Posted by: mulrickillion | December 25, 2011

Special Report Published: “Tibetan Monastic Self-Immolations Appear To Correlate With Increasing Repression of Freedom of Religion”

Congressional-Executive Commission on China

December 23, 2011

(Washington, DC)—The Commission has published a Special Report, “Tibetan Monastic Self-Immolations Appear To Correlate With Increasing Repression of Freedom of Religion.” This CECC Special Report outlines an apparent correlation between increasing Chinese Communist Party and government repression of freedom of religion in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and nunneries, and 12 instances in 2011 of current or former monks and nuns who resorted to self-immolation.

All of the Tibetan Buddhist self-immolations except the most recent attempt took place in Sichuan province, outside of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). Commission Political Prisoner Database (PPD) information indicates a higher level of Tibetan political detention since March 2008 in Sichuan than in any other provincial-level area, including the TAR.

Reporting from each of the Commission’s 10 Annual Reports (2002-2011) show a trend of worsening conditions for Tibetan Buddhism, especially in Tibetan Buddhist monastic institutions, including through the use of expanded legal measures.

The trend worsened significantly after mostly peaceful political protests swept across the Tibetan plateau in March and April 2008. The Party and government responded to those protests by intensifying a long-established anti-Dalai Lama campaign; issuing regulatory measures that intrude upon and micromanage Tibetan Buddhist monastic affairs; implementing aggressive "legal education" programs that pressure monks and nuns to study and accept expanded government control over their religion, monasteries, and nunneries; and convening a high-level Party forum to formally establish a coordinated policy on Tibetan issues, including religion, across all Tibetan autonomous areas


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