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IANS: Growing Voices of Solidarity with Tibetans among Chinese Netizens

December 2, 2012

From Vishal Gulati with IANS, “Growing Voices of Solidarity with Tibetans among Chinese Netizens”:

Despite intensified government crackdowns and internet censorship, many Chinese netizens - in the absence of a free media Chinese citizens are very active on the internet that cannot be so easily policed - are increasingly voicing solidarity with the Tibetans who are setting themselves afire for more autonomy and the return of the Dalai Lama, says a US-based NGO.

The Tibetan government-in-exile based in this Himachal Pradesh town says the toll in self-immolation cases in Tibet has risen to 90 since 2009, over 20 in November itself. According to reports, Kunchok Kyab, a 29-year-old Tibetan man, set himself afire Friday in Zoegey in Ngaba in northeastern Tibet.

The protests, it says, are against Beijing's "repressive policies" and to demand the return of the Dalai Lama to his homeland.

The netizens are questioning the Chinese government's policies, going to the extent of accusing Beijing of intentionally avoiding the problem in Tibet, says Human Rights in China, a voluntary organisation formed by Chinese students and scholars in the US in 1989.

Besides demanding an end to the oppression of the ethnic minorities, the Chinese netizens have helped spread reports of self-immolations by Tibetans online and expressed their concern by posting comments on social media websites like Twitter, the NGO says.