Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Prof Jin Wei: Four points on Tibetan Self-immolation

Prof. Jin Wei of the CCP's Party School
Prof Jin Wei discussed the issue of self-immolations and, perhaps for the first time, provided an insight into the CCP leadership’s thinking on this phenomenon, which has seriously vexed them. She enumerated the following four attributes:

i) The spate of self-immolations has increased and become a kind of “virtual hysteria,” or an “infectious disease”. It has “become a movement”;
ii) Measures taken to stop them have not yet been significantly effective;
iii) The self-immolations have the potential to trigger more serious conflicts. Media reports, recordings, prayers for self-immolators, condolences and other acts have progressively widened their impact on the populace. The agitated emotions of Tibetans and actions by local governments to stop confrontations have promoted tensions and transformed the self-immolations from a “religious movement” into a “political movement” and even one spreading “hatred”. Disaffection has now spread throughout the Tibetan ethnic group and evolved from being a problem between the central government and the “Dalai Lama separatist clique” into an ethnic conflict between Chinese and Tibetans; and
iv) Self-immolation is a violent emotional act that is performed after an individual is “instigated”. The reason for mainly the youth committing self-immolation, is because their feelings towards the Communist Party are different from that of the older generation of Tibetans. While the latter are deeply grateful and thankful to the CCP for their emancipation and their share of land and livestock, the Tibetan youth are unable to compare the material improvement in their lives or the new and old governments. The younger Tibetans are also very impulsive and give expression to their emotions.

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