Today, December 10, is Global Human Rights Day. Activists around the world are reaching out and stepping up their efforts. And with over 100 self-immolations now in Tibet, this region, currently occupied by China, is a chief area of focus. The latest such immolation is a 16 year old girl in the Tibetan province of Amdo, currently ruled as China’s northwestern province of Qinghai (click here for a map and pre-1959 history).
According to news reports, China’s only response has been to tighten its already suffocating grip on the region.
I think it’s safe to say that this is the most pressing global issue facing Buddhists today. Burma is not perfect, especially for several ethnic minority groups, worst off among them being the Muslim Rohingyas. Sri Lanka still has its troubles with corruption and ongoing, though less severe, repression of ethnic Tamils. But no situation in the world seems so acute and so tragic as Tibet today.
A particular call to action has come from Tibetans around the world, recording a message for their particular head of state. For a pull at the heart-strings, watch 13 year-old Tenzin Tsundue make her plea to President Obama:
Here, Tenzin Lobsang of Canada and Tibet explains her desire for Tibetan autonomy, based on what is happening today in Tibet:
The news organization Link Asia recently reported on the self immolations, interviewing Columbia University professor Robert Barnett and compiling recent clips of leaders, including President Barack Obama, discussing Tibet/China.
Even the internet hacker-activist group “anonymous” is getting involved.
Here is a bit more from the group Anonymous (thanks to a twitter follower for making me double check!):
Via hackread.com: The group has also released a press release for the upcoming #Op_Tibet, according to the release:
Any violation, injustice or censorship imposed upon the individual citizens of the world is an offence to anyone or normal intelligence compassion and integrity. There is no place for selective outrage or double-think in the cause to oppose such abuse and oppression, it is not a matter of left versus right or free market forces being more iniquitous then socialist economic models. Wherever people’s rights or national freedom is being violently denied, where freedom of expression is rewarded with prison or torture then there is an ethical imperative for anyone of conscience to expose and oppose such cases. With that in mind @AnonymousTibet seeks the solidarity and active support of fellow #Anons to take-up action against the Chinese Regime which, apart from suppressing its own people, is terrorizing Tibetans and enforcing a genocidal occupation of Tibet.
And Reuters is just now reporting that thousands have marched to protest Chinese rule of Tibet in NY City (with photos).
Please spread the word (links to do so below).