Police Shoot Tibetan Monk Who Set Self on Fire – washingtonpost.com

February 28, 2009

Police Shoot Tibetan Monk Who Set Self on Fire – washingtonpost.com

A young Tibetan monk was shot by Chinese police after he set himself on fire Friday, the third day of the Tibetan New Year, at a market in Sichuan province’s Aba prefecture, Tibetan activist groups said, citing eyewitnesses.
Chinese authorities, determined to avoid a recurrence of the violence, have sharply increased security patrols, detentions and so-called reeducation campaigns. They are especially nervous about March 10, the 50th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising, which Chinese troops forcibly suppressed shortly before the Dalai Lama fled into exile and Beijing imposed its own government in Tibet.

…a monk in his 20s named Tapey came out of the monastery, took out a homemade flag bearing a photograph of the Dalai Lama and at 1:40 p.m. walked to a nearby street market. He had doused himself with oil by the time he reached an intersection in the market, where he set himself on fire, the activist groups said.

Witnesses said police then fired three shots at Tapey. At the first shot, he fell, said Kate Saunders, a spokeswoman for the International Campaign for Tibet, and officials removed him from the scene.

Eyewitnesses said they believed he was dead, but his condition has not been confirmed.

Hold on. Is there irony going here that I’m just not getting? Some sort of horrific “MY god! He’s on fire! Shoot him!”? This comes right on the heels of China denouncing the US for Human Rights Abuses: “eijing released its own report on the US, saying crime is a threat to many Americans and racial discrimination prevails in social life across the US.” I’m not going to defend the US at all, but in context? I’m flummoxed by the notion that countries can make these sort of statements and take these sort of actions and want to maintain a modicum of sham dignity. I can say that the US has moved on with Obama… can’t wait to see China move on.

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