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Cash Prize, Ultimatums Over Tibetan Self-Immolations: Report

By Jack Phillips
Epoch Times Staff
Created: December 18, 2012 Last Updated: December 19, 2012
Related articles: China » Society
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A volunteer looks at a photo during an exhibition highlighting recent reported self-immolation victims in Tibet, presented by Amnesty International's Taiwan branch in Taipei on June 29, 2012. Chinese police have recently put out a bounty for those who inform on would-be immolators. (Mandy Cheng/AFP/GettyImages)

A volunteer looks at a photo during an exhibition highlighting recent reported self-immolation victims in Tibet, presented by Amnesty International's Taiwan branch in Taipei on June 29, 2012. Chinese police have recently put out a bounty for those who inform on would-be immolators. (Mandy Cheng/AFP/GettyImages)

The Chinese regime is trying to exert even more pressure on Tibetan regions, even after scores of Tibetans set themselves on fire this year to protest exactly against those policies.

In the Malho area of eastern Tibet, Chinese Communist authorities have announced that cash rewards will be handed down to anyone who gives over information about self-immolations, according to the pro-Tibet publication Phayul. They also gave a final warning to Tibetans who have “committed fault” to turn themselves in and they will receive a “lesser” punishment.  

There have been a number of self-immolation incidents and mass demonstrations in Malho this year in protest of China’s crackdown in Tibet. They accuse the Chinese regime of promoting policies to eradicate Tibet’s culture, language, and religion

Furthermore, there have been accusations that Chinese authorities are attempting to indoctrinate students by handing out materials in schools that denounce Tibetan culture. Last month, hundreds of students in Chabcha County protested against a book that was circulated by Chinese authorities, which said the Tibetan language was “devoid of relevance.”  

Chinese authorities have tightened their grip on the Malho region in recent weeks, according to Phayul, which said that several Tibetans were arrested in connection with the self-immolations.

They also announced cash prizes that range between 1,000 yuan ($160) and 200,000 yuan ($32,000) to inform on people who potentially want to: set themselves on fire, “incite” protests, or visit the families of self-immolators.

In the past, as Phayul points out, the Chinese regime has offered rewards or even bribes to families and people taking part in protests to say that their actions were not against the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday told the United States, Canada, and the European Union to “stop interfering in China’s internal affairs,” according to state-run media. This came after the EU’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said on Friday that the EU is “concerned by the restrictions on expressions of Tibetan identity, which appear to be giving rise to a surge of discontent in the region.” 

Many human rights organizations have blamed the rise in self-immolations in China’s policies in the region.

Last month, Mary Beth Markey, the president of the International Campaign for Tibet rights group, said that while the self-immolations are alarming, the Chinese regime has exacerbated the problem.

“The Tibetans who are self-immolating–now in more rapid succession–have clearly not been dissuaded by the security buildup or other means of official intimidation,” Markey said. “Nonetheless, the authorities seem to be betting that further oppression will cower or exhaust the will of future self-immolators.” 

Reports earlier this year have said that Chinese authorities have cut off telecommunications lines in some areas, while deploying more security forces in troubled regions. In Lhasa, one unnamed resident described the Tibetan capital as “a large prison.”

chinareports@epochtimes.com

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