Chinese offer cash rewards to curb Tibet fire protests
IN A bid to crackdown on self-immolations by Tibetans protesting against Chinese rule, police in western China are offering a reward of £4,700 for information to prevent them.
Since the reward was offered earlier this week by police in Gansu province’s Gannan prefecture, two more Tibetans, a herder and a farmer, have died after setting themselves on fire near the Labrang monastery.
Dozens of ethnic Tibetans have burned themselves alive since March 2011 in protest at Beijing’s heavy handed rule in parts of China with a large Tibetan population, and the Communist regime’s occupation of Tibet itself.
Police in a heavily Tibetan region of far west China are offering a reward of $7,700 £4,700 for information about planned self-immolations in a bid to stem a tide of fiery protests against Chinese rule.
Since the notice was issued earlier this week by police in Gansu province’s Gannan prefecture, two more local Tibetans, a herder and a farmer, died after setting themselves on fire near the Labrang Monastery in Gannan.
Dozens of ethnic Tibetans have set themselves on fire in China since March 2011 to protest what activists say is Beijing’s heavy-handed rule in Tibetan regions, including parts of Gansu, Sichuan, and Qinghai provinces as well as Tibet itself. Many have called for the return of the Dalai Lama, their exiled spiritual leader.
The Gannan police notice said the recent immolations had “seriously impacted social stability and harmony as well as people’s ability to live and work”. Offering 50,000 yuan for information on planned protests, it also said anyone who turned in the “black hands” behind the burnings could be in line for a reward of up to 200,000 yuan (£18,500).
The notice promised to keep the identity of informers confidential for their protection.
“Self-immolation is an extreme suicidal behaviour that goes against humanity, society and the law and deprives people of their right to life,” it said. “The instances of self-immolation that have occurred recently in our prefecture are part of a political conspiracy by the Dalai clique that means to split China and undermine national unity.”
Chinese authorities routinely deny Tibetan claims of repression and have accused supporters of the Dalai Lama of encouraging the self-immolations. The Dalai Lama and Tibetan government-in-exile in India say they oppose all violence.
At least seven people have set fire to themselves in Gannan since March, including two women, and all have died, according to the International Campaign for Tibet.
A photo of the written notice was posted on Twitter yesterday by the Beijing-based Tibetan writer Woeser.
An unnamed Gannan policeman said that no rewards have been paid out yet and no tips have been reported.
On Monday, a herder died in Gannan’s Xiahe county near the Labrang monastery after self-immolating. A day later, a farmer died after immolating on Xiahe’s main street.
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