[Buddha-l] China Tibet
vasubandhu at earthlink.net
Fri Nov 9 18:43:53 MST 2012
November 9, 2012
Many Chinese Intellectuals Are Silent Amid a Wave of Tibetan
By ANDREW JACOBS
BEIJING - In a gruesome act of resistance that has played out dozens of
times in recent months, six young Tibetans set fire to themselves this week,
shouting demands for freedom as they were consumed by flames. On Friday, for
the second day in a row, thousands of Tibetans took to the streets in the
northwestern Chinese province of Qinghai denouncing "cultural genocide" and
demanding an end to heavy-handed police tactics, exile groups said.
Here in the nation's capital, where Communist Party power brokers are
presenting a new generation of leaders, the outgoing president, Hu Jintao,
made no mention on Thursday of the anger consuming China's discontented
borderlands during his sprawling address to the nation.
Asked by foreign reporters about the escalating crisis, delegates to the
18th Party Congress blamed the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader, or
inelegantly dodged the question altogether. "Can I not answer that?" one
But while Tibetan rights advocates have long been inured to impassive
officials, they are increasingly troubled by the deafening silence among
Chinese intellectuals and the liberal online commentariat, a group usually
eager to call out injustice despite the perils of bucking China's
On Twitter, where China's most voluble critics find refuge from government
censors, the topic is often buried by posts about official corruption,
illegal land grabs or other scandals of the day. Since the self-immolations
began in earnest last year, few Chinese scholars have attempted to grapple
with the subject.
"The apathy is appalling," said Zhang Boshu, a political philosopher who
lost his job at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences three years ago for
criticizing the government's human rights record.
With a mounting toll of 69 self-immolations, at least 56 of them fatal, many
Tibetans are asking themselves why their Han Chinese brethren seem unmoved
by the suffering - or are at least uninterested in exploring why so many
people have embraced such a horrifying means of protest...
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