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


Tibetan woman reportedly dies following self-immolation protest in northern Tibet

Sonam Tso
Via Radio Free Asia:

A Tibetan mother of five has burned herself to death in southwestern China’s Sichuan province in a challenge to Beijing’s rule in the second such protest in a Tibetan area of China this year, a source in the region told RFA’s Tibetan Service.

Sonam Tso, believed to have been in her 50s, self-immolated on March 23 near a monastery in Dzoege (in Chinese, Ruo’ergai) county in the Ngaba (Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

News of Tso’s protest was initially delayed in reaching outside contacts due to communications clampdowns imposed by Chinese authorities in the area, but her self-immolation followed by almost a month a similar burning in Sichuan’s Kardze prefecture that killed a young monk.

Dalai Lama: “Future of Dalai Lama institution will be decided by Tibetan people.”

hhdl-0513-2The Dalai Lama has spoken again on the subject of the future of the Dalai Lama lineage, stating again that the Tibetan people will decide, and not the Chinese authorities:

“Modern Communist China calls itself atheist. So, they have no business in the issue. That’s why I often joke that the Chinese government should first announce the reincarnation of Mao Zedong and others if they really believe in reincarnation.”

Temporary halt to mining after protest in eastern Tibet

Armed police in riot gear at the protest on May 4.

Armed police in riot gear at the protest on May 4.

Following a protest by Tibetan nomads, a mining project in the Lhagang area of eastern Tibet has been brought to a stop by the local government. After initially responding to the protest by flooding the region with armed police, an official document from a Dartsedo City government bureau expressed its intentions to “solemnly commit” to holding off on mining until related environmental issues could be resolved.

Death of popular Tibetan singer prompts emotional tributes


Dubhe singing ‘Faraway Friend’

The singer Dubhe, who was affectionately known as the ‘Cuckoo of the Snowland’, died on February 27 in hospital in Chengdu. He was 49. During his hospitalization, Tibetans from across Tibet offered to pay medical costs as a gesture of appreciation, and in a poignant statement of thanks, Dubhe had promised in a note that circulated on social media to perform some new songs when he was discharged. Following his death, numerous Tibetans gathered in different parts of his home area of Amdo to pay their respects, sing his music, and talk about his life.

Beijing bars German parliament Human Rights Committee Chairman from China for criticizing China’s Tibet policy

“The reported attempts at blackmail and intimidation are unacceptable and symptomatic of Beijing’s systematic attempts to silence criticism about its policies in Tibet. Banning the Committee Chairman indicates a lack of sincerity of the Chinese government to engage in any genuine human rights dialogue. Committee Chairman Brand shares the same fate as a number of United Nations Human Rights experts who have been seeking to visit the PRC for some time already, to no avail. The Chinese government must instead open up, allow criticism and make a serious commitment to bring about change,” ICT’s Kai Müller said in response.