February 6th, 2012
03:20 AM ET

China disputes reports of self-immolations by Tibetans

The Chinese authorities have contested reports that three Tibetans set themselves on fire last week in a remote area of southwestern China.

The conflicting accounts followed an increase in security measures by the Chinese authorities in Ganzi, an ethnically Tibetan area of Sichuan Province, in response to violent protests that took place last month.

The unrest has been fueled in part by reports of a string of self-immolations by Tibetans over the past year amid anger and despair over Chinese rule.

Radio Free Asia, a U.S.-based nonprofit group, reported over the weekend that the three Tibetans had set fire to themselves on Friday morning in a village known as Phuwu and that one of them had died as a result. The group, which broadcasts in Asian countries that it says lack "full and free news media," attributed the information to unidentified sources.

According to Radio Free Asia, Phuwu is in the county of Seda in Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, which is home to a population that is nearly 80% Tibetan. Seda is known by Tibetans as Serthar.

Free Tibet, a London-based organization that campaigns against Chinese rule in the Tibetan region, also reported the self-immolations on its website. It did not specify where it got the information from.

But Global Times, an English-language newspaper run by the Chinese Communist Party, published an article Monday that disputed that version of events. It cited local government officials as saying that no self-immolations had taken place recently.

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Filed under: China • Tibet • World
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. stephaniesouthwick

    China (and Russia) will do whatever it takes to keep their populations under control...ergo, China denies Tibetan "unrest". And to connect the dots, China votes against ANY U.N. resolution (Syria), that curbs its totalitarian rule.

    February 6, 2012 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    Naturally China would deny this.
    It doesn’t look good on their resume of totalitarian rule.

    February 6, 2012 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. windhorse

    I wonder why China even bothers disputing this self-immolation report. Going by their trend, I don't think they even care about what the world thinks of them. Sometimes they don't even deny that they violate human rights, they just say they are not the only ones doing it. In a conscious effort to help tackle this mighty evil government, let us all try to buy at least one less Made in China product next time we go shopping.

    February 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dave4Tibet

    Of course they would contest it. All criminals contest charges against them just as all criminal governments contest charges against them.

    Tibetans are Self Immolating to bring attention to their plight so of course China does not want the spot light on Tibet because of the crimes against humanity they commit there each and every day with their illegal occupation of Tibet.

    So of course the criminals in the CCP would contest the immolation's pretending they never happened to try and hide the crimes they are perpetrating against the Tibetan people.

    And I THANK CNN for airing the story even if it was short I do THANK CNN for airing it for the world to see.

    I would love to see a more in-depth story on this as so far the worlds media is failing the people of Tibet unlike what they are doing for other nations struggling with human rights issues.

    Please give more air time to the Tibetan cause.

    I challenge CNN and the entire worlds media to Come and cover the protest rallies that will be held around the globe this coming March 10th in part cause it is an annual event starting in 1959 and in particular this year because of the 18 individuals who since last March (19 since 2009) have taken to such drastic extremes of Self Immolation!!!

    February 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mary

    What goes through a person's mind to do that to themselves is beyond me when God strictly forbids it. Having said that though, These Governments are doing equally worse crimes against humanity. I only hope that people in a position of power see what is more valuable MONEY of HUMANS and stop siding with the powers that be NAMELY American Government.

    February 6, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      1) They do not believe in the same God you do, therefore this point is moot as it relates to the Tibetans.
      2) The Tibetans could honestly care less about the USA.
      3) China, on the other hand…
      4) Tibetans are an extremely peaceful people, and this is the way they chose to protest rather than fight against a power that has been suppressing them for years.

      February 6, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dean Lee

    I just do not understand why these people continuely believe the lies. Tibet is free now! Tibetans as Han Chinese can do whatever they want to do and say, of course not make criminal. You can freely travel to Tibet by yourself to see what actually happen there. Please do not believe these untruthful news which always sprend in most West media. Go to see by yourself! Otherwise in America, it is difficult to get the truthful story of Tibet. As what happened in 2008 at Tibet, West media continuely reported the lie from so called "Free Tibet" group.

    February 6, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • windhorse

      Of course they are free to do what they want as long as they do not to anything criminal such as protest against injustice.

      If the Chinese government allowed the international media to take a peek into Tibet, then the media do not have to rely on the "lie" from Free Tibet group.

      February 6, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tibet Rebels

    Tibet should not harm themselves. Instead they should bring the fight into China itself. We should protest inside Shanghai and Beijing. Little by little bring this attention within the country.

    This has nothing to do with the Americans but rather China trying to occupy land that is not theirs in the first place.

    China is such a bully.

    Free Tibet


    February 12, 2012 at 5:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. bigmouse

    do any thing with your color glasses, it's media from west conuntry show their human rights in our world. I really oppose such behavior according to your comments from western countries above

    March 4, 2012 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
  9. Luckythe

    I think you will need to do more to convince China Gold International Resources to andbaon a $750,000,000 investment than asking them to leave.I think you would need to come up with more than that amount to buy their assets.Otherwise the company would be committing suicide if it just gave up Jiama.

    March 13, 2012 at 3:42 am | Report abuse |
  10. Breann Critelli


    July 20, 2012 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
  11. Cheri Flicek


    July 20, 2012 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |