Tibetan Monk Self Immolations

Posted on May 23, 2014 by

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Link to online Prezi:  http://prezi.com/qlid8m3gdqfp/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

      Due to the fact that the news sources outside of China are not under the watchful eye of the Chinese government, they have more freedom to turn a critical eye towards the oppression the Chinese government is enacting upon Tibet.  These sources, from the US and abroad, have a more objective stance on the Tibet-China issue.  Sources within the US tend to be more scornful of the Chinese government and empathetic towards the Tibetans and the Dalai Lama.  They use ethos to make the Chinese government look like a bully picking on an innocent and harmless child on the playground.  The sources outside of the US, especially Free Tibet, have very solemn tone and call their audience to take action against the oppression and violence that the Tibetan monks face every day.  

      While looking at the differences between the Chinese and non-Chinese sources, there were several specific aspects of the Chinese sources that jumped out at us.  Firstly, almost every single one of the Chinese sources referred to the Dalai Lama’s followers as his “clique.”  They also place blame on the Dalai Lama for pushing the young monks to self immolate, using ethos to evoke negative emotions towards the Dalai Lama.  They do this in order to make the Dalai Lama look like the villain and turn the world against him and the rest of the Tibetan Buddhists.  Two of the articles we found from two separate online news sources are identical, stating, “The prevailing myth in the West about the Dalai Lama as a peace-loving monk and spiritual leader is set to unravel . . .”  These sources also send an underlying threat to the United States when they state that, “[p]oliticians in the West should not try to use the Tibet issue against China. Nor should they pursue ties with the Dalai Lama at the expense of their relations with China. After all, a true religious leader wouldn’t meddle in politics like the Dalai Lama, who has been engaged in a political campaign all along.”  In saying this, the Chinese government is asserting their political and religious power in the world.  

      How, then, does the Dalai Lama and other world leaders stay out of this drama?  In regards to the Tibetan monk self immolations, the Dalai Lama does not have much to say, other than that they are “sad” but “understandable.”  The Tibetan monks are setting themselves on fire in protest of the oppressive Chinese government that forced the Dalai Lama to flee Tibet in 1959, so wouldn’t the Dalai Lama be in support of these protests?  Not necessarily.  The Dalai Lama has always been one to advocate for the acceptance of all things on this Earth, even though he and his people are being oppressed.  He neither has anything negative nor positive to say about the Chinese government; instead, he practices the Middle Way approach to Buddhism that he preaches.  

 

 

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