China’s getting ready to formally unveil its new generation of leaders to the rest of the world by Thursday. But as the concluding sessions of the 18th National Congress of Communist Party of China (CPC) prepares to do so, two more cases of self-immolation by ethnic Tibetans have been reported.
The new leadership will be unveiled when members of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee – the powerful group of Communist politicians decided in a secretive process – walk out on a stage at the Great Hall of the People.
But ethnic and restive Tibetans are continuing their attempts be heard above the choreographed applause that would greet the new leaders through immolations and street demonstrations.
On Monday, a man in his mid ‘20s set himself on fire and reportedly died at the prayer ceremony being held for a woman who had similarly killed herself on November 7.
According to rights groups, Nyingkar Tashi was the seventh Tibetan to set himself on fire in the past six days, and the third from Dowa Township in eastern China in the same period.
“Thousands have taken to the streets to protest China’s occupation in Rongwo, the capital of Rebkong County. There are large numbers of security forces present in both Rongwo and Dowa Township where today’s self-immolation took place,” London-based Free Tibet said in a statement.
The statement added that Nyingkar Tashi set himself on fire during a prayer ceremony for Tamdin Tso, a young mother who self-immolated in the area on 7 November
On Saturday, a teenaged Tibetan self-immolated protest in eastern Tibet, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
China seldom confirms or denies such cases, and Saturday’s case was not reported by either Tibetan exile or rights groups.
According to Xinhua, Chinese provincial government officials identified the man as Gonpo Tsering.
Xinhua reported that Gonpo Tsering carried out his fiery protest around Saturday afternoon in the town of Hezuo in eastern Tibet. The report added that the “case was being investigated.”
Four cases of self-immolation including the first documented one of three teenagers setting themselves afire in a protest pact were reported from Tibetan areas in eastern China last week
Rights group said that over 60 Tibetans have died protesting the hardline rule of Beijing and demanding the return of the community’s spiritual guru, Dalai Lama, to China.
But last week China ruled out allowing international observers to visit Tibet to investigate human rights abuses even as reports from restive areas of the region said thousands of students took to the streets in the Qinghai province to protest against the self-immolation of a student.
China to get folk singing First Lady
One prominent figure missing from the 18th Communist Party congress is China’s First Lady-in-waiting— Peng Liyuan — who has a higher profile than previous presidential spouses.
Known to the Chinese for her career as a folk singer, Peng Liyuan’s fame has long eclipsed that of her husband, China’s next president, Xi Jinping.
Liyuan, 49, a civilian member of the army’s musical troupe and charity worker, is not China’s typical First Lady. -- ANI, Beijing