A listing of the top news developments in and around Tibet during the previous week.

Self-Immolation in Tawu

Thrinley Namgyal

Thrinley Namgyal (RFA)

A Tibetan man, whose name was given as Thrinley Namgyal, self-immolated on April 15th in Tawu, a town in Kham currently adminstered by Sichuan’s Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. He passed away in the course of his protest, and his body was taken to a nearby monastery for prayers by local Tibetans. Thrinley was the 131st Tibetan to self-immolate inside the borders of the People’s Republic of China. For information on the Tibetan self-immolation protests, please see the ICT fact sheet.

Tenzin Delek Rinpoche marks 12 years in prison

Tenzin Delek Rinpoche

Tenzin Delek Rinpoche

Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist teacher who advocated for the protection and preservation of Tibetan culture, religion, and way of life for decades, has now spent 12 years in prison. The Rinpoche was arrested in 2002 and falsely convicted of exploding bombs and distributing separatist leaflets, while over 40,000 Tibetans from his home area of Lithang signed a petition calling for his release. Read an ICT report on the 12th anniversary of his arrest here.

25th anniversary of the passing of Hu Yaobang

Hu Yaobang

Hu Yaobang (Wikimedia.org)

Hu Yaobang, a reformist Chinese leader who reached national prominence in the 1980s, passed away on April 15th, 1989. Remembered by Tibetans as an advocate for change in Tibet who befriended the 10th Panchen Lama and worked to repair the damage of the Cultural Revolution, Hu’s passing started a sequence of events in China that led to the Tiananmen protests and the subsequent crackdown. Recent pieces about the Tiananmen protests include one from Malcolm Moore of The Guardian on the state-enforced taboo of discussing Tiananmen in China, and one by Louisa Lim on concurrent protests in Chengdu.

Chinese officials cancel human rights dialogue with Britain

Accusing the UK of using human rights to “interfere in China’s internal affairs,” China has canceled a dialogue previously touted by UK Prime Minister David Cameron as an important achievement. This move comes just weeks after word began to spread that China may stop accepting lists urging the release of particular political prisoners. John Kamm, an activist who has secured the release of a number of political prisoners, speculated that this shift might be due to increased Chinese confidence, and also predicted that PRC officials might try to end other human rights dialogues in the years to come.