Chinese authorities today detained 70 Tibetans in a crackdown on self-immolations in the largest single reported sweep of suspects to date, Reuters reports:
Nearly 100 Tibetans have set themselves on fire to protest against Chinese rule since 2009 across a large swathe of ethnically Tibetan regions, with most of them dying from their injuries.
In the past few months, the government has begun a new tactic to discourage the protests, detaining and jailing people it deems to have incited the burnings.The latest detentions took place in the northwestern province of Qinghai, where police detained 70 “criminal suspects”, 12 of whom were formally arrested, meaning they will be charged, the official Xinhua news agency said.
The Dalai Lama, who called on Beijing to investigate the self-immolations, insists he is not promoting them but called them “understandable”, a view echoed by his political successor at a recent Tibetan opposition rally.
“What is forcing these self-immolations?” Lobsang Sangay, prime minister of the Tibetan government in exile, asked in a New York Times interview. “There is no freedom of speech. There is no form of political protest allowed in Tibet.”
Billed as the Tibetan People’s Solidarity Campaign, the four-day gathering featured protests, marches, Buddhist prayer sessions and political speeches in an attempt to push Tibet back onto a crowded international agenda. If the Arab Spring has inspired hope among some Tibetans that political change is always possible, it has also offered a sobering reminder that no two situations are the same, nor will the international community respond in the same fashion.
“The world is paying attention, but not enough,” Mr. Sangay added. “There was a self-immolation in Tunisia which was labeled the catalyst for the Arab Spring. We’ve been committed to nonviolence for many decades. And how come we have been given less support than what we witnessed in the Arab world?”
The Obama administration rejected allegations by Chinese state media that the U.S.-funded Voice of America had encouraged the self-immolations.
“We are deeply concerned about the overall deteriorating human rights situation in Tibetan areas, including not only the tragic self-immolations, but also that criminal laws have been used to deal with people who have associated with those people,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
“Our concern is that there are deep grievances within the Tibetan population which are not being addressed openly and through dialogue by the Chinese government,” she added.
China’s policies restricting religious and cultural rights of Tibetans have created a dire situation in the region and were responsible for triggering mass demonstrations in 2008 and the wave of 98 self-immolation protests since February 2009, Radio Free Asia reports.
“China’s attempt to deal with the self-immolations in the way they have so far—by use of force, by trying to threaten people, by trying to clamp down in Tibet, by making life for the people of Tibet more miserable—has not resolved the issue,” said Bhuchung Tsering, vice president of the Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet, a grantee of the National Endowment for Democracy.
“Today, while in Chinese [populated] areas the Chinese people have comparatively more freedom than in the past, in Tibetan areas we see this increasing clampdown, and the entire Tibetan area is in fact turned into one big prison. There is a heavy security clampdown.”
Radio Free Asia is undertaking a search for a new Tibetan Service Director – a visionary, dynamic leader with a deep commitment to Tibetans and thorough knowledge of Tibetan culture and beliefs, who can motivate, inspire, and nurture our mission-driven journalists in their delivery of news and information to the people of Tibet.
TIBETAN SERVICE DIRECTOR
(This position is located in Radio Free Asia’s Washington DC office)
Ideal Candidate Profile: The ideal Tibetan Service Director would be inherently well-respected by the Tibetan community in his/her own right. This person should bring his/her own gravitas and credibility to the service. This person needs to be a visionary and a dynamic leader who has a deep commitment to Tibetans and thorough knowledge of Tibetan culture and beliefs. The Director leads by example – motivates, inspires and nurtures mission-driven journalists to give the best they can, all the time, to Tibetans inside Tibet. The ideal candidate would have demonstrably good managerial judgment and professional integrity to work in a politically charged and difficult yet dynamic media environment. He/she must be able to ensure the quality of journalism required at RFA. He/she must be able to put the needs of the audience above all other considerations. He/she must have ties inside Tibet in order to have real-time knowledge and maintain a keen awareness of the political, economic, sociological and environmental situation affecting Tibetans.
RESPONSIBILITIES AND QUALIFICATIONS
A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university (degree in journalism, broadcasting or related field preferred)
Essential knowledge and understanding of broadcast journalism or related field.
Significant demonstrable success in supervisory/managerial/leadership capacity preferably in broadcast journalism, writing, media or a related field.
Native fluency in spoken and written Tibetan language and fluency in spoken and written English; Chinese language knowledge a plus.
Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of current political, economic, social and environmental conditions in and affecting Tibet.
Strong writing skills, editing skills and demonstrated ability to exercise unbiased, timely, and principled news analysis and judgment.
Demonstrated leadership to bring out the best in staff members, and ability to identify and nurture high performing and high potential talent.
Demonstrated integrity and dedication to excellence, ability to solve problems , multi-task and deal with a variety of critical situations.
Versatile, energetic and knowledgeable of current developments compatible with 21st century media trends.
Planning, directing, and supervising the development of Tibetan broadcast/website programs and daily operations of the Tibetan language service.
Providing strong editorial leadership and managing a staff of broadcast/webcast journalists.
Monitoring and maintaining quality control of Tibetan service broadcasts/webcasts.
Applying sound judgment and astutely flagging potential controversial and sensitive issues with upper management and peers.
Directing the preparation of original material on news, current events, features, culture and history of particular relevance to the target audience.
Establishing and maintaining contact with Tibet experts, specialists and sources to enhance program content and to ensure content relevance given the political, cultural, religious, social, economic and demographic developments.
Handling Tibetan staff administrative, personnel, and staffing matters working with colleagues in other departments.
RFA is an equal opportunity employer committed to workforce diversity
RFA encourages all qualified individuals to apply. If hired, the candidate must provide proof of eligibility to work in the U.S. as an employee of RFA.
RFA reserves the right to reconsider or withdraw any offer of employment to any candidate whose authorization to work in the U.S. as an employee of RFA, or extension of such authorization, would require RFA to file or support a petition or related documentation.
How to apply
Send resume with cover letter (making reference to Tibetan Service Director position) via:
Fax to 202-530-7797; or
E-mail to: email@example.com