and are abducting monks into "patriotic re-education" programmes. This horrific situation is spiraling out of control. Since the beginning of the year, eleven monks and nuns have set themselves alight and with every protest China tightens its grip. For Tibetans, self-immolations are a very severe sacrifice that reveal their level of despair. They believe that committing suicide has a devastating impact on the cycle of re-incarnations and may even put you back 500 lifetimes. But Tibet's situation is so horrific that monks and nuns are forfeiting their positions in the cycle in exchange for the hope of international attention and freedom for their brothers and sisters.The Chinese government won't allow journalists and human rights monitors into the region -- just days ago Sky news and AFP journalists were forced out. But diplomats can request access and get in. And, as we have recently seen in Syria, they are the best way to get firsthand reports, let China know that the world is watching and start high-level political conversations on Tibetans’ human rights.It’s up to us to raise the global alarm. If we can get the US, UK, Australia, India, France and the EU to send a delegation now, they could push China to action. We have no time to lose -- sign the urgent petition:

Avaaz members have supported projects that are piercing the blackout and defending Tibetan culture and religious practice. But China’s ruthless crackdown is escalating. It’s time for our whole community to take a stand together with these peaceful people sacrificing their own lives for basic rights. Let’s show them that the world has not forgotten them. 

With hope and determination, 
Emma, Iain, Dalia, Ricken, Diego, Shibayan, Giulia, and the whole Avaaz team 

More information: 
Tibetan nun burns to death (BBC): 


Dalai Lama: 'Cultural genocide' behind self-immolations (BBC):

Study points to heavy handed repression of Tibetan area in China (The New York Times) (including HRW report):

China is fueling the fires of Tibetan resistance (Guardian):

Rare footage of Tibetan monk post-immolation in April. WARNING THIS VIDEO CONTAINS DISTURBING IMAGES:

Video of heightened police presence days ago in Ngaba (AFP):

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Charred body of Palden Choetso, 35 year old nun from the Gaden Choeling near Nyitso monastery in Kham Tawo region of eastern Tibet, after she set herself ablaze on November 3, 2011. Choetso carried out a protest against the Chinese government calling for return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibetans.

Thousands gather to pay respect to Palden Choetso

AP BEIJING, China, 6 November 2011:
A Tibetan rights group said Sunday that around 10,000 Tibetans were reportedly gathered around a monastery in western China where a nun set herself on fire last week in apparent protest against Chinese rule.The 35-year-old Buddhist nun died Thursday in predominantly Tibetan Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) prefecture in today’s Sichuan province. She was the 11th Tibetan monk, nun or former monk to self-immolate in western China in recent months.New York-based Students for a Free Tibet said in an emailed statement Sunday that around 10,000 Tibetans from across Sichuan had reportedly gathered around the Tawu Nyitso monastery to pay their respects to the nun, whom they identified as Palden Choetso, while around 1,000 monks and nuns were holding prayers inside. State-run Xinhua News Agency last week identified the 35-year-old woman as Qiu Xiang.“The streets are crawling with Chinese security personnel. A cinema hall near the monastery has been turned into an army base housing up to 2,000 troops. The whole town is under siege,” Tawu Lobsang Jinpa was quoted as saying in the statement. The group identified him as a former political prisoner from Tawu who escaped to India in February.It was impossible to verify the claims. A woman with the government of Tawu (Ch: Daofu) county, where the monastery is located, said she was not clear about the incident and hung up. Calls to the county’s Public Security Bureau rang unanswered. Residents in the area contacted by phone said they did not see any gathering and that there was no unusual police presence.The nine men and two women who have set themselves on fire since March were seen as having acted in protest to Chinese restrictions on the Tibetan religion and culture. At least six died of their injuries, while the condition of the others is not known.Most ignited the flames while calling for Tibetan freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama, who fled to India amid an abortive uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.China claims Tibet has always been part of its territory, but many Tibetans say the Himalayan region was virtually independent for centuries.

Copyright © 2011 AP


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