By William Nicol
Self-immolation refers to setting oneself on fire and is typical associated with a form of protest for the purpose of martyrdom. Nearly 50 Tibetan monks have partaken in self-immolation since 2009, which has become a severe way for Tibetans to protests in the case for autonomy from China.
Suicide is a major issue in Tibetan Buddhist culture, and the self-immolations have been a growing sign of desperation among those living in the vast and remote Tibetan plateau.
International leaders who are afraid to upset their relationships with the Chinese government have continually ignored Tibetan fundamental human rights. China has accused the Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet following a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959 and is vilified as a “separatist” by communist authorities, of encouraging the protests.
The Dalai Lama has condemned self-immolations, which many Buddhist believe are contrary to their faith, and blamed them on the harsh Chinese rule of Tibetan-populated areas.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama will speak on Oct. 18 and 19 at Western Connecticut State University, and the public is invited to a free showing (video simulcast) in the Ives Concert Hall, 181 White St. To help promote this opportunity, WCSU students in the Writing, Linguistics and Creative Process Department's Advertising, Copywriting and Promotions class created a Twitter page. They are writing this blog daily.